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Even in wealthy countries like Canada food insecurity is increasing due to a growing disparity between income and the cost of living. Inadequate access to healthy nutrition exacerbates social problems such as high demands on health care systems and children struggling to learn. This lesson explores food insecurity and the concept of "food deserts" through a student investigation of the causes and consequences of this issue while considering strategies to improve the availability of fresh, local food. As pupils participate in the solutions-based learning experience they will achieve the following outcomes:
This lesson supports Grade 6-8 Health and Social Studies curricula that focus on nutrition and food availability, poverty effects, sustainable communities and civic engagement. Students learn that although social issues such as food access are complex, there are many community-based solutions that can help support residents in improving their quality of life. The resource also examines environmental issues such as food waste, local food and climate change impacts on agriculture.
In the final "Inspire" activity learners consider how action initiatives such as community gardens could help reduce food insecurity locally. The class votes to identify the best strategy and are encouraged to develop their idea into an action project. Planning and implementing this undertaking could become a school wide program that involves all students and teachers in simple activities such as assisting with the school breakfast program, planting a school vegetable garden or a food drive to support the local food bank.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives
"Watch and Respond" tasks provide a questioning and discovery process where students explore food insecurity from a global and community perspective.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions
Learners will understand that world food supplies are plentiful but that it is poverty and inequitable distribution that impact food security. Access issues such as an inability to travel to large grocery stores outside of the community also limit food choices.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The lesson ensures that students understand that the types of food that are available are just as important as abundance. Hunger and malnutrition arise from limited food choices and both contribute to diet related illness.
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning
Learners consider and develop ideas for community based projects that could improve the availability of fresh, local food.
|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
Students are able to consider their role as community citizens and propose ideas for taking action within their neighborhood.
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans
This resource teaches students how poverty can severely limit life quality and that those most affected are often from marginalized communities. Pupils also learn how social empowerment through volunteer support can affect positive change.
|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
The lesson does not contain any direct experiences with the natural world but the "Farming in the Bronx" video clip demonstrates the benefits of green spaces in urban environments.
|Personal Affinity with Earth:
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Students consider the impact of food insecurity within their own community and analyze potential local solutions.
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future
Pupils describe how food supplies could be disrupted by climate change and associated severe weather events, while defining how sustainable choices like reducing food waste can benefit the future of our planet.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.
The instructional approach uses self-expression as the basis for learning, thus encouraging peer dialogue and a critical examination of the content.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The resource contains information that supports Health outcomes related to nutrition. Social Studies learning regarding poverty, inequality, civic engagement and world issues are all reinforced by this lesson. Students also practice communication skills through activities such as "Turn and Talk" and "Watch and Discuss".
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The teacher's role is to support, rather than direct student discussions and reflection which provides many opportunities for self-discovery and active involvement in the learning process.
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The "Teaching Tips" section of the resource includes some differentiation suggestions such as assigning level appropriate research resources.
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
An authentic problem forms the basis of the lesson and the inquiry process engages students in a meaningful-problem solving task that is applicable and relevant to current world issues.
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students actively engage with each other through peer discussions and problem solving. The whole class discussions provide a forum for sharing new learning and expressing opinions.
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation
There are no specific assessment strategies but there are several opportunities for formative assessment as the teacher questions students about their ideas.
|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.
The class does develop ideas for a local action project that could actively involve peers, parents and community members in helping to build community sustainability.
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
Articles and videos present a number of case studies to support the lesson. Canada has seen an increase in the use of food banks and food access and availability have been impacted globally by catastrophic weather events and conflict. Students will recognize that the universal human right to adequate nutrition can be addressed through sustainable food production and equitable distribution.
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
Active exploration and research ensure that students are able to define their own ideas and feelings about food insecurity.
|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.