10 Ways to Incorporate Farm to School into the Classroom

 

 

  1. Literature. Provide on-level fiction and non-fiction children’s literature about food and where it comes from to pique students’ interest and build their background knowledge.
  2. Lunch Time. The cafeteria can be utilized as a learning experience. Every day, students are making choices about which food to choose off of the lunch line and how much of each of their selections to eat. Teachers can enhance this decision making by encouraging discussion of where the foods come from and which are nutritious.
  3. Recess. Before or after recess, stay outside for just a few extra minutes for an exploratory scavenger hunt or journaling activity.
  4. Reflection Time. Before any time outside, incorporate a reflection time in which students sit silently to observe the world around them – what has changed and what is the same since the last time they were outside.
  5. Nature Journals. Provide opportunities for students to explore the outdoors with a prompt that leads them to discovering something new about the season in their local area. (See “Resources” for books of prompts for nature journals).  
  6. Fun Friday Activities. If your classroom has a time set aside each week for parents to be involved with a mystery reader or a fun friday activity, encourage them to host a taste test for students or lead garden maintenance outside.
  7. Seasonal Centers. Once a quarter, invite parents into the classroom to assist with a seasonal centers rotation. Centers can include harvesting last season’s crops, preparing and tasting last season’s crops, along with planting the coming season’s crop.
  8. Community Visitors. Invite a local, small-scale farmer to visit with students and share their story and their path to farming. Invite a local chef to visit to demonstrate making one of their favorite seasonal recipes.
  9. Field Trips. Plan field trips to local nature centers, farms, or other schools with active Farm to School programs.
  10. Recipe Swap. For class celebrations, consider inviting parents to each contribute a homemade dish rather than packaged goods. This gives students an opportunity to share about their family and heritage as well.

The ultimate goal would be to incorporate farm to school into Standards-Based Lessons throughout the year, to provide students with a context for learning that is hands-on, meaningful, engaging, and applicable to every student. These ideas, however, are a great start for incorporating the topic of food into the culture of your classroom!

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