A lesson plan on organic food is a great way to teach children of all grade levels about the benefits of organic food and organic agriculture. Following are three printable lesson plans to help you teach students of all ages about organic food. Please note that you'll need Adobe Reader to view the plans. If you don't have Adobe Reader, you can download it for free.
Grade School Lesson Plan on Organic Food
The younger children are when they first learn about organic foods, the sooner they'll begin to develop an understanding of where their food comes from. This knowledge can lead to developing healthy eating habits early in life.
The following printable lesson plan for grade school students introduces the word "organic" to children and teaches them to identify organic food options in the grocery store. To download or print the lesson plan, simply click on the image below.
The following online resources provide more information for the lesson plan:
- Fantastic Organic: PBS Kids and Whole Foods have joined forces to help teach kids about organic foods and healthy eating. Their website is a treasure trove of articles, games and recipes.
- Organic.org Organic Label Guide: This link provides you with pictures of the USDA certified organic label and a good overview of what the label means.
- Organic Resources for Kids: A page of links to online games, recipes and articles geared towards kids. The games link incudes coloring pages, interactive games and puzzles.
- Organic.org 10 Reasons to Go Organic: This very informative article discusses how choosing organic food options is better for the body and the environment.
Middle School Lesson Plan
This lesson plan for middle school students focuses on looking at the pros and cons of organic foods for health and the environment. It also introduces students to organic farming practices and reviews how pesticides are harmful. Students are divided into two groups and will debate the pros and cons or organic foods and conventionally grown foods.
Click on the image below to print or download the lesson plan for middle school students.
Use these resources to complement the lesson plan:
- Pesticides: Environmental Risks: This resource by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides information on how pesticides are evaluated and brought to market.
- Human Health Issues of Pesticides: This EPA resource discusses the potential health hazards of pesticides.
- Mayo Clinic: Organic Foods: Are they Safer?: This site compares conventional and organic farming and offers information about product labeling.
- Organic Foods: This article by Helpguide.org offers information about organic food labeling, costs and benefits.
- Soil Association: This site offers information about how various organic animals are raised and butchered.
Lesson Plan for High School
Teaching high schoolers provides a good opportunity for developing a lesson plan on organic food because older students have a better concept of how their choices make big impacts. Given the current raging debate between genetically modified foods and organic foods, it's a great topic to teach and debate in the classroom.
This lesson plan takes a look at what defines genetically modified foods and why they were created. It covers the potential negative effects that GMOs have on health and the environment. It also gets students thinking about the number of genetically modified foods in their diets and why choosing organic options is a healthier option.
Click on the image below to print or download the high school lesson plan.
Students can use the following resources to help them with their research:
- Genetically Engineered Animals: Information from the Federal Drug Administration about what genetically engineered animals are and the steps the FDA is taking for regulation.
- GMO Compass: An in-depth website which primarily focuses on the pros of GMO foods. Note that this site relates to the European Union but still provides helpful research information.
- Genetically Modified Crops: Article discusses the dangers of feeding animals GMO foods.
- Science Daily: Students researching how specific GMO foods are created will find this site useful.
- Why GMOs Are Bad: This article discusses research findings on the negative effects of GMOs. It also identifies which common foods contain genetically modified ingredients.
An Introduction to a Healthy Lifestyle
Kids are bombarded daily with commercials advertising heavily processed snacks and fast food. Unless they're taught otherwise, they may not realize there are better, healthier options. Since an American Academy of Pediatrics study determined eating organic foods results in lower pesticide levels in the body, teaching students about organic foods is an important way to get them thinking about nutrition, healthy living and their personal environmental footprint.