Unit Overview 

Students become aware of the complexity of the issue of hunger in the U.S. as they use research, critical thinking, and problem solving to explore, communicate, and draw conclusions about an issue around food production and distribution. The unit uses the service-learning process, includes philanthropy education components (such as the roles of the different sectors in the issue of addressing hunger), and empowers students to take action to address the issue of hunger in the U.S. (may be in the form of advocacy, direct service, indirect service, or original research).

Service Experience 
After learning about the food cycle from farm to table, learners will work collaboratively to propose action to improve food security for all families in the U.S. All learners will take part in research projects as a form of service-learning as they will present their new learning to a community panel and advocate for a solution. As an extension of this research, learners will be challenged to develop and implement a service-learning project through direct, indirect, or advocacy service.
Lessons in This Unit 
Unit: 
Farm to Table and Food Security
Lesson 1 of 6
Grades: 
6
7
8

Learners define philanthropy and explore why it is important for citizens (including middle schoolers) to take action to improve the community. In this first lesson introducing the Project Based Learning process, learners investigate the concept of food security in the U.S. and start asking questions about factors related to food production costs. The teacher presents the challenge that determines the direction of the students' projects. 

Focus Question: What farm to table factors affect the cost of food production, and how do choices in food production and distribution affect food security in the U.S.? 

 

Unit: 
Farm to Table and Food Security
Lesson 2 of 6
Grades: 
6
7
8
Students clarify the goals and parameters of their project based on the call to action from Lesson One. They use critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to determine what they know about the project and what they need to know (questions/inquiry about the project). The teacher provides a rubric that guides the project and will be used for assessment.
 
Unit: 
Farm to Table and Food Security
Lesson 3 of 6
Grades: 
6
7
8
This stage in the PBL process involves gathering information about food insecurity and students' individual topics. This may be from teacher workshops and from students conducting research. Students are moving toward determining the focus of their project and thinking about solutions to the challenge presented. The students find reliable sites for conducting research with the help of the teacher. The teacher provides "workshops" to give students information or skills they need to complete their project. The workshops are either unique to students' Need to Knows or they give broad perspective on the topic of food scarcity or farm-to-table issues. The workshops may be conducted to small groups or whole class. 
 
 
Unit: 
Farm to Table and Food Security
Lesson 4 of 6
Grades: 
6
7
8

In this lesson, students form groups that have similar interests/issues.Together they evaluate possible solutions based on their research to determine the pros and cons of each solution. Working collaboratively and using a decision-making matrix, they pick one solution as a group to create, run, rework, and present in Lesson Five. 

Unit: 
Farm to Table and Food Security
Lesson 6 of 6
Grades: 
6
7
8
Learners evaluate the effectiveness of their solution and service-learning project, including individual and group processes and learnings. They reflect individually and in groups, and celebrate their success.