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

High School: Changing Food Systems

In high school,

students deepen their understanding of the food system and develop their skills as leaders, food advocates and community members.

Each discipline is a lens through which the students are encouraged to explore the food system. In biology, they study genetic modification, plant breeding and issues of seed sovereignty. In history, they follow the paths people (and food) migrated across the seas - from the Age of Exploration through the Industrial Revolution - researching the ways in which food dramatically and suddenly transformed our ecosystems, cultural identities, and global economic systems. In health, students are empowered to make change by creating their own food rules, after analyzing the impacts of our individual food choices. Throughout the year, students are encouraged to participate in service learning projects in the garden and on local farms, connecting to the island community directly by working the land and supporting our local food system.

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 does history inform our food choices?
How do our food choices affect our communities?
Why is it important to know where our food comes from?
What does it mean to "Vote with your Fork?"
How can we make healthy eating choices?
What role does food play in our identity?
How has our food system changed over time?
How can we make change through our food system?

​HS-­LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from:

(1) new genetic combinations through meiosis,

(2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or

(3) mutations caused by environmental factors.

High School Book List

Global History

  • Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan
  • Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Reader’s Edition, by Michael Pollan
  • A History of the World in Six Glasses, by Tom Standage
  • An Edible History of Humanity, by Tom Standage
  • Salt: A World History, by Mark Kurlansky
  • Tomatoland, by Barry Estabrook
  • Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, by Mark Kurlansky
  • Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History, by Sidney W. Mintz
  • 1491, by Charles Mann
  • Oranges, by John McPhee
  • Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov's Quest to End Famine, by Gary Paul Nabhan


  • Teaming with Microbes, by Jeff Lowenfels
  • Keeping the Bees, by Laurence Packer
  • The Beekeeper’s Lament, by Hannah Nordhaus
  • Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, by Mark L. Winston
  • The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet, by Kristin Ohlson


  • In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
  • Food Rules, by Michael Pollan
  • Stuffed and Starved, by Raj Patel
  • Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, by Marion Nestle
  • Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser
  • Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss


  • Food Fight: A Citizen’s Guide to the next Food and Farm Bill, by Daniel Imhoff
  • Free for All: Fixing School Food in America, by Jane Poppendieck
  • Eat, Drink Vote, by Marion Nestle
  • Stolen Harvest, by Vandana Shiva


  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson
  • Cooked, by Michael Pollan