Resources for PreK-8 Activity 16 – Pass the Plants, Please

Spaghetti. Fried rice. Tortillas. Vegetable soup. Thanks to plants, these and many other favorite foods are ours to enjoy. This activity will get your students thinking about just how big a part plants play in our daily diets.

This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity. 

STUDENT PAGES

Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:

Teacher Page: Recipes (PDF)

Veggie Plate (PDF)

 

Spanish Student Page(s):

Pagina del Maestro: Recetas (PDF)

Plato de Ensalada (PDF)

STEM STRATEGIES

Engage students in real-world applications of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education.

Try these STEM Connections for this PLT activity:

RECOMMENDED READING

Expand your students’ learning and imaginations. Help students meet their reading goals while building upon concepts learned in this activity with the following children’s book recommendations:

FAMILY ACTIVITY

Try a simple variation of this activity to engage children in the outdoors at home. Download this fun and easy-to-do family activity.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:

  • Food and Climate Change

    Understanding Food and Climate Change: An Interactive Guide uses video, photos, and hands-on experiences for educators and students to learn about how food and climate systems interact. Explore how personal choices about food can make a difference. Ideal for grades 6–12, with connections to Next Generation Science Standards and the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies themes, the guide offers activities for student research and resources for further investigation.

  • Plants Also Need Proper Nutrition

    Designed by the International Plant Nutrition Institute, these games for grades K-5 teach students about naturally occurring nutrients that plants use for food. Combined with this infographic poster, the games guide students to think more about how plants get their nutrients.

  • Evolution of Organic: The Story of the Organic Movement Documentary

    This 86-minute documentary film, Evolution of Organic: The Story of the Organic Movement Documentary, tells the story of the growing organic agriculture movement. It shares insight into some of the most effective organic farming techniques and the people inspiring and building the movement. The documentary is divided into four acts that can be watched one after another or separately. The fourth act concludes with hope for the future of organic farming and offers advice for young people for ways to grow organic farming and carbon farming and sequester carbon dioxide.

  • Fruit Tree 101 Program

    The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation’s Fruit Tree 101 program brings high-quality fruit trees and shrubs, equipment, on-site orchard design expertise and oversight, horticultural workshops, and aftercare training and manuals to schoolyards across the country. By planting fruit trees, students will improve the surrounding air, soil, and water and provide a local source of healthy nutrition. There is no deadline to apply; applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Recipients must be public schools, nonprofits, or government entities that own the planting site, showcase commitment to caring for the trees in perpetuity, have a source of irrigation nearby, and can help coordinate local volunteers to participate on the day of planting.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture School Garden Fact Sheet

    There are over 7,000 school gardens across the nation and you can have one at your own school! This fact sheet from USDA’s Farm to School program provides successful gardening examples and tips in PreK-12 school settings.

  • Core Principles of Garden-Based Education E-Book

    The Teaching in Nature’s Classroom: Core Principles of Garden-Based Education e-book highlights 15 principles and best practices for successful garden-based education programs. Use this guide to deepen elementary and middle level students’ connection to nature, food, and outdoor education.

  • Farm Academy Live

    Farm Academy Live provides students with a virtual field trip to an agricultural destination. The 45-60 minute lessons are taught by a Farm Academy Live teacher via a free video conferencing program. Students get to witness agricultural production and processing methods they may never be able to experience otherwise, learn about where their food and fiber comes from, and meet the farmers who produce the products they have grown to love. Raw products are sent directly into the classroom for the students to physically touch and see.

  • School Gardens Fact Sheet

    This USDA resource titled School Gardens: Using Gardens to Grow Healthy Habits in Cafeterias, Classrooms, and Communities provides a brief overview of the benefits and educational uses of school gardens. It includes links to successful school garden programs and tips for planning, staffing, funding and maintaining a school garden.

  • USDA People’s Garden

    Gardening resources, grant information, and seasonal tips are available at the U.S. Department of Agriculture People’s Garden website.

  • DooF: Nutrition Education Materials

    DooF (“food” spelled backwards) is a fast-paced television series that teaches students ages 6-11 about where food comes from and interests them in good food, because it’s healthy and tastes good!  The accompanying website, www.foodbackwards.com, offers recipes, food-related videos and stories, a blog, and food-literacy materials.

  • Oregon School Cafeteria Makes It from Scratch

    This NPR podcast describes one Oregon School’s Cafeteria strategy to bring real cooking back into the school kitchen.   

  • Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

    Using the USDA-sponsored Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Website, students can learn about local and regional food systems, read case studies, watch videos, and see pictures from the field. Students can also use the interactive Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass to discover local and regional USDA-supported food projects in communities across the USA.

  • Teaching the Food System

    Resources from The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future introduces students to food-system topics and issues. Explore questions such as: What are the strengths and weaknesses of local food systems? How is our food supply dependent on ecosystems? Find slides, handouts, and other supplemental materials on their Teaching the Food System website.

  • Botany on Your Plate

    K-4 students explore edible plants in this interdisciplinary life science unit developed by the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley. Teachers can access supporting resources online. Explore ideas for dissecting plant seeds, observing plant embryos, and organizing observations using diagrams. 

  • Gourmet Lab

    This free, and downloadable book from the National Science Teachers Association entitled, “Gourmet Lab: The Scientific Principals Behind Your Favorite Foods,” gives students the opportunity to discover science concepts and learn experimental design skills through interactions with everyday foods. Targeting students in grade 6-12, Gourmet Lab offers lots of ideas for science teachers to take on the role of scientist and chef as they boil, bake, and toast their way to better understanding science concepts. 

  • Fruit and Vegetable Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension’s Nutrition Education Program provide information about 30 fruits and vegetables. Each fact sheet includes an illustration of the fruit or vegetable along with nutrition information, uses, description, varieties, and where the fruit or vegetable was first cultivated. The sheets could be incorporated into K-12 biology, health, or nutrition lessons or shared with students’ families to help promote healthy eating habits.

  • School Garden Checklist

    Planning to start a garden project? Download this step-by-step guide, provided by the Let’s Move! Presidential initiative, to ensure you won’t miss any information that could support the health of your garden. Detailed checklists offer tips about soil safety, site selection, overall design, plant palette, how to build and use the garden, and the importance of creating local partnerships and utilizing local resources.