Farm to Table and Food Production
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.?
Through research and student-centered activities, this 4-6 week unit helps middle school students understand issues related to food production and food insecurity, particularly in light of the number of children and families in the US and around the world living in hunger. This unit also addresses the critical importance of water quality and availability in producing food and enhancing food security.
Students learn about philanthropy and civic responsibility. Science activities include interpreting charts and graphs. Language activities involve conducting research and preparing reports and presentations. A rubric for measuring student progress is included, as well as suggestions for service-learning.
Students view a film and explore facts and research about hunger. They brainstorm what they know and need to know (KWL). Then, they receive a challenge in the form of a letter to research and propose solutions to food insecurity related to food production.
Discuss concepts of public, private, and civic responsibility, and set the stage for explaining the project criteria. Students begin working in groups to discuss ideas for their projects.
The class spends three days exploring world hunger, food insecurity, nutrition, and the process of farm to table food production. This guides them toward their group projects.
This lesson consists of research and project-work days. Students will work through the various worksheets in their groups, developing their projects while relying on what they learned in previous sessions. They use a decision matrix and work collaboratively to fine-tune their solutions. Students conduct independent and whole group research based on the list brainstormed in the KWL.