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Farm to School Activities and Curriculum

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Students make pizza topped with fresh veggies and herbs from the school garden in Quilcene. Photo - Norma Bridges

Below are a range of educational programs and materials designed around students developing skills and making  connections between food, farming, health, culture, and the environment. Within these resources are lesson plans, handouts, full curricula sets, and activities for integrating Essential Academic Learning Requirements. Though some have a small fee, most resources are free.

Books, Resources, and Activities for all ages, K - 12

Agriculture in the Classroom  is an online searchable database that lists hundreds of educational resources designed to help educators locate high quality classroom materials and information to increase agricultural literacy among their Pre-K through 12th grade students.

Washington Ag in the Classroom (WAIC) is a school-based education program aimed at enhancing agricultural literacy in K-12 students and educators. It is not a vocational agriculture program and does not promote products or political points of view. WAIC's goal is helping teachers, especially those with little knowledge of agriculture, integrate the study of this vast industry into existing curriculum. (includes lessons tied to EALRs)

The USDA SNAP-Ed Library has over 150 nutrition education curricula and lesson plans. There are also 47 social marketing campaigns, 154 evaluation tools, and a whole lot more!

My American Farm by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is a free educational game platform used to engage pre-K through fifth grade learners in the discovery of relevant agricultural issues. Online games teach children math, reading, science and social studies skills in the context of agriculture. 

My Plate, My State are resources for that combine topics such as food and nutrition, farmers and farmers markets, and the state's agriculture. The resources include lesson plans around gardening, agriculture and nutrition, as well as new MyPlate, MyState activity sheets that can be used throughout the school year.

Healthy Meals Resource System is a USDA resource site that has information about nutrition education, gardening, and cooking with kids.

Readers to Eaters, Food Literacy From the Ground Up is a Washington based organization with the mission to promote food literacy with events and programs that connect good eats and good reads.

Sustainable Agriculture Resources and Programs for K-12 Youth, a resource list from ATTRA: Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas.

Harvest of the Month Lessons

Cafeterias and nutrition services departments sometimes feature a monthly locally produced product on school lunch menus through a promotion called "Harvest of the Month". Feature a Harvest of the Month product in the classroom through these lessons and activities!

Seattle Public Schools and Public Health King County and Educator Handouts
Products in the set include: ApplesBeans & LentilsBerriesCabbageCucumbersCarrotsDairyWheatPearsPotatoesPlums

Whatcom Farm to School Educator Handouts
Whatcom Farm to School posters, teacher talking points, powerpoint presentations, trivia questions, teacher lesson guides and factsheets for each crop below.  All of their materials, including the Harvest of the Month calendar at right and materials for the crops below, are available for download a the Whatcom Farm to School website
Products in the set include: Alliums, Apples, Blueberries, Broccoli & Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrots, Cucumbers, Dairy, Dried Beans, Grains, Kale, Potatoes, Radishes, Raspberries, Root, Vegetables, Salad Greens, Snap Peas, Spinach, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Winter Sqush

From Oregon's Department of Education, Harvest for Schools materials for 44 crops include a poster, "Classroom Connections" lesson, family newsletter, coloring page, sticker template, "passport" hand stamp, "Food Hero" newsletter, school garden identifier, and recipes.

From The Network for a Healthy California, Harvest of the Month materials for 36 crops include an educator newsletter, family newsletter, community newsletter, and menu slick. Most materials also available in Spanish. También disponible en español.

Preschool and Kindergarten

The Kindergarden Initative, from The Food Trust, is a program that promotes healthy eating through education, snacks from local farms, parent involvement, and community support.

Elementary and Middle School

Action for Healthy Kids Resources is a searchable database for a wide range of materials, including lesson plans, toolkits, guides, fact sheets and more.

Ask the Answer Worm is a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service program. Answers lots of questions about soil. Complete with a soil-saving diploma!

Dairy Farm to School: From Moo to You is a Washington Dairy Council project that can help introduce Washington agriculture, get an overview of dairy farming and the steps of milk production, and link components to common core standards

Food$ense CHANGE Curriculum, created by WSU King County Extension, integrates nutrition education with reading, writing, math and science studies, while providing hands-on learning in cooking and gardening for elementary aged children. CHANGE lessons are aligned to the Washington Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALR's) and Grade Level Expectations (GLE's). For Grades 1-5.

Linking Food and the Environment, from the Center for Food and Environment at Columbia University's Teacher's College, uses investigations of food and food systems and their interactions in the biological world to address many of the national standards for scientific literacy as well as some of the federal guidelines for encouraging healthful eating through school health education. LiFE curriculum is currently comprised of four modules, with each module containing 20-30 lessons, geared to students in grades 4-8.

The Great Plant Escape from the Univeristy of Illinois Extension is desgined for 4th and 5th graders. It is interdisciplinary and designed to introduce students to plant science and increase their understanding of how foods grow. This interactive program includes a teacher guide, a variety of activities for independent and group work, and is available in English and Spanish.

Starting with Soil is a new app from the Center for Ecoliteracy and Whole Kids Foundation that offers a playful, visually rich way to help kids understand that soil is a living system full of fascinating relationships.

High School

FoodSpan - A free, downloadable high school curriculum that highlights critical issues in the food system and empowers students to be food citizens. It is aligned to national education standards in science, social studies, health, and family and consumer sciences. This curriculum stimulates debate about crucial food system topics related to human health, the environment, equity, and animal welfare. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future developed FoodSpan as a natural outgrowth of the work it does to help build a healthier, more equitable, and more resilient food system.

Toward a Sustainable Agriculture - A free curriculum for high school students that addresses the social, environmental and economic impacts of agriculture. The curriculum provides a critical analysis of agricultural and food systems and helps students understand new concepts through hands-on examples. The curriculum was developed by the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, with financial support from the North Central Sustainable Research and Education Program.

Feed and Food Safety In a Global Environment - These instruction modules for agriculture biology classes are A set of seven ready-to-use animal and human food safety instruction for the high school level from WSDA Animal Feed & Food Safety Program. These modules meet Washington State science or math standards emphasizing career options, global awareness, systems thinking and case studies in emergent diseases and intentional feed contamination.

If you have activities and curricula to share, please send them our way and we can post them on the site for more schools to use. Also, send us your photos and we can post those too!

Last Updated: 12/3/2018