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Food Miles: Growing Local Food Connections (Middle Level)

Secondary, Elementary, Middle

Description

This ESD resource will enlighten students about where their food comes from and the importance of a healthy diet. Activities are designed to develop environmental citizenship and promote action that will help to reduce food miles as a conscious contribution to long-term environmental health. The resource also features hands-on activities that involve students in simple, earth-and-people-friendly gardening practices.

In the resource kit, there are a number of ideas and activities to assist teachers in guiding students through the complexities of the global food system. Students will explore where their food comes from and act towards the creation of a sustainable food system in their own hometown.

This manual is set-up with seven units, each with a background section to provide information about important concepts, ideas and goals. Lessons can be facilitated consecutively or independently.

Part One consists of the following activity units:

•Traveling Tomato Game

•Making Choices: Where in the World

•Know Your Food

•Jeopardy: Testing Game

•Global Talk: Crosswords and Puzzles

Part two consists of two extensive action projects:

•Composting Science lab

•Seed Saving Science lab

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The following skills are explicitly taught: math (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division involving decimals), measuring, mapping and investigation.

Strengths

• The resource is very interesting and provides creative ways to explore food issues.

• There is plenty of background information for the teacher.

• The resource is easy to use and up to date.

• Some additional web-based resources are provided

Weaknesses

•Does not provide opportunities for students to express their own values.

•Lacks assessment tools.

•Could provide more background for students

Recommendation of how and where to use it

For incorporating food issues into the teaching of Math, Language Arts or Health in grades 4 to 8, this unit is ideal.

Relevant Curriculum Units

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Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (2)

    • Alternative Globalisation
    • Sustainable Consumption
  • Economics (1)

    • Globalization
  • Food & Agriculture (6)

    • Conventional Farming
    • Food Security
    • Local Food
    • Organic Farming
    • Pesticides
    • Subsistence Farming
  • Waste Management (1)

    • Composting

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

This resource provides many different points of view in order to fairly address the issue.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Very Good

This resource effectively examines the social, economic and environmental aspects of global vs local food systems.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Very Good

The complexity of problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good

The composting and seed lab activity provide opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Satisfactory

Students are not explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own values.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good

Respect is fostered for local farmers.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good

The resource  encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good

The activities relate to what is going on in the students' lives by having them investigate the foods they eat and the consequences of their choices.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good

A positive view of the present and future is promoted.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

Multiple/complex answers are possible. There are no right answers given or implied.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

A blend of math, language and health outcome are featured.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & make their own decisions on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides definite opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

A variety of different learning activities assist the teacher in addressing different learning styles.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Very Good

Authentic experience related to the primary goal of the lesson is achieved.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Students work in groups.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

Answer sheets are provided but not assessment tools or rubrics.

 

 

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory

Does not provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good

Real case studies are used.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Poor/Not considered

Meaningful opportunities are not provided for students to choose elements of program content.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.