Growing Food | Teachers College Columbia University

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Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy

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LiFE: Growing Food

The Growing Food module provides experiences for students to learn science through the study of food systems. The module's driving question — How does nature provide us with food? — frames students' investigations as they learn about critical ideas in science: the cycling of matter and the flow of energy. Students engage in hands-on investigations of photosynthesis, explore food webs, discuss and debate managing agricultural systems, and more. They use scientific reasoning to explore and analyze their personal food choices and they apply what they have learned to personal decisions related to food systems, health, and the natural environment. Learn more about the evidence base for Growing Food on our research page.

Designed for use in grades 4, 5, or 6, the teacher guide includes:

  • Lesson plans with helpful background information, practical teaching tips, and tools for assessment

  • Student activity sheets and reading

  • A matrix that maps Growing Food to the National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy

Explore: the big ideas and learning objective for the units in Growing Food (PDF)

Review: the table of contents from Growing Food (PDF)

Read: one teacher's experiences teaching Growing Food in NSTA's Science and Children (PDF)

Try: Lesson 6 - Celebrating Plant Parts, Making a Plant Part Salad (PDF)

Buy: your copy from LiFE's publisher, the National Gardening Association

Share: Growing Food flyer (PDF)

Growing Food was made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NCRR or NIH.


Growing Food Cover