Discuss the Problem

6, 7, 8

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. 

PrintTwo 50-Minute Class Periods

The learners will

  • watch and respond to a video.
  • define hunger and food insecurity.
  • establish the "knows" and "need to knows" of the issue.
  • discuss the challenge presented to them in a letter.
  • explain the population growth homework.

handouts for student research and background (PDFs below)

  • Agriculture Production Challenges
  • Population Growth Workshop
  • Antibiotics and Genetic Engineering
  • Challenge Letter 
  • Knows and Need to Knows 
  • Farm to Table Rubric 
Teacher Preparation 
  • You may wish to preview the Sample Questions handout found in lesson three. This may guide discussion throughout the unit as well as reflection at the end of the unit. 
  • You may want to invite family and community members to the day of presentations at the end of the unit.
  • This lesson includes a KWL. You may use your preferred method of KWL (Knows, Wants to Know, Learns). You may make a three-column chart on the board or chart.
  • Students will explore background issues and obtain handouts and web links to help them complete their projects. Teacher should select 5-6 web sites with relevant information on food production/insecurity as examples.

NOTE: Additional resources with considerations for teachers can be found at /units/farm-table-and-food-security

  • public responsibility: responsibility of the federal, state, or local government
  • private responsibility: responsibility of private businesses and corporations
  • civic responsibility: conprised of actions and attitudes associated with democratic governance and social participation. May include volunteering and stewardship.
Home Connection 

Day One Homework Handout: Population Growth Homework Assignment

Day Two: Introduce the Challenge Letter (see Handouts). For homework, students read the challenge and write a few possible problems to be addressed with their projects.


  • Affinity Mapping [http://www.edimprovement.org/download/7402/]
  • Agricultural Production Challenges [http://www.edimprovement.org/download/7403/]
  • Impact of water quality on health and ecosystem [http://www.cast-science.org/download.cfm?PublicationID=2950&File =f030727a50f063579836506a748341f2f310]
  • Infographics on Hunger [http://www.wfp.org/students-and-teachers/teachers/blog/nine-infographics-will-help-you-teach-hunger]
  • National School Reform Faculty. "Affinity Mapping Protocol" [http://www.nsrfharmony.org/system/files/protocols/affinity_mapping_0.pdf]
  • Population Growth Homework Assignment[http://www.learningtogive.org/sites/default/files/handouts/Population_Growth_Workshop.pdf]
  • The Hunger Obstacle Course [http://documents.wfp.org/stellent/groups/public/documents/webcontent/wfp202396.pdf?_ga=1.5248%208865.%20802222492.1469389523http://documents]
  • Top Agricultural Producing Countries [http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0712/top-agricultural-producing-countries.aspx]
  • Video: Feeding America [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fvo4iR49xns]
  • World Hunger Poverty Facts [http://www.worldhunger.org/2015-world-hunger-and-poverty-facts-and-statistics/] 
  • World-O-Meters Counters [http://www.worldometers.info/]


  1. Tell students that 1 out of every 9 people struggles with hunger, globally. Tell them they are going to watch a brief video and they should listen for how people who are struggling with issues of hunger can get their meals, and also how everyone can help to reduce issues of food insecurity.

    Show the video, "Feeding America,"

  2. Ask the students the following questions, and discuss their answers

    • Why might we not have enough food?
    • What can we do to keep everyone fed?
    • Why might food and/or water not be distributed to all who need it?
  3. Explain that this is the first day of a 4-6 week unit in which the students learn about hunger and food production. They will explore background issues and get handouts and web links to help them complete a project that impacts the community.

  4. Open the following links to resources with students to give them an idea of the background information available. Share efficient tips for how they can use the sites for research and learning more.

    Introduce these websites as resources they can use in their learning. 

  5. Complete the KWL as a class-wide activity on a whiteboard or chalkboard. Use a three-column chart on which students record what they know, what they need to know, and (later) what they learn. This will help them form questions and direct their research focus.

  6. Review the three main points of the Agricultural Production Challenges handout and explain that this handout will help students complete their assignments for this unit:

    1.  Animal Agriculture
    2.  Croplands
    3.  Environment

    Note: Teacher should select 5-6 web sites with relevant information on food production/insecurity as examples.

  7. Homework: Distribute the Population Growth handout and review the expectations.

  8. Day Two

    Teacher reviews a few highlights from Lesson One: KWL Assessments, Population Growth Homework Assignment. 

  9. Teacher introduces a discussion of world hunger. Discuss civic, public, and private responses, including philanthropic responses. (What are ways each sector takes action or responsibility for the issue?)

  10. Do this Affinity Mapping activity. [www.edimprovement.org/download/7402/]

    • Give students sticky notes where they will write down questions they have from Day One.
    • Give small groups of students a large sheet of chart paper to categorize these questions.
    • Have each group choose a spokesperson to present major questions and ideas from their group.
  11. The Hunger Obstacle Course (Optional Activity: Time will vary)
    This activity engages participants in creative problem-solving through a time-limited process of generating solutions to different hunger-related problems. Small groups of students circulate around the room and write down solutions to each of the hunger obstacles.

  12. Homework: Introduce the Challenge Letter (handout). Ask students to read it and brainstorm possible problems to be addressed with their projects.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Give examples of needs not met by the government, business, or family sectors.
    3. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Recognize terms that describe the civil society sector.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify and research public or social issues in the community, nation or the world related to the common good. Form an opinion, and develop and present a persuasive argument using communication tools.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
      2. Benchmark MS.5 Articulate and demonstrate the safety procedures that are part of the volunteer experience.