This unit is designed for a 2nd/3rd grade classroom. To complete all of the lessons, the unit should take place in the spring. The overall goals of the unit are to get students to realize that much of their food comes from a farm, understand the complex steps behind the food industry process, and recognize the benefits of eating local foods. A field trip to a local vegetable farm is planned for Lesson 3. The teacher should send out the field trip permission slips to the parents and guardians prior to the beginning of this unit. Chaperons, the contact information and location of the farm, and the transportation to the farm should be prepared prior to this unit as well. Click on MORE in the top toolbar and then click on FARM TOURS to find farm tour resources for the field trip. In Lesson 5 the class plants a garden. The teacher should read over and complete steps 1 through 6 from the handout Easy Steps for Teachers: Creating a Classroom Garden prior to starting this unit.
The UW-Madison teacher education standard that I strove to meet in this unit is Standard 6: Connects School and Community.
Essential questions that the unit addresses are: Where does food come from? How does food get from the farm to our tables? What happens on a farm to produce food? What are the benefits and limitations of eating locally? What can we do at school to eat local foods?
The unit consists of five lessons:
Lesson One: Where does our Food come from?: In this lesson, students pick an ingredient, research where that ingredient comes from, and share their findings with the class.
Lesson Two: The Food Industry Process: Through a variety of mediums, students explore the complex processes food goes through to get from the farm and onto consumers' tables.
Lesson Three: Visit to the Farm: The class will take a field trip to tour a local vegetable farm. Students will observe a real life experience of where our food begins.
Lesson Four: Eating Local: Students will define and talk about the benefits of buying local food. They will create posters to promote buying local food throughout the school.
Lesson Five: Plant a Garden: The class will plant a garden to gain a firsthand experience and reap the benefits of eating local foods.
For additional books, websites, and activities to expand and enhance this unit, click on MORE in the top toolbar and then click on ADDITIONAL RESOURCES.