The Curious Garden Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

Discover what can happen when one boy gives a little bit of attention to a sad and dying garden in 'The Curious Garden' by Peter Brown. Students will learn about a real life railroad that was turned into a park and design a park of their own.

Lesson Objectives

By the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the idea of perseverance as it relates to The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown.
  2. Compare The Curious Garden to the High Line Railroad Park in New York City.
  3. Design a park.


45-50 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.


Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.


  • Copy of the book The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown
  • White paper for each student (construction paper or card-stock would work best)
  • Crayons/markers for each student


Begin by introducing the book to the class.

  • Identify the author/illustrator.
  • Discuss the picture on the cover of the book.
  • Discuss the title.
  • Ask for predictions as to what the story might be about.

Next, read the story to the class. As you read, pause on the appropriate pages to discuss:

  • What led the boy up to the old broken down railroad?
  • What did he find up there?
  • What did the boy decide to do?
  • What happened as a result of the boy's perseverance?
  • What is perseverance?
  • How did the garden grow and spread through the city?
  • How do you think the boy felt about his accomplishment?
  • How do you think the people in the city felt about the garden?
  • What would be some benefits of having such a beautiful garden in the city?
  • What do you think happened to the garden while the boy was unable to visit it?
  • How does this story demonstrate perseverance?

After reading the story, tell the class that The Curious Garden was likely based on a real garden in New York City.

  • The High Line Railroad was an old, abandoned and run down elevated railroad that had once traveled around New York City.
  • It was eventually turned into a ''Park in the Sky'' and is quite an attraction for the city today.
  • Discuss how this park compares to the one in The Curious Garden.

Independent Activity

To allow students the experience of designing a garden (or park), have students complete the following activity.

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