Beyond the river stretches the interminable prairie, where the fields of harvested wheat lie wrapped in slumber; . . . . The light stealing upon the broad shadows, first touches the tops of the prairie wagons. . . . Then, making more and more progress, it shines. . . and at last, in full glory of splendor, brings out the yellow of the cultivated fields and the course brown of the sandy soil.

~ Picturesque America, 1872

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Lesson Plan 5

Home Grown:
What food is produced in our own backyard?

Grade Level: 3rd

Standards: 3.5 (1) (2)



1.  Become familiar with where the food we eat is produced

2.  Discover how much food is grown and processed in California’s Central Valley (e.g., Fresno County, Tulare County, Kings County, Kern County, Madera County)

3.  Discover the role that agriculture has played in the development of the Central Valley

4.  Learn to locate countries on a map of the world

5.  Learn to locate counties and communities on a map of California and the Central Valley

6.  Learn what an artifact is and what a collection is

7.  Experience putting together an exhibit



1.  Map of the world

2.  Map of California and the Central Valley

3.  A couple food items, one produced locally and one produced elsewhere



1.  Discuss with students the fact that the food they eat comes from many places in the world.  Talk with them about the fact that foods they buy prepackaged are often made of ingredients from places around the world.

2.  Ask students to search out at home from where one food they eat comes from.  Using one or two products, show students where to look on a package for that information and where to get the information if the food has no packaging.

3.  List students’ findings on a chart or blackboard.  Using a map of the world pinpoint and label their findings.

4.  Now begin to focus on locally grown food.  Using a map of California, talk about what “locally-grown” means.

5.  Ask students to search out five foods that are locally produced----looking in their own kitchens, at a friend’s or relatives house, on TV, in a newspaper or magazine ad, at the grocery store, at a bakery, at an ice cream store.  Ask students to list the five products and then bring to class an example of one.  They can bring a wrapper, a can, a box, an ad from a newspaper or magazine, etc.

6.  Examine and talk together about each child’s “find”.

7.  Download a map of the county and explore what is grown or produced and where.  Label the map.

8.  Help students take this “collection” ( of product labels, cans, boxes, ads, etc.) and create an exhibit out of it ---and exhibit of “Home Grown” food.  Include in the exhibit descriptions of each item and of “what we learned”.

9.  Explore what an artifact is and what a collection is.

10. Invite one or two growers to class to talk about what they grow and what happens to it.

11. Invite the school cook to come in and talk about what he or she uses that is home grown.

12. List the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing food that is grown and processed locally.

Last Updated Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 12:51 PM.