Middle School Social Science Lessons
These lessons have been developed to bring garden-based nutrition education and California standards-based social studies curriculum together. We believe that food history is an integral part of understanding culture and that experiential lessons in the garden and cooking classroom can encourage students to eat more healthily and deepen their understanding of past civilizations.
The lessons below are works in progress and are not yet approved by the Network for a Healthy California. These are a sample; garden and cooking activities have been modified and tested for most seventh grade social studies units (Fall of Rome, Rise of Islam, Civilizations of West Africa, Ancient China, Feudal Japan, Feudal Europe, Renaissance, and Mezo-America). For eighth grade we have lessons for the Constitutional Convention, Native American, and Westward Expansion units. If you would like more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
China in the Garden (Grade 7)
Students are introduced to fruits and vegetables that originated in China as well as wellness
practices and the cultural significance of citrus through a multi-station activity. A follow up cooking lesson is available.
Europe in the Garden (Grade 7)
The grains, fruits, and vegetables of Feudal Europe are presented to students in a multi-station
activity. Students will understand that social status under Feudalism affected food options through a poster matching game, get to grind wheatberries into flour (to be used to make bread later), and taste peas while learning about the nutritional value of various European fruits and vegetables.
Westward Expansion in the Garden (Grade 8)
Students are introduced to fruits and vegetables available during the overland journey from the East Coast of the United States to the West during the 1800's. Students act as settlers in this garden based card game, and move along one of the three trails, which presents challenges in regards to geography, climate, and food security. After gathering produce from the different regions of the U.S., students put them together in a cooking activity, making bean chili and writing ghost stories.