Susan L – Horticulturist

Ask your students to tell you where our food comes from. Do they respond with a restaurant or a grocery store name? Do they suggest it is made in a factory? What about on a farm? Do any of your students hint about our food supply's connection to nature and our environment?

Most kids growing up in our society have only a vague idea of where food comes from and how it is produced. Fortunately, educators at the Teachers College in New York City have created a curriculum titled LiFE, Linking the Food and The Environment, comprising of a series of three books for students in Grades 4-8. Published by KidsGardening, the LiFE curriculum incorporates science lessons designed to teach youth about food, nutrition, the environment and the connections between them.

GrowingFood_CoverGrowing Food is the first book of the LiFE curriculum. Targeted to Grades 4-6, it's a thought provoking, action changing, inquiry-based curriculum that supports student investigations of topics in life science using a familiar and much loved domain – food. By investigating the question, "How does nature provide us with food?" students learn about the cycling of matter in nature, flow of energy, and food systems —critical ideas in science. They engage in hands-on investigations of photosynthesis, food webs, agriculture, and more.  Students explore and analyze their personal food choices through scientific reasoning and apply what they've learned through discussions and debates to personal decisions related to food systems, health, and the natural environment.

Growing Food includes lesson plans with helpful background information, practical teaching tips, and tools for assessment, along with student activity sheets and readings. Also included is a matrix that maps Growing Food to the National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy.

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Download "The Producers," a FREE lesson plan from Growing Food.

The other books in the LiFE curriculum series are Farm to Table (Grades 5-6) and Choice, Control, and Change (Grades 6-8). Click Here to purchase Growing Food (256 pages, $32.95), other LiFE curriculum books & to find out for more information on all our publications.

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