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Author

Resources for Rethinking

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Biology, Geography, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Activity - Outdoors
  • Worksheets
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 45 seconds
  • Assessments

Regional Focus

North America

Format

PDF

Food for Thought Action Toolkit

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Synopsis
  • In this collection of activities, students will learn about the global food system, the benefits of supporting local farmers, how to grow food, and where food comes from in Canada. 
  • Students will create a food log, map where foods come from, learn the parts of a plant, plant and care for seeds, investigate food miles in a pizza simulation, interview elders about historical food systems, persuade grocery stores to be more sustainable, reflect through journaling, and create a mindmap to synthesize their learning.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Students think critically about their food choices and how they impact the environment.
  • Many of the activities are collaborative and hands-on.
  • Students are encouraged to change their food choices to help reduce food miles.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The resource is also available in French.
  • The resource provides student worksheets as PDFs and Google Docs.
  • Students need access to computers with internet access.
  • Teachers must provide paper towels, plates, spray bottles, seeds, masking tape, markers, pots, drainage trays, potting soil, plastic wrap, and poster/chart paper.
  • The lesson has five sections of activities: SDG Connections, Getting Ready - Asking Why, Planting Food, Essential Follow-Up Activities, and Extending the Learning. There are also three appendices: Background, Planting Options and Tips, and Assessment Opportunities.

Differentiation

  • List-making and grocery-shopping activities make this lesson a relevant addition to a life skills class.
  • This lesson is specific to Canada, but teachers can modify it for other countries by having students research in-season food, percentage of imports, and distances between cities for their area in the pizza simulation.
  • The resource provides numerous options for extension and differentiation, including means to connect the lesson with English language arts, math, health, and art.
  • For younger students or those who may need more structure and support, there is a version of this toolkit available for middle grades.
  • Students less familiar with climate change may need help building connections between the food system, such as food miles and climate change. The additional resources linked throughout the introduction and background information sections can help do this.
  • Teachers can add questions directly addressing climate change to the journaling follow-up activity, such as "How are my food choices impacting the environment and climate?"
Scientist Notes
This resource from Learning for a Sustainable Future guides students in thinking about where their food comes from, concluding with a gardening project and baking a locally sourced ‘Canadian pizza.’ This resource forces students to examine how their food choices impact climate change due to the international transportation of many foodstuffs. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a guiding force, and the resource stresses a systems view of food production. The action toolkit provides links to excellent sources that detail crucial background information. This resource features clear text, includes a series of helpful tables that lay out each activity, and is recommended for teaching.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Social Studies
    • U.S. History: America in the World - Geography, People, and the Environment
      • 6.1.12.GeoHE.8.a: Determine the impact of the expansion of agricultural production into marginal farmlands and other ineffective agricultural practices on people and the environment.
      • 6.1.12.GeoHE.14.a: Evaluate the impact of individual, business, and government decisions and actions on the environment and climate change and assess the efficacy of government policies and agencies in New Jersey and the United States in addressing these decisions.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • English Language Arts
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.AW.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • Related Resources

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