National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
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Homegrown in Minnesota
K - 2
Students will explore Minnesota's fruit and vegetable specialty crops, discover how food gets from the farm to the table, and discuss the importance of eating fruits and vegetables everyday.
Interest Approach — Engagement:
- What Am I? cards, 1 set printed and cut into cards
- Pocket chart (optional)
- Specialty Crops of Minnesota (K-1) activity sheet
- Specialty Crops of Minnesota (1-2) activity sheet
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
cultivate: to prepare (land or soil) for the growth of crops; to plant, tend, harvest, or improve (plants) by labor or skill
floriculture: the cultivation of flowers
horticulture: the science and art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental plants
vegetable: any edible part of a plant that does not contain seeds
fruit: the part of the plant that develops from the flower and contains the seeds of the plant
consumer: a person who purchases the goods and services offered by a producer
climate: the usual weather conditions in a certain region
specialty crops: fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture, that are cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
- Hang up the MyPlate Poster. Ask the students, "How much of your plate should hold fruits and vegetables?" (Half)
- Ask the students, "Why are fruits and vegetables important?" (Fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber that help make our bodies strong and keep us healthy.)
- Show the class the Where Do Fruits and Vegetables Come From? video to help introduce the topic of fruits and vegetables.
- Explain to the students that they are going to explore specific fruits and vegetables, called specialty crops, that are grown in Minnesota. Specialty crops are crops grown and used by people for food, medicine, or decorations. Fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, herbs, and flowers are all examples of specialty crops.
- Ask the students to raise their hands if they have a garden or have helped in a garden. Ask, "What did you grow in the garden?"
- Explain to the students that not all fruits and vegetables can be grown in Minnesota. Have the class brainstorm fruits and vegetables that they are familiar with. Point out what kind of climate each grow in. For example, bananas grow in a warm, frost-free climate.
- Pull out a world map or globe. Point to where Minnesota is located and talk about what fruits and vegetables can best be grown in the state. Use the Minnesota Grown website for ideas.
- Ask the students, "How do fruits and vegetables get to our cafeteria?" Use the Follow Your Food - Carrot Edition video to discuss the steps it takes to get food from the farm to the grocery store—planting, growing, harvesting, transporting, and serving.
- Discuss the differences between a fruit and a vegetable. Emphasize that a fruit is the part of a plant that develops from the flower and contains the seeds of the plant. A vegetable is any edible part of the plant—root, stem, leaf, or flower—that does not contain seeds.
- Read the clue on each What Am I? card aloud to the class. Have the students determine whether the food on the card is a fruit or a vegetable. Sort the cards in a pocket chart or on the floor. Explain to the students that the fruits and vegetables on the cards are specialty crops grown in Minnesota.
- Pass out a Specialty Crops of Minnesota activity sheet to each student. Allow time for the students to independently complete the activity sheet to show their knowledge of fruits and vegetables grown in Minnesota.
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:
- Specialty crops are crops grown and used by people for food, medicine, or decoration. Fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, herbs, and flowers are all examples of specialty crops.
- Before fruits and vegetables arrive in the grocery store, plants are planted and grown, and the food must be harvested, transported, processed, and packaged.
- It is recommended that you fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
- Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber that help make our bodies strong and keep us healthy.
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!
Find out more about where specialty crops are grown, who the growers are, and where you can find them by reading the Minnesota Specialty Crops AgMag.
Suggested Companion Resources
- Eating the Alphabet (Book)
- How Food gets from Farms to Store Shelves (Book)
- The Fruits We Eat (Book)
- Who Grew My Soup? (Book)
- MyPlate Activity Poster (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- Plant Part Chart (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- What is a Fruit? What is a Vegetable? Bulletin Boards (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- How Does it Grow? Video Series (Multimedia)
- Choose MyPlate (Website)
- Producepedia (Website)
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Culture, Society, Economy & Geography
- Identify plants and animals grown or raised locally that are used for food, clothing, shelter, and landscapes (T5.K-2.d)
Food, Health, and Lifestyle
- Identify healthy food options (T3.K-2.a)
Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber & Energy
- Identify examples of feed/food products eaten by animals and people (T2.K-2.c)
Agriculture and the Environment
- Provide examples of how weather patterns affect plant and animal growth for food (T1.K-2.d)
Common Core Connections
Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Economics Standard 2: Decision Making
ObjectiveMake effective decisions as consumers, producers, savers, investors, and citizens.
K-4 Geography Standard 11: The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface.
Objective 1People engage in economic activities, such as producing goods and offering services, in order to earn a living.
Objective 2Some locations are better suited than others to provide certain goods and services.
Objective 4Networks of transportation and communications are used to move information, products, and people.
NCSS 7: Production, Distribution, and Consumption
Objective 8The goods and services produced in the market and those produced by the government.