National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
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Eat 'Em Up
K - 2
50 minutes plus homework assignment
In this lesson, students will review the plant parts that they eat, including roots, stems, flowers, leaves, fruit, and seeds. Students will choose a favorite fruit or vegetable to feature in a healthy recipe and prepare it with their families.
- Variety of fruits and vegetables
- Harvest of the Month Website
- Edible Plant Parts Parent Letter, 1 per student
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
farmer: a person who produces food, fiber, or plants for others to use
commodity: fruits, vegetables, nuts, or grains as a unit that are bought or sold
agriculture: the science and business of growing crops and raising livestock
nutrient: a chemical component of food that is essential, in some quantity, to a living organism
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
- Review with your class what the purpose is of each plant part. Review roots, stems, flowers, leaves, fruits, and seeds.
- List each of the plant parts on the board and ask students to list a food for each plant part. Use the table in the Background Agricultural Connections section of the lesson as a guide.
- Visit your local produce department and ask if there are any items that could be donated or purchased at a discount for display in your classroom. Gather a variety of vegetables that fit into the root, stem, flower, leaf, fruit, and seed categories. Spread these fruits and vegetables out on a table in your classroom. Invite students to inspect the samples. As a class, organize the produce into categories based on what part of the plant we eat.
- Discuss USDA nutrition recommendations with your students. A healthy diet for children between the ages of 4 and 8 includes approximately 1-1½ cups of fruit and 1½ cups of vegetables per day. For children between the ages of 9 and 13, the USDA recommends 1½ cups of fruit and 2-2½ cups of vegetables per day. Emphasize to your students that they have many choices to help them meet the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, and that healthy eating makes us feel good and gives us energy to grow, learn, and play.
- Explain that the class will be going to the computer lab so each student can look up a recipe featuring a favorite fruit or vegetable. Once they have found their recipe, students will go home and prepare the recipe with an adult family member and share it with their family during a meal.
- In the computer lab, give students the following step-by-step instructions once they have logged on to http://harvestofthemonth.cdph.ca.gov/
- Click on the large purple icon called “Download Monthly Elements” in the upper-right corner.
- Choose a favorite fruit or vegetable from the fall, winter, spring, or summer column and click on it.
- Click on the PDF for “Family Newsletter” (Choose English or Spanish).
- Find the recipe on the Family Newsletter.
- Print or write down the recipe to prepare at home.
- Provide students with the Edible Plant Parts Parent Letter and the printed recipe instruction sheet for preparing their recipe at home. The parent letter will need to be signed by an adult family member to show that the recipe was prepared and served to the family.
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:
- Farmers grow many different types of plants that we eat.
- Fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet.
- We eat many different parts of a plant, including fruit, leaves, stems, flowers, seeds, and roots.
- Instead of buying fruits and vegetables for display, draw columns on the board for roots, stems, flowers, leaves, fruits, and seeds and ask students to help you fill in examples of each.
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!
In the computer lab, allow your students to explore the “Kids’ Place” section of MyPlate. There are a number of fun and educational games and activities that teach students about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise habits.
Suggested Companion Resources
- Edible Plant Game (Activity)
- How Food gets from Farms to Store Shelves (Book)
- Plants Feed Me (Book)
- The Fruits We Eat (Book)
- Parts of a Strawberry Plant Poster (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- Plant Part Chart (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- From the Field to the Farmers Market (Multimedia)
- Edible Gardening: Growing Your Own Vegetables, Fruits, and More (Teacher Reference)
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber & Energy
- Identify examples of feed/food products eaten by animals and people (T2.K-2.c)
Education Content Standards
Health Standard 7: Demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
Common Core Connections
Reading: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.10Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.