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

7th Grade: Birth of Agriculture; Soil Science pt. 2

In seventh grade,

students begin to examine human impacts on the environment. In the fall, they research ancient civilizations and the birth of agriculture. Then in the winter, they look at soil, how it is formed, and agricultural impacts on soil today. Finally in the spring, they plant in the garden, recognizing their own individual impacts through food choices and connection to the earth.

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
Recognize the difference between the industrial and local food systems
Feel confident in making healthy eating choices

Essential Questions:

Where does food come from?
What is food culture?
How has food culture changed throughout history?
How does food build community?
How do humans and plants affect each other
How does climate affect our food choices?
Where does soil come from?

Field Trips

Pollinators @ MV Honey Company

Compost Tea @ Allen Farm

Pollination @ Polly Hill Arboretum


Construct an argument supported by evidence that human activities and technologies can be engineered to mitigate the negative impacts of increases in human population per capita consumption of natural resources on the environment.


Explain, based on evidence, how characteristic animal behaviors as well as specialized plant structures increase the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.


Describe how relationships among and between organisms in an ecosystem can be competitive, predatory, parasitic, and mutually beneficial and that these interactions are found across multiple ecosystems.


Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem including through the process of photosynthesis and cellular respiration


Analyze data to provide evidence that disruptions (natural or human-made) to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.

  • Pollinators and the Food System


Evaluate competing design solutions for protecting an ecosystem. Discuss benefits and limitations of each design.

  • Pollinators and the Food System

MS-LS2-6 (MA)

Explain how changes to the biodiversity of an ecosystem – the variety of species found in the ecosystem – may limit the availability of resources for human use.

MS-LS2-7 (MA)

Construct a model of a food web to explain that energy is transferred among producers, primary, secondary, and tertiary consumers, and decomposers as they interact within an ecosystem.

Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems

Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations

Draw, construct, and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationship between them

Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angle measure, area, surface area, and volume

Use random sampling to draw inferences about a population

  • Pollinator Observation

Draw informal comparative inferences about two populations

  • Pollinators and the Food System

Investigate chance processes and develop, use and evaluate probability models

  • Pollinators and the Food System

Describe how location leads to development of civilization

Describe and understand the progression from hunter-gatherers to civilizations

Describe how location leads to development of civilization

Mesopotamia/Phoenicia: know and understand how inventions, creation of laws, and religion furthered civilization

Know and understand achievements and legacies left by the ancient Greeks

  • Food Cultures

Identify roman contributions democracy, language, technology and the promotion of economic growth

  • Food Cultures

Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences

  • Mesopotamian Food and Agriculture

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly

Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue understudy

7th Grade Book List

Food Cultures

  • Ana Cultiva Manzanas/Apple Farmer Annie, by Monica Wellington
  • Fanny at Chez Panisse, by Alice Waters
  • Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food, by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson