The ground surface is so nearly level that you have no sense of contour. . . . It is not a former lake, although in large part it is a former swamp. Geology characteristically repeats itself around the world and down through time, but---with the possible exceptions of the Chilean Longitudinal Valley and the Dalbandin Trough in Pakistan---the Great Central Valley of California has no counterpart on this planet.

~ John McPhee, Assembling California

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Lesson Plan 5

Home Grown:
What food is produced in our own backyard?

Grade Level: 3rd

Standards: 3.5 (1) (2)



1.  Become familiar with where the food we eat is produced

2.  Discover how much food is grown and processed in California’s Central Valley (e.g., Fresno County, Tulare County, Kings County, Kern County, Madera County)

3.  Discover the role that agriculture has played in the development of the Central Valley

4.  Learn to locate countries on a map of the world

5.  Learn to locate counties and communities on a map of California and the Central Valley

6.  Learn what an artifact is and what a collection is

7.  Experience putting together an exhibit



1.  Map of the world

2.  Map of California and the Central Valley

3.  A couple food items, one produced locally and one produced elsewhere



1.  Discuss with students the fact that the food they eat comes from many places in the world.  Talk with them about the fact that foods they buy prepackaged are often made of ingredients from places around the world.

2.  Ask students to search out at home from where one food they eat comes from.  Using one or two products, show students where to look on a package for that information and where to get the information if the food has no packaging.

3.  List students’ findings on a chart or blackboard.  Using a map of the world pinpoint and label their findings.

4.  Now begin to focus on locally grown food.  Using a map of California, talk about what “locally-grown” means.

5.  Ask students to search out five foods that are locally produced----looking in their own kitchens, at a friend’s or relatives house, on TV, in a newspaper or magazine ad, at the grocery store, at a bakery, at an ice cream store.  Ask students to list the five products and then bring to class an example of one.  They can bring a wrapper, a can, a box, an ad from a newspaper or magazine, etc.

6.  Examine and talk together about each child’s “find”.

7.  Download a map of the county and explore what is grown or produced and where.  Label the map.

8.  Help students take this “collection” ( of product labels, cans, boxes, ads, etc.) and create an exhibit out of it ---and exhibit of “Home Grown” food.  Include in the exhibit descriptions of each item and of “what we learned”.

9.  Explore what an artifact is and what a collection is.

10. Invite one or two growers to class to talk about what they grow and what happens to it.

11. Invite the school cook to come in and talk about what he or she uses that is home grown.

12. List the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing food that is grown and processed locally.

Last Updated Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 01:04 PM.