Curriculum Toolkit

Over the years, we have honed in on priority curricular units for every grade level, preschool through 12th grade, that build on each other and provide a meaningful food education for the students we work with.

This Toolkit is the compilation of these units, along with their related teaching standards, activities, and assessment tools. We are constantly adding to this site, so please check in again soon for updates.

We designed this curriculum framework to help our students grasp the following key concepts by the time they graduate from high school:

Feel confident in making healthy food choices

Appreciate the farming profession

Know that everyone can grow food

Understand the connection between healthy soil, healthy plants, and healthy people

Recognize the difference between the industrial and local food systems




4th Grade: Introduction to Food Systems and Food Choices

In fourth grade,

students continue reflecting on the history of food, now through the lens of one crop: corn.

After exploring the interconnectedness of our garden food web in the fall, we narrow our focus to corn and its path from teosinte to its current state as our country's most consumed crop.

Connections to IGS Learning Goals:

Appreciate the farming profession
Know that everyone can grow food
Understand the connection between healthy soil, healthy plants and healthy people
Feel confident in making healthy food choices

Essential Questions:

Where does food come from?
Where do seeds come from?
Why do we have farms?
What is waste?
How do humans and plants affect each other?

Lessons

Seasons in the School Garden

  • Soil temperature
  • Plant categorizing/tallying
  • Worm tallying
  • Fall plant identification

Fall Garden Harvest

Field Trips

Gleaning @ Morning Glory Farm, Whippoorwhill Farm, or other island farms

Fall on the farm @ Morning Glory

Lessons

Seasons in the School Garden

  • Soil temperature
  • Plant categorizing/tallying
  • Worm tallying
  • Fall plant identification

America: A Melting Pot of Food

Lessons

Seasons in the School Garden

  • Soil temperature
  • Plant categorizing/tallying
  • Worm tallying
  • Fall plant identification

Garden Design

Polyculture vs. Monoculture

Planting Corn in the Garden

Planting in the Lasagna Garden

Field Trips

Spring on a Farm @ Allen Farm or other island farm

4-ESS2-1

Make observations and collect data to provide evidence that rocks, soils, and sediments are broken into smaller pieces through mechanical weathering and moved around through erosion by water, ice, wind, and vegetation

4-ESS3-1

Obtain information to describe that energy and fuels humans use are derived from natural resources and that some energy and fuel sources are renewable and some are not.

4-LS1-1

Construct an argument that animals and plants have internal and external structures that support their survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction

3-5-ETS1-3

Plan and carry out tests of one or more elements of a model or prototype in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify which elements need to be improved. Apply the results of tests to redesign a model or prototype.

3-5-ETS1-5(MA)

Evaluate relevant design features that must be considered in building a prototype of a solution to a given design problem.

  • Garden Design

Generate and analyze patterns

  • Seasons in the Garden

Extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering

Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit

Represent and interpret data

  • Seasons in the School Garden

Geometric measurement: understand concepts of angles and measure angles

  • Garden Design

Draw and identify lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles

  • Garden Design

Identify the regions of the United States and describe the climate, major physical features, and major natural resources in each region.

Describe the diverse nature of the American people by identifying the distinctive contributions to American culture from several different ethnic groups.

Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text

Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided

Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears

Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly

Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly

Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally

Garden

Seasons in the School Garden

  • Soil temperature
  • Plant categorizing/tallying
  • Worm tallying
  • Fall plant identification

Garden Design

Planting in the Lasagna Garden

Fall Garden Harvest

Food Systems

America: A Melting Pot of Food

Polyculture vs. Monoculture

Planting Corn in the Garden

4th Grade Book List

Corn

  • Anna’s Corn, by Barbara Santucci
  • Corn, by Gail Gibbons
  • Tick Tock the Popcorn Clock, by Jane Moncure

Soil

  • Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer, by Carol Brendler

Garden

  • Chicks and Salsa, by Aaron Reynolds
  • Our School Garden, by Rick Swann
  • Blue Potatoes, Orange Tomatoes: How to Grow a Rainbow Garden, by Rosalind Creasy
  • Weslandia, by Paul Fleischman

Spanish

  • Sip Slurp Soup Soup Caldo Caldo Caldo, by Diane Bertrand (in Spanish and English)
  • Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English, by Alma Flor Ada

America: A Melting Pot of Food

  • Everybody Bakes Bread, by Norah Dooley
  • Everybody Cooks Rice, by Norah Dooley
  • Everybody Brings Noodles, by Norah Dooley
  • Everybody Serves Soup, by Norah Dooley