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Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom

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Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix


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Lesson Plans (23)
Backpack Garden

Through project-based learning, students use school resources to construct and grow a school garden to supplement the school Backpack Program with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Eggs on the Menu
Students will learn the versatility, function, and nutritional benefit of eggs in a healthy diet, identify the function and role of eggs in a recipe, identify forms of technology used on an egg farm, and understand how eggs are classified by size.
Eggs: Protein MVP

Students will explore the importance of protein to a healthy diet and discover that eggs are a nutritious protein source.

Fruit and Vegetable Bingo

Students will recognize the names of different fruits and vegetables and understand why they are important.

Give Me Five!

Students learn about the five food groups and what state-grown foods fit into each group. This lesson makes a local connection to good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

Grocery Store Problem Solving (Grades 3-5)

Students will use basic mathematical skills to solve problems related to the cost of food while integrating geography and nutrition to enhance learning. Activities include analyzing grocery ads, assessing the nutrition and cost of meals, and exploring diets around the world

Grocery Store Problem Solving (Grades 6-8)

Students will use basic mathematical skills to solve problems related to the cost of food while integrating geography and nutrition to enhance learning. Activities include analyzing grocery ads, assessing the nutrition and cost of meals, and exploring diets around the world.

Making Half MyPlate Fruits and Vegetables

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to MyPlate (2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans) and to reinforce the importance of making half your plate fruits and vegetables.

My Healthy Plate

Students will become familiar with the foods they eat and healthy eating habits while learning about the MyPlate food campaign. This lesson introduces students to the concept of MyPlate while placing foods they eat into categories for eating a balanced diet.

MyPlate, MyState, MyWin

Students will explore the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, compare and contrast historical food guides, and discover how to apply principles of MyPlate into their diet to create a "MyWin." Students will also use the USDA interactive MyState map to discover foods grown in their own state.

Plant Tops and Bottoms

Students will identify where fruits and vegetables belong on a MyPlate diagram and describe the major parts of plants - roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits according to if they are produced on the top or bottom of a plant.

The Farmer Grows a Rainbow: "Four" Goodness' Sake

Students will develop an awareness that food preferences and cooking styles may be based upon geographic, ethnic, and/or religious/family customs, but all food choices fit into the groups of MyPlate.

The Farmer Grows a Rainbow: First Place Foods

Students will develop an understanding that certain foods provide nutrients and energy for growth and healthy living while offering additional dental health benefits.

The Farmer Grows a Rainbow: High Five Burger

Students will understand that all food has an agricultural source that has a geographic origin.

The Farmer Grows a Rainbow: Pre-K Appetizer

Students will develop an awareness that farmers provide an abundance of foods we need to maintain and develop healthy lifestyles.

The Farmer Grows a Rainbow: Second Servings

Students will understand that appropriate portions of foods from each food group should be included in a daily diet.

The Farmer Grows a Rainbow: Super K Buffet

Students will develop an awareness that farmers provide the variety and abundance of foods we need to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles.

The Farmer Grows a Rainbow: Three Reasons

Students will gain familiarity with the health benefits of foods contained in each group of MyPlate.

The Quicker the Better? Food Processing (Grades 6-8)
Students will explore different levels of food processing and the ways in which processed foods affect the health of our diets by looking at examples of foods from the grocery store and by closely examining food labels.
Understanding MyPlate (Grades 3-5)

Students will explore appropriate serving size and learn how to make good dietary decisions by understanding the components of nutrition as illustrated by MyPlate.

Understanding MyPlate (Grades 6-8)

Students will explore appropriate serving size and learn how to make good dietary decisions by understanding the components of nutrition as illustrated by MyPlate.

What's on MyPlate? (Grades 3-5)

Students will explore what it means to eat a healthy diet by comparing the foods they typically eat in a day with the recommendations of MyPlate.

What's on MyPlate? (Grades 6-8)

Students will explore what it means to eat a healthy diet by comparing the foods they typically eat in a day with the recommendations of MyPlate.

Companion Resources (15)
Activity
Fill MyPlate Game
Test your students’ understanding of nutrition with this exciting, fast-paced board game. Students take turns rolling a die, moving to different sections of the MyPlate board, and answering basic trivia about healthy eating and food science. The first to “fill their plate” with one trivia card from each section (Fruits, Grains, Vegetables, Protein, and Dairy) wins! In-game bonuses encourage students to exercise, reinforcing personal choice as an important component to a healthy lifestyle. Each gameboard comes with materials for up to five students. Available for purchase or free download. Order this game online from agclassroomstore.com.
Food Group Puzzle
This activity can be a supplement to any nutrition lesson.  Students will complete puzzles by matching food groups to the nutrients the food group provides and examples of foods within the food group. A digital and paper version is included.
Portion Size Comparison
This activity can supplement any nutrition lesson. Students will identify portion sizes for food and compare them with common every-day items through a "Grab Bag" activity.
The Healthy Hop 'n Shop
In this activity students categorize foods into food groups and describe the USDA MyPlate icon by participating in an activity where students act out the role of a grocery store worker and stock the "shelves" with food from each food group. 
Book
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
This story makes a fun hook to engage young students with healthy eating. Lola is a very fussy eater. Carrots are for rabbits and peas are 'too small and too green.' One day, after rattling off her long list of despised foods, she ends with the vehement pronouncement, "And I absolutely will never not ever eat a tomato." Not convinced, Lola's older sister Charlie has an idea. She tells Lola that the orange things on the table are not carrots, but "orange twiglets from Jupiter" and peas are in fact "green drops from Greenland." Mashed potatoes, when pitched as "cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji" suddenly seem appealing to Lola. And in the end, might she even eat a tomato? 
Jack & the Hungry Giant Eat Right with MyPlate
Yummy! Colorful images of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein foods fill the pages of this picture book starring Jack of beanstalk fame. Fortunately, the friendly giant in this version of the story is happy to invite a guest for dinner. As they cook together, Jack learns about the food groups that are a part of a well-balanced meal. The book is an appetizing way to introduce children to the MyPlate nutrition program, written and illustrated by Loreen Leedy.
Map/Infographic
Dig In! Posters
These dynamic posters visually express the world of possibilities found in growing and eating fruits and vegetables. Display them in your classroom, the school cafeteria, and throughout the school to motivate students to choose more fruits and vegetables at meals and as snacks. Horizontal posters are 24" x 36". Vertical posters are 36" x 24". Posters are available in PDF or upon request from USDA Team Nutrition.
MyPlate Activity Poster
Use this 30" x 26" MyPlate poster to teach your students about food groups and healthy eating. MyPlate is the USDA’s visual nutrition guide, which depicts a place setting showing the five food groups and the relative proportions they take up in a healthy diet. MyPlate provides a simple, highly visual approach to nutrition that is directly applicable to daily life. Order this poster online from agclassroomstore.com.
The Power of Choice Bulletin Board
In a society with so many choices and a bewildering array of options, it's important to learn about healthful eating and active living. Students need to discover the connection between their food and the farm, learn facts about food and nutrition, and explore ways to be more active. This 42" x 42" nutrition bulletin board emphasizes the importance of making healthy choices that will last a lifetime. The bulletin board is mailed in a reusable storage tube. Order this bulletin board online from agclassroomstore.com.
Movie/Video
Bon a la Beef Videos
Four professional video clips featuring elementary through high school students preparing recipes to educate students, teachers, and the public about beef, its nutritional value, and its proper handling and preparation. The student-developed recipes use easy techniques and readily available ingredients.
Eat & Move O-Matic
Free app teaching students how foods fuel their body to create energy for their favorite activities.
Booklet/Reader
Nutrition Ag Mag
The Nutrition Ag Mag is an agricultural magazine for students. This issue focuses on nutrition with segments highlighting physical fitness, career options, making healthy dietary choices, and how to read a food label. The entire publication can be viewed online. Students can view it on personal computers or it can be used by teachers with a SmartBoard for classroom instruction.
Teacher Reference
How to Teach Nutrition to Kids
Teaching nutrition to children early and often is the key to developing healthy eating habits. The fourth edition of How to Teach Nutrition to Kids includes over 200 cross-curricular activities featuring the MyPlate food guide, children's books, gardening, recipes, food art, label reading, fitness and more.
Website
10 Tips Nutrition Education Series
Find a collection of more than 30 sets of nutrition tips such as healthy eating away from home, food safety tips, making better food choices, choosing good foods for growth, enjoying foods from other cultures, etc. These tips are in html format or can be printed as PDFs. They would be an excellent "print and go" resource for a group or individual project to complement a secondary nutrition lesson.
Choose MyPlate
MyPlate is the USDA's food guidance symbol that illustrates the five food groups using the familiar image of a place setting for a meal. A wide variety of resources are provided on the associated Choose MyPlate website.