The Secret Garden – Book Study & Activities

The Secret Garden - Book Study & Activities

This post contains affiliate links.

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic book The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary Lennox and her search for friendships and happiness. After the death of her parents, young Mary is sent to England to live with her widowed uncle Archibald Craven at Misselthwaite Mannor. Mary meets many interesting people during her stay at the Manor and uncovers many secrets, including a Secret Garden.

We think spring is a great time to read The Secret Garden with your family.  Here are a few of our favorite fun and educational activities to enhance this wonderful book:

Learn About Botany & Nature

Spring has arrived and that means trees are growing and flowers are blooming.  What a perfect time to get outdoors and learn about plants and nature.  Begin by learning about different types of plants.  Then, take nature walks to identify plants and trees.  Be sure to document your findings by creating a nature journal.

The Secret Garden - Learn About Botany & Nature

Celebrate with Spring Art

You know how much we enjoy chalk art!  Chalk is a wonderful medium for children of all ages.  With the new A Seasonal Start in Spring Chalk Pastels guide from Southern Hodgepodge your children can find several projects related to the garden, including: rain, jonquil in a glass of water, spring tree, bird’s nest, dogwood and more! Check out the rainbows we made with the new guide!

 The Secret Garden - Celebrate with Spring Art

Make a Terrarium

If you would like to bring your garden indoors, why not make a terrarium.  A terrarium is a miniature ecosystem contained in a jar.  With a good balance of plants, soil, nutrients and water in your terrarium, you will be able to seal it up and watch it grow and thrive for quite a long time.  When we created our terrariums we even we included a small key just like the one Mary found in the Secret Garden!

The Secret Garden - Make a Terrarium

Plan a Field Trip

Check around in your area and find a community garden or a large botanical garden to visit.  Gather your family and friends and schedule a field trip to see all of the spring flowers in bloom.

We are fortunate to have several beautiful gardens in the Central Florida area.

One of our favorites is Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida.   In addition to acres of quiet wondering paths and hundreds of beautiful plants and trees Bok Tower is famous for its 205 foot art deco Singing Tower Carillon.

 The Secret Garden - Plan a Field Trip

Another must-see spring event is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  The festival usually runs from early March through mid-May.  During the festival Epcot is filled with amazing garden displays, topiaries, food, activities for kids and so much more!  In addition to being a fun family experience, it is also filled with plenty of educational opportunities for all ages.

Use a Literature Guide

When reading The Secret Garden, save yourself some time by using this World Study Guide for The Secret Garden.  This guide is designed for grades 3-8 and can easily be adjusted to use with your entire family.

World Study Guide The Secret Garden

It includes all of the items needed for a complete book club or home study:

  • Author Study
  • Timeline
  • Book Study
  • Vocabulary
  • Secret Garden Recipes
  • The Great Taste Test
  • The Novel vs. The Movie
  • Activity: Terrarium – Make Your Very Own “Secret Garden”
  • Memory Book
  • Writing Assignment: The Story Behind the Picture
  • World Links to Disney – Movies, Walt Disney World and Activities …and more!

 With all of these ideas are you ready to read The Secret Garden with your family?

Be sure to check out even more Book and a Big Idea posts from our friends at iHN.



  1. my daughter has loved Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, and lately…The Chronicles of Narnia

  2. Oooh I have always loved The Secret Garden! What a great looking study! What age would you say it’s appropriate for?

    1. Hi Lauren, We have used the guides with children ages 7-15, but they can be easily adapted for a variety of ages. For younger children you could focus more on the hands-on activities and less writing, with older kids you could add in additional research projects. We would be happy to offer specific ideas if you need help adjusting it for a certain age range!

  3. I think the classics are so important! The hobbit is probably his favorite or maybe on of the Narnia Chronicles. Our big study this year was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

  4. I have actually never read this book but am considering it as the next book I read aloud to my first grader. Thanks for helping me learn more about it!

  5. He really doesn’t have a favorite, I loved the Secret Garden and would live to read it and study it in our homeschool class.

  6. Thanks for this chance to win, I don’t think my kids have a favorite, they love to read all kinds.
    I do know they like this story and would enjoy reading it as a family.

Comments are closed.