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Vegetables, Farmers & You

Elementary

Description

This resource is completely designed around vegetable production and is intended to create meaningful informed connections between the vegetables that they eat and the agricultural process involved in producing them.

Students will:

  • practice naming vegetables and conduct a taste test
  • match mystery seeds to vegetables
  • watch celery absorb coloured water
  • identify the different parts of a plant
  • participate in a field trip to a farm
  • create their own salsa or hummus
  • as a class create stone soup
  • classify foods as fruits or vegetables

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The skills that are explicitly taught within this resource are:

  • names for common vegetables.
  • naming the basic parts of plants.
  • identifying seeds of various vegetables.
  • the difference between a fruit and a vegetable.
  • identifying the needs of plants to grow.
  • explaining the characteristics of soil and compare and contrasting fertile and non-fertile soil.

Strengths

  • Lessons are interesting and will engage students with diverse learning needs and styles.
  • Specific cooperative learning strategies are provided.
  • Resource is well laid out and easy to use, with specific learning objectives.
  • Lessons are taught using a interdisciplinary approach.
  • Lessons are designed to involve a variety of community members in their learning.
  • Lessons are locally focused for students.
  • Blackline masters are provided.
  • Integrates the use of a variety of children's literature and song.
  • A variety of hands-on activities are utilized for reinforcing concepts.

Weaknesses

  • Students do not address the multiple dimensions of problems and solutions associated with local food production and vegetable growth.
  • Students do not have authentic opportunities to take action.
  • Students do not engage in authentic learning experiences relating to plant growth.
  • Students are not able to choose certain elements of their programming or the medium in which they will choose to work.
  • Case studies are not provided for students and teachers.
  • Very few activities contained in this resource should take place outside.
  • Weak image of the past, present and future of farming, and vegetable growth should be presented to students.
  • Students are not given formal opportunities to clarify their own values relating to food production.
  • Students are not presented with a variety of points of view relating to food production.

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.

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  • Alberta
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    • Kindergarten
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        • Earth Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions.
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      • Health Education
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world
      • Physical Education & Health
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        • Healthy Eating: A lifetime of optimal well-being and physical wellness is supported by prioritizing nutrition and healthy eating.
    • Grade 2
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      • Health Education
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Making meaning of healthy living and the decision-making process contributes to our understanding of healthy growth and development.
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        • Healthy Eating: A lifetime of optimal well-being and physical wellness is supported by prioritizing nutrition and healthy eating
    • Grade 3
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        • Healthy Eating: A lifetime of optimal well-being and physical wellness is supported by prioritizing nutrition and healthy eating
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        • Healthy Eating: A lifetime of optimal well-being and physical wellness is supported by prioritizing nutrition and healthy eating
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        • Healthy Eating: A lifetime of optimal well-being and physical wellness is supported by prioritizing nutrition and healthy eating
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        • Our Local Community
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        • You and Your World: Healthy Lifestyles
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        • Needs and Wants
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        • Science 1: Living Things and the Environment
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        • Connecting and Belonging: Economics & Resources
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        • Earth and Space Systems: Daily and Seasonal Changes
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        • People and Environments: The Local Community
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        • Earth and Space Systems: Air & Water in the Environment
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      • Science
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        • Needs & Characteristics of Living Things
    • Grade 3
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Plant Growth and Changes

Themes Addressed

  • Food & Agriculture (1)

    • Local Food

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory
  • Students are presented with a lot of information regarding vegetable production and local farming, but are not exposed to a lot of the problems or issues associated with these things.  Only the positive aspects seem to be explored.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • Students are not exposed to many of the problems and solutions associated with vegetable growth or local food production.
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 Satisfactory
  • As this is a very primary set of activities designed for younger learners the complexity of the issues is kept very simplistic.
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Satisfactory
  • Students are involved in some simple action experiences designed by the teacher, but these action experiences are not fully explored within this resource.
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 Satisfactory
  • Students are not presented with a wide range of perspectives within this resource to adequately clarify their own values.
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good
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
  • Students actually visit a farm, and harvest their own vegetables.  More of the activities could have taken place out of doors however.
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
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 Satisfactory
  • Students are not really introduced to how vegetable production has changed or will continue to change over the years.
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 Satisfactory
  • Students take part in a variety of teacher lead activities.  Students do take part in a variety of hands on learning experiences, but their discoveries are designed by teacher planning.
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good
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
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
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 Satisfactory
  • Students do visit a farm, and experiment with actual vegetables, students could have planted things on their own to extend their learning.
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
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 Satisfactory
  • There are opportunities provided for student discussion and reflection, as well as a variety of worksheets provided for students to accompany hands-on activities, but teachers are not provided with specific instruction on how to use these for assessment.
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 Satisfactory
  • Incidental teaching arises through group activities and discussions.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • There are no relevant case studies provided for students or teachers.
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 Satisfactory
  • The majority of activities are largely teacher-directed and students do not have the opportunity to choose elements of their programming.
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.