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This 4th to 6th grade curriculum book explores the food production system, with an emphasis on teaching students how food is grown. Growing Food is the first module in the Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE) curriculum series. The curriculum includes 20 teacher lesson plans (divided into 5 units), background information, teaching tips, and tools for assessment; student activity sheets and readings. Students are involved through hands on experiments and activities.

Teachers College Columbia University.
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Funding Source
Teachers College Columbia University and the National Gardening Association
Free Material
Cost ($)
  • Evaluated
Evaluation Information

Learn more about the evidence base for this initiative on the Growing Food research page.

SNAP-Ed Connection Comments

The Growing Food curriculum includes 5 units: Becoming Food Scientists, Plants, Food Webs, Agriculture, and Making Choices, which focuses on regional eating, farming practices and designing a farm. Units are made up of 3-5 individual lessons and lesson topics vary to include corn and corn products, composting, photosynthesis, and farming.
The curriculum is designed to promote student exploration and inquiry. Throughout the modules, students are challenged to ask questions and theorize the answers. Students keep journals called LiFE Logs, reflecting on what they learned and answering open-ended questions. This method, used in this and other LiFE curricula, is called QuESTA: Questioning, Experimenting, Searching, Theorizing, and Applying to life.
Each lesson includes a hand-on class activity (such as experimenting with plants and creating a classroom compost bin) and supplemental materials that support the activity. Sample class discussions and experiment sheets are provided for the educator. Student pages, such as readings and activity sheets, are included. Also, a few recipes and recipe suggestions are provided.
Note: Please see appendix C of the SNAP-Ed Plan Guidance for more information on allowable SNAP-Ed costs.

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