Home and Garden

Current JMG® Curriculum

Level 1 - Golden Ray Series

Level 1 JMG® core curriculum is targeted for grades 3-5 and offers individual and group learning experiences for youths and teachers. A youth handbook and teacher/leader guide supports the JMG® program. The curriculum consists of 8 chapters, described below.

Our Golden Ray Series provides youth gardeners the chance to learn in-depth specific areas of horticulture and environmental sciences. The first Golden Ray Series release, Health and Nutrition from the Garden, contains hands on garden related activities to teach gardening basics, growing techniques, thrifty gardeners, food safety, ABC's of healthful eating, and healthful snacks.

The second installment of the Golden Ray Series, Literature in the Garden, focuses on cultivating a connection to children's literature while relating them to gardens. The third book of the series, Wildlife Gardener is the combined resources of the National Wildlife Federation and the Junior Master Gardener® Program along with the valuable input from pilot teachers and students across the country have helped to shape Wildlife Gardener into an integrated, engaging, and one-of-a-kind experience for kids.

Level One Book
  • Chapter 1. Plant Growth and Development

    Participants will learn how plants grow and make our world a better place.

  • Chapter 2. Soils and Water

    Participants will get their hands dirty and learn how soil and water are important to plants and all living things.

  • Chapter 3. Ecology and Environmental Horticulture

    Participants will get the big picture of how people, plants, and animals all depend upon each other and how they can help to take care of our environment.

  • Chapter 4. Insects and Diseases

    Participants will find out what's bugging them and their plants by exploring the world of insects and plant diseases.

  • Level One Book
  • Chapter 5. Landscape Horticulture

    Participants will learn how to create and take care of beautiful gardens, and how to attract birds, insects, and other creatures to their backyards or neighborhoods.

  • Chapter 6. Fruits and Nuts

    Participants will learn about many different kinds of fruits and nuts, and make fruit smoothies, raisins, and even peanut butter.

  • Chapter 7. Vegetables and Herbs

    Participants will learn to grow many different kinds of vegetables and herbs and how to cook them in some yummy dishes.

  • Chapter 8. Life Skills and Career Exploration

    Participants will learn more about themselves, their friends and their school, and discover how to make plans for the future.

Level 2 - Operation Thistle: Seeds of Despair

Level 2 Book

The JMG® Level 2 curriculum focuses on youths in grades 6-8. Two teacher/leader guides support the level two JMG® program. Operation Thistle focuses on plant growth and development while engaging them in an group activities to defeat Dr. Thistle. Operation W.A.T.E.R. focuses on soil and water concepts while investigating a new mystery.

The first module of Operation Thistle teaches kids all about plant growth and development while pitting them and JMG® Plant Intelligence against the cunning, evil Dr. Thistle. While engaging in their mission to defeat the nefarious doctor, youths will learn about plants' growth, classification, parts, needs, processes, and seed & vegetative propagation.

To Complete a Golden Ray series, youth must:

  • belong to a registered JMG® group.
  • complete any combination of 12 activities in a single chapter(from teacher guide, youth handbook or a combination of both) or from other Golden Ray Series curricula.
  • complete one life skill/career exploration activity from chapter eight.
  • participate in one community service project.

All JMG® curricula include:

  • independent and group learning experiences
  • life/skill and career exploration
  • service learning opportunities for youth
  • correlation to state teaching standards

Junior Master Gardener® Certification

Certification is the highest level of program participation, and includes certification in all eight units. To be certified youth must complete one group and one individual activity in each learning concept. Level one contains 44 learning concepts. Youth must also complete one leadership/service-learning project per chapter. When youth complete these activities the JMG® teacher/leader sends in the completion form that lists the names of the children who have met the program requirements. This form is found in the teacher/leader appendix, starting on page 217. When JMG® office receives the completion form, a completion certificate for each JMG® youth will be sent to the JMG® teacher/leader.

JMG® certification medals are a great recognition item for youth and can be ordered through the JMG® shop