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Nourish Curriculum Guide

What's the story of your food?

Secondary

Description

The goal of this curriculum is to actively engage students in a meaningful conversation about food and food systems. The seven activities included in the Guide give students opportunities to reflect on current food practices, to explore more sustainable ones, and to link their learning to relevant action. Teachers may choose from seven activities that range in time from 50 minutes to 150 minutes each:

The Story of Food: Students examine food labels,  conduct research to food products from the original plant or animal source and make posters describing the story of a particular food.

Seasonal, Local Food: Students research what produce grows in their communities , in what season and the advantages and disadvantages of eating locally grown food. They create a resource booklet for obtaining local produce to share with their families.

Food Traditions: Students explore how different food traditions nourish families and communities.

Food and Ecosystems: Students visit a local garden to identify the different ecosystem components and interactions involved in the creation of our food.

Analyzing Food Ads: Students analyze ads to see what messages they convey about food.

School Lunch Survey: Students develop a questionnaire to survey classmates about the food available in the cafeteria or lunch program. They analyze the data and present recommendations based on their findings.

Nourish Action Projects: Students choose, plan, and carry out action projects related to food and sustainability.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

Students will find the Guide helps build those skills related to

  • locating, accessing,analyzing, organizing, and applying information about selected public issues.
  • advocating for a particular policy, goal, or regulation
  • taking effective action to bring about desired change

Strengths

Nourish has a number of strengths that would make it attractive to teachers.

Flexibility - teachers may select those activities that are curriculum relevant and for which time is available

Pedagogy - each of the Activities is just that - a student activity - so students are engaged in doing things they will enjoy and which will enhance their understanding of the issues addressed.

Resources - the Guide includes considerable background material for teachers and students, including a series of related short videos and a framework for student action

Action - the final activity, Nourish Action Projects helps students to take action on  food - related issues at home, at school, and in the community.

Weaknesses

Teachers should be aware that the Nourish curriculum offers a companion DVD that must be purchased . However, it is not critical to the Guide and a number of on-line videos serve much of the same purpose as the DVD.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

Social Studies teachers will find the Guide useful in exploring the debate over how society may meet its need for a secure food supply and as a case study in sustainable development.

Science teachers may select those activities that relate to their understanding of how food molecules serve as fuel and building material for all organisms and how plants use energy from light to make sugars from carbon dioxide and water.

Environmental Science teachers may take advantage of the Guide to explore the relevant impact on the environment of industrial and local agriculture.

Teachers of Health and Wellness may investigate the influence of family, peers, culture, media and other factors on health behaviors and the role that students may play as advocates for more healthy food practices

English Language Arts teachers may use the Guide to help students present claims and findings and  to defend a position on a given issue.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Home Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Food & Nutrition: Social, Economic, and Cultural Influences
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Home Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Food & Nutrition: Nutrition and Healthy Eating
        • Food & Nutrition:Social, Economic, and Cultural Influences
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Home Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Foods & Nutrition: Social, Economic & Cultural Issues
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Sustainable Resources 11: Agriculture
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science and Technology 11: Science Module: Agriculture
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 12:Resources and Environmental Sustainability
      • Home Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Food & Nutrition: Social, Economic & Cultural Influences
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Sustainable Resources 12: Agricultural : Supports and Challenges
        • Sustainable Resources 12: Agriculture: Components of Sustainable Agricultural Systems
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 9
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Manage ideas and information
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geographic Issues of the 21 st Century: Food from the Land
    • Grade 11
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Manage ideas and information
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Food Supply: Production and Distribution
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Geography 120:Managing Natural Resources
      • Home Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Nutrition for Healthy Living 120: Consumer Issues
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Home Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Home Economics Intermediate: Foods and Nutrition Module
    • Grade 12
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography 3200/3202: Ecosystems
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography of Canada 11: Geography of Risk
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Geography:Resources and Commodities
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Liveable Communities
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Liveable Communities
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Applied): Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems and Human Activity
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical Geography: Patterns, Processes, and Interactions(Univ./College Prep.) Human-Environment Interactions
      • Health Education
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        • Health for Life (College Prep.): Healthy Communities
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada & World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.): Human-Environment Interactions
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep.):Human-Environment Interactions
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Preparation): Human-Environment Interactions
  • Prince Edward Island
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    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Home Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Intermediate Home Economics:Food
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment in the Global Community
    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 621A: Natural Resources
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 9
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      • Health Education
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        • Health Education 9: Action Planning
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 10: Economic Geography
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      • Biology
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        • Biology 20: Agricultural Botany of Saskatchewan
    • Grade 12
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      • Home Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Food Studies 30: Overall Expectations
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Home Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Food & Nutrition: Social, Economic, and Cultural Influences
    • Grade 11
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 12: Resources and Environmental Sustainability

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Sustainable Consumption
  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Interdependence
  • Food & Agriculture (3)

    • Conventional Farming
    • Food Security
    • Local Food
  • Science and Technology (1)

    • Appropriate Technology

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

Nourish raises many issues involving our food, the environment, social systems and more. The Guide challenges students to think critically about the story of food; the choices they make, how those choices effect their personal and planetary health, and the knowledge and skills required to make informed judgments. 

The resource argues for the benefits of a local food system as against an industrial food system but does not address the problems associated with feeding a world of 7 billion people.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Very Good

In exploring food options with respect to how and where we grow our food and the choices we make about what foods we will consume, students consider the environmental, economic, and social implications of each option.  

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

In telling the story of food from the seed to the table, Nourish has students explore a number of relevant issues - industrial versus local production, "food miles", the garden as an ecosystem, the influence of ads on our food choices, and the link between food and culture. Students will emerge from the study with a greater appreciation of the many factors at play in the story of food and the consequences of the choices we make but will not be confronted with the challenges attached in some instances to making the "right" choice.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Very Good

The Nourish activities are designed to encourage student action in addressing food-related issues at home, at school and in the community. Certain of the activities conclude with student "products" that  serve to educate their classmates, their families or their community about food issues. The final activity, Nourish Action Projects is particularly useful in helping students choose, plan and carry out action projects related to food and sustainability.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Good

In examining their role in the food chain, students will be expected to consider what value they place on convenience, on nature, on personal health and on building sustainable communities.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

Teachers may choose to exploit the resource to heighten the students awareness of the role and challenges faced by farmers.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good

In broad terms, Nourish is intended to put students "in touch" with their food.  This means challenging their predilection to regard food as something that comes from supermarkets and to make them aware of the link between food and nature.

Activity 1(The Story of Food), Activity 2 (Seasonal,Local Food) and Activity 4 (Food and Ecosystems) in particular connect the dots between food and the natural world. 

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

In Activity 2 (Seasonal, Local Foods), students investigate the concept of the 150 mile 'foodshed' by creating two different resources to help them and their families find local, seasonal food in their community. Extension ideas suggest using Google Maps to see how much land in their area is developed, undeveloped,and farmed; or visiting a local farm or farmers market to talk to growers about how local foods are grown and travel from farm to customer.

In Activity 3 (Food Traditions), students conduct interviews to learn about different food cultures and traditions represented by the class.

In Activity 4 (Food and Ecosystems) students study a local garden to learn about the interactions within an ecosystem and produce an illustrated self-guided tour of the garden. 

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good

The resource will help students recognize how current industrial food practices have replaced traditional agriculture and encourage them to consider the future sustainability of our food chain.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

Students are asked to compare the industrial food system to the local food system, to consider the implications of consuming local seasonal foods and those not in season, to recognize the relative impact on ecosystems of industrial agriculture and market gardens and to analyze the messages conveyed by food ads. The developers of the resource would acknowledge that they have their perspective on these issues but this does not mean that the activities aim to proselytize rather than educate. 

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Very Good

Nourish will help students realize a number of outcomes in a variety of subject areas. Teachers may check the following outcomes in 

Social Studies - comparing the way groups, societies and cultures meet human needs

Science/ Environmental Science - understand the structure and function in living systems and the impact of human activity on those systems

Health - analyze the influence of peers, culture, media, technology on making healthy choices

English Language Arts - present claims and findings with relevant information and valid reasoning

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

The pedagogy adopted by Nourish combines teacher directed discussion with student research and presentation.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

Nourish makes available a variety of videos that teachers may use to introduce food related issues and asks students to develop a series of products to conclude each of the activities and provide evidence of learning. These "products" are varied and include seasonal circles and resource booklets to find local food in their community, illustrated self-guided tours of local gardens, healthy food ads, and school lunch surveys. Collectively, these activities allow students to contribute in a way that best suits their interests and learning style. .

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Very Good

Activities are designed to have students learn by doing. Students examine food labels to determine ingredients and origins, compare seasonal and non-seasonal  foods by tasting each, mapping local "foodsheds",  auditing the foods found in their kitchens and local grocery store,  studying a local garden as illustrative of the workings of an ecosystem, and conducting a school lunch survey. 

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Good

Students have a variety of opportunities to work together. They work in teams to identify and report on local foods, interview each other about food traditions, analyze and create food ads,conduct school lunch surveys, and propose and carry out action projects.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Very Good

Each of the seven activities include an assessment component. Each activity requires that students produce a "product" - a poster, a Local Resource booklet, a self-guided garden tour, a group ad, a school lunch survey presentation - and these "products can be used by teachers to assess student learning and understanding of the issues addressed.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Good

The student "products"associated with each of the activities are shared with classmates or schoolmates. These include student presentations on the interactions observed in a garden ecosystem,and on healthy food ads; their findings with respect to traditional food practices; their recommendations related to school cafeteria offerings. 

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Satisfactory

The activities include a number of activities that may be regarded as case studies. These include tracing the path of a representative seasonal and non- seasonal food item, understanding the workings of an ecosystem by studying a local garden, and analyzing student diets by a school cafeteria study.

The Nourish Curriculum also includes a number of short videos that are available to teachers. Some of these may meet the definition of a case study and this includes videos on fair trade, farmers markets, fast food, urban farmers, and food journeys.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good

The resource consists of a number of guided activities. The teacher introduces the topic, engages students with a series of focused questions, outlines the activity the students are to undertake, and provides necessary supporting resources. The students carry out the assigned activity and produce a "document" that records their findings.

Each activity also includes a number of Extension Activities that challenge students to explore related topics in greater depth. 

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.