Vermont Farm to School Food, Farm, and Nutrition Curriculum Units
Purpose of this Guide
During our pilot years, Vermont FEED had the opportunity to work with educators around the state developing food, farm, and
nutrition curriculum units and experiential Farm to School lessons and activities. Many of the units created were extraordinarily rich. Students gained new sets of skills and knowledge. Teachers came to understand the standards and assessments in a more practical way. Parents and community members were excited that food issues were being addressed in the classroom, cafeteria, and community. However, the challenge we continually faced from schools and teachers was just how time consuming and laborious it was to create and implement new Farm to School units. This guide is our answer to that challenge. Through our partnerships with the schools and teachers we’ve worked with over the past 10 years, we’ve identified seven units spanning grades K–12 to share with educators in Vermont and beyond.
Vermont classroom educators originally created all seven food, farm, and nutrition units included in this guide. They drew upon a variety of existing sources and materials to create rich experiences for their students. Vermont FEED re-worked components of the lesson plans to make them more accessible and transferable to a variety of classroom settings. All changes have been made with an effort to maintain as much original material as possible.
How to Use this Guide
It is our hope that these sample units developed by Vermont teachers will inspire and spark new ideas and Farm to School activities in your classroom. While you may be interested in following the unit from beginning to end, others might pick and choose components of the units or lessons that would work best for their individual classrooms and students. Each unit focuses on a different theme, specific to the developmental needs for that age and grade level. Each unit contains a Snapshot that outlines the components of the unit and lesson summaries.
The Snapshot includes:
- Unit Summary/Local Story: The story of their students’ community, place, and cultural evolution, background information, and the summary of the lessons and experiences contained in the unit.
- Overarching Questions: Deep, conceptually broad, “burning” questions whose answers can be drawn out of the students through inquiry-based activities.
- Essential Understandings/Unit Objectives: General, conceptual “big ideas” important for students to acquire in order for them to effectively make connections, construct knowledge, and understand the relevance of what they are learning.
- Lesson Summaries: Brief descriptions of the lessons and activities contained in the unit.
- Vermont Standards Addressed: The core educational standards to which all content, activities, methodology, and assessments are aligned.
- Rationale: Information related to the relevance of the activities listed and curricular connections.
- Performance Tasks/Assessment Plan: Description of the types of products being created and assessment opportunities.
- Culminating Activities: Opportunities for students to comprehensively demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired and progress they made in the standards on which they have been working.
You can download by unit below or click "download" at the bottom of the page to download the entire guide (note the guide is 12 MB).
Adopt a Calf (Kindergarten)
Healthy Choices: Life Skills for Informed Decision-Making (Grades K-2)
Historical Foods of Vermont (Grades 3-4)
Exploring the Mad River Valley (Grades 5-6)
The Origins of Civilization and Agriculture: Integrating the Study of Food (Grades 7-8)
Good Food, Good Medicine (Grades 9-11)
Food First: An Inquiry into Local Food Issues and Service Learning (Grade 12)