A variety of activities that can be used to explore some of the issues surrounding food production.
These workshop activities can be used to help achieve the following objectives:
- To raise awareness of where and how our food is produced
- To consider the environmental, economic and ethical issues involved, in particular food miles and climate change;
- To encourage buying locally produced food to support the local economy and environment.
They also allow for a wide range of curriculum links, as follows:
Geography: Ask questions, collect, record and analyse evidence; explain different views; use maps; decision-making; interdependence of people and supply of goods (food); understand environmental change and sustainable development; global warming
Science: nutrition and healthy diet; plant life processes and classification; living things in their environment need protection
PSHE/Citizenship: debate topical issues; allocation of resources; healthy eating and making informed choices; take responsibility; make choices and decisions; consider social and moral dilemmas
ECM: be healthy; make a positive contribution
Resources needed and useful links
Aim: to realise that there is only a limited amount of land on earth where food can be grown
1. The apple represents planet earth
2. Cut it into quarters: three quarters represent the sea so discard them as food cannot be grown there.
3. Cut the remaining quarter in half. Discard one piece as this represents deserts, mountains etc
4. Peel the skin from the remaining eighth - this is all the land available for farming and feeding 60 billion people.
(To continue our present lifestyle and use of resources, most people in UK would need the equivalent of two apples or planet earths, the USA three, India and Africa less than one - at the moment.)
Apple, knife and plate
Guess the veg
Aim: to familiarise pupils with the names of vegetables, develop sensory skills and vocabulary
1. Taking turns, one child in each group describes a vegetable hidden in a bag to the rest of the group
2. Others guess after three descriptions.
3. If not guessed, say how you would eat it, cook it.
4.Swap bags and repeat.
Variation: Two children sit back to back.One describes a veg or fruit, the other draws it. Swap.
Six bags each with a different vegetable (or enough for all the groups in the class plus one spare)
Where on earth has our food come from?
Aim: to find out where food is produced and to consider
1. Where do we get our food from? (supermarkets, local shops, petrol stations, farmers' markets, grow your own etc)
Where did it come from before it got to the shop? (grown/produced/reared on farms all over the world)
Can use this activity to follow the guess the veg game. Child puts veg from bag on table according to where it was produced - UK or abroad. (consult with group).
2. Working one group at a time, each child takes a
3. How far has food travelled?
Explain food miles are the distance food has travelled from where it was grown to where it is eaten - from field to fork. In pairs,choose a food - Where
Measure the food miles from that country to the UK using rulers, atlases or world maps. Explain scale. Note some atlases are in km; 1000km = approx. 600 miles. (Can do this as whole class using large world map or globe and sticky dots.)
4. Record on sheet. Can write or draw food on map in
5. Working with the whole class, ask each group Which food travelled furthest and which least?
6. Teacher records in order of distance on flip chart or whiteboard; and/or make 'distance travelled line' by getting pupils to arrange selected food in order on the table.
7. What transport is used to get the food from the farms to our shops ? (planes, boats, lorries, trains)
8. Explain that the further food has come from, the
9. If ther is time, discuss the pros and cons of importing food; use flip chart . (There are pros eg varied diet)
10. How can we reduce our impact on the environment? (Buy more food produced closer to home).
Are there other benefits to this? (Supports local economy;
11. Consider other factors when buying food: Environmental damage - loss of habitats. Fair trade - were workers fairly paid? Welfare - Were animals
12. Lastly, eat some fruit and veg !!
A variety of fresh fruit and veg, packaged and tinned foods from UK and abroad.
Two tables, or one table diveded into two sections
Two labels - 'UK' and 'Abroad'
Rulers, sticky dots
Atlases or A3 copies of world maps (one per pair) or large, class world map or globe
Flip chart or white board
Worksheet -Where on earth has our food come from? See Why Farming Matters pack
Selection of prepared fruit
Additional supporting materials and websites
Why Farming Matters classroom activities for KS2
www.face-online.org.uk Farming and Countryside Education - good resources andinformation
including Buzz sustainability game
Access to resources, places to visit and experts to ask
www.grainchain.com healthy eating and wheat to
www.soilassociation.org - organic farming
www.bestfootforward.com - measure your
ecological and carbon footprint
This resource was produce by the late Mo Braham, former Education Manager, Over Farm, Gloucester, with Gloucestershire Environmental Education, putting sustainability education into practice