Explore lessons and fun activities for students in grades 6-8 that bring the growing process to life in the classroom and at home.

Here you’ll find lessons, activities, videos, and other resources related to gardening, for students in grades 6-8. No matter if you are a teacher, parent, kid, or kid at heart, all are hands-on, experiential, and fun! We worked closely with Louisiana educators to identify only the best lessons for teachers and link them to Louisiana State Curriculum Standards.

  • Beets & Carrots:

    Beets & Carrots:

    beets and carrots illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    TeachEngineering STEM Curriculum: How Fast Can a Carrot Rot?

    Students conduct experiments to determine what environmental factors favor decomposition by soil microbes. They use chunks of carrots for the materials to be decomposed, and their experiments are carried out in plastic bags filled with dirt. Every few days students remove the carrots from the dirt and weigh them. Depending on the experimental conditions, after a few weeks most of the carrots have decomposed completely.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6.RP.3 MS-LS1-5

    Kids Gardening: Vegetable Carving

    Carving vegetables is a great way to promote creativity, hone fine motor skills, and learn about global cultures. It can also be a fun way to get kids interested in trying out new foods, and to create festive decorations. Check out this fun activity and let your students explore different root vegetables through vegetable carving!

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    k-4
    VA-CE-E2
    VA-CE-E4
    VA-AP-E2
    VA-AP-E4
    VA-AP-E6
    VA-HP-E1
    VA-HP-E4
    5-8
    VA-CE-M4
    VA-CE-M5
    VA-AP-M2
    VA-AP-M3
    VA-AP-M6
    VA-HP-M1
    VA-HP-M2
    VA-HP-M4
    VA-HP-M5
    9-12
    VA-CE-H3
    VA-CE-H4
    VA-CE-H5
    VA-AP-H2
    VA-AP-H4
    VA-AP-H6
    VA-HP-H1
    VA-HP-H2
    VA-HP-H4

    FoodMASTER: Vegetables

    Students will explore food safety concepts by learning how to read thermometers and measuring temperatures, about bacteria that we carry on our hands, potential disease-causing bacteria that can grow on food, and the health benefits of proper food safety practices.   Teacher Edition Student Edition

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-1
    7-MS-PS1-2
    7-MS-LS1-3
    RI.6.2,7
    RI.7.7
    RI.8.2,8
    WS.6.1,2,4,9
    WS.7.1,2,4,7,8
    WS.8.1,2,4,7,8
    SL.6.1,2,4
    SL.7.1,2,4
    SL.8.1,2,4
    6th
    1-M-2.1
    6-M-1.1
    7-M-1.1
    7th
    5-M-2.1
    6-M-1.2
    6-M-1.3
    8th
    1-M-1.1

    Rooting for Carrots! :Carrot Calculations

    In this lesson, students will use their knowledge of ratios, proportional relationships, bivariate data to communicate results from taste tests of carrots. This investigation allows students the opportunity become their own statistician, polling students in different grade-levels and analyzing that self-collected data. The lesson has students grouping their data by grade-level, but this can easily be adapted to different class periods, subjects, etc.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6.RP.1,3
    6.SP.1,4, 5
    7.RP.2
    8.SP.1
    8.SP.2
    6-SL-4,5
    7-SL-4,5
    8-SL-4,5
    8th - 2-M-1.1
    6th -2-M-3.2
    6th.8-M-1.1

    Biology Tutor: Beet Root Membrane Permeability

    In this video lesson, students investigate the effects of a named variable (temperature) on the permeability of cell surface membranes. (8:00)

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-1
    7-MS-PS1-4

    Rainbow Fruit and Vegetable Activity Ideas

    This site features interactive “Eat a Rainbow” bulletin boards with activities such as “Color of the Month” where a fruit and vegetable color is featured each month. Students bring in their favorite recipes or create recipes with fruits or vegetables in the color of each month. The “There’s Magic in the Rainbow” activity highlights the magical properties of fruits and vegetables such as beets and carrots. The site includes a link for free food clip art for students to create recipe cards and other visuals. Check out the “Free Tools” link at the top of the page. It includes links to a BMI calculator, a calorie and exercise calculator, a free “My Plate” workbook, and many other freebies.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.8,9
    SL.6.1,2,3
    RI.7.1,7,8
    W.7.8,9
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    W.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Bendy Carrots: An Osmosis Lab

    In this activity, students will add salt to raw carrots and observe the water come out of the carrots. Students will have the opportunity to see how the water in plants and plant roots (carrots) responds to salt concentrations. Students will use their statistics skills to calculate percent mass loss, averages, and construct a graph to illustrate their findings. The resource includes a teacher pages and student pages in a word document format so that the lesson can be modified to meet the learners' needs.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6.SP. B.4,5
    7.NS.A.2
    7.SP.A. 1
    6-MS-LS1-1
    6-MS-LS1-2

    Beets & Carrots:

    beets and carrots illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Carrot Brochure

    Brochure containing carrot facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Carrot Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    How to Grow Carrot Tops

    A short-time lapse video covering the growth of carrot tops. (6:39)

    True Food TV: Purple Carrots or Orange: Who’s the Daddy?

    Short video on the origin of the different colors of carrots. (1:07)

    Growing Carrots from Sowing to Harvest

    A how-to video on growing carrots, from sowing to harvest. (6:20)

    Hypertonic, Hypotonic and Isotonic Solutions!

    This is a good video to accompany the Bending Carrot Activity. This video is a review of hypotonic, hypertonic, and isotonic solutions and how they lead to plasmolysis, cytolysis, and dynamic equilibrium. In addition to tonicity, the video also covers concentration gradients, solutes and solvents, and whether you should drink salt water in a survival situation. (4:45)

    Iowa Department of Public Health: Pick a Better Snack Fact Sheets – Carrots

    This site has a colorful, printable fact sheet on carrots.

    Crunchy Carrots: from Farm to Fork

    Watch this video to see the farm-to-fork journey of carrots, from ideal growing conditions to harvesting and production, ready for you to buy in the shops. (3:49)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Beet Brochure

    Brochure containing beet facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Beet Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Growing Beet Greens from Beet Tops: Time-Lapse

    A short-time lapse video covering the growth of beet greens. (1:33)

    California Harvest of the Month: Beet Botanical Image

    This site includes a colorful diagram of the anatomy of a beet for student research.

  • Blueberries:

    Blueberries:

    blueberry illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom: Blueberries.

    A fact and activity sheet on blueberries. Blueberries require acidic soils. Students will test soil pH and determine if it is adequate for growing blueberries. Students may amend the soil to attain the proper pH requirements.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    MS-LS1-5 WS.6.1
    WS.6.9
    SL.6.1
    RS.7.1
    WS.7.9
    RS.8.1

    Super Healthy Kids: Nutrition Education Game

    A game that teaches students about the nutritional value in different-colored fruits and vegetables. Students create a healthy smoothie by rolling teacher-made dice. Each side is a different color, and with each roll of the dice students recite the fruits and vegetables found in those colors and the nutrients found in them. Then, students add two fruits or vegetables to the blender. For example, if the student rolls blue and red, the response could be: Blue foods help our brains; they are high in the nutrients anthocyanin and phenolics. Red foods are high in a nutrient called lycopene as well as anthocyanin and vitamins A and C; red foods are beneficial because they control high blood pressure, reduce the risk of cancer, and reduce the risks of losing your memory. Then, students may add a blueberry and a strawberry to their smoothie.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-ESS3-4
    6-MS-LS2-1&3
    7-MS-LS1-6&7
    7-MS-LS2-4&5
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    8-MS-LS1-4&5
    RI.6.1,7
    SL.6.1,2,3
    RI.7.1,7,8
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council Resources

    The Highbush Blueberry Farm to School Playbook has numerous resources that include activities, case studies on hosting a blueberry farm-to-school event, a full-color printable poster, and many more. Be sure to explore the resources at the top for tips on growing blueberries, nutritional information, and recipes.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS2-1&3
    7-MS-LS1-6&7
    8-MS-LS1-4&5
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.8,9
    SL.6.1,2,3
    RI.7.1,7,8
    W.7.8,9
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    W.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3
    6.1.1
    7.1.1
    8.1.1
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Blueberries:

    blueberry illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Growing BLUEBERRIES Time Lapse – FRUITING in 90 Days

    90 days of growing blueberries (fruiting) time lapse. Once every 2 minutes, a picture of the growing blueberry plant was taken for this blueberry timelapse.

    Naturipe: Blueberry Harvesting Process

    A virtual field trip to a blueberry orchard and processing plant. Students will see how blueberries are grown, harvested (by hand and machine), and processed. (2:52)

    Naturipe: Blueberry Harvesting Process

    A virtual field trip to a blueberry orchard and processing plant. Students will see how blueberries are grown, harvested (by hand and machine), and processed. (2:52)

    True Food TV: Blueberry | How Does It Grow?

    Besides showing how the blueberry grows today, this video gives an excellent history of the blueberry. (10:47)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Blueberry Brochure

    Brochure containing blueberry facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Blueberry Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    5 Superfoods That Actually Live Up to Their Hype

    Informative article for your students on five superfoods, including the blueberry.

    How to Eat a Rainbow: 5 Shades of Nutrients

    Informative article for your students on what it means to “Eat a Rainbow.”

    Medical News Today: Everything You Need to Know about Blueberries

    Informative article for your students on blueberry facts and nutrition.

  • Broccoli & Cauliflower:

    Broccoli & Cauliflower:

    broccoli and cauliflower illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Oregon Harvest for Schools: Range of Maturity

    Using garden seed catalogs, look at the differences in days to maturity between different cauliflower types. Have students graph these different points, labeling each variety and noting both the range and average of their findings. Lead students in a discussion about their findings and why these differences may be important for farmers.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    8-MS-LS1-4
    8-MS-LS1-5

    Oregon Harvest for Schools: Farmers, Food, and Artificial Selection

    Did you know broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and kohlrabi are all derived from the same plant? Use this exploration as a starting point for further investigation of both artificial and natural selection.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    8-MS-LS1-4
    8-MS-LS1-5

    FoodMASTER: Vegetables

    Students will explore food safety concepts by learning how to read thermometers and measuring temperatures, about bacteria that we carry on our hands, potential disease-causing bacteria that can grow on food, and the health benefits of proper food safety practices.   Teacher Edition Student Edition

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-1
    7-MS-PS1-2
    7-MS-LS1-3
    RI.6.2,7
    RI.7.7
    RI.8.2,8
    WS.6.1,2,4,9
    WS.7.1,2,4,7,8
    WS.8.1,2,4,7,8
    SL.6.1,2,4
    SL.7.1,2,4
    SL.8.1,2,4
    6th
    1-M-2.1
    6-M-1.1
    7-M-1.1
    7th
    5-M-2.1
    6-M-1.2
    6-M-1.3
    8th
    1-M-1.1

    California Harvest of the Month: Broccoli

    This Harvest of the Month newsletter has activities that give students the opportunity to explore, taste, and learn about the importance of eating broccoli, as well as its origins and how it grows. The newsletter also includes activities that introduce students to phytochemicals and folate.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.8,9
    SL.6.1,2,3
    RI.7.1,7,8
    W.7.8,9
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    W.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Broccoli & Cauliflower:

    broccoli and cauliflower illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Iowa Ingredient: Growing Cauliflower

    A how-to video for growing cauliflower, from seed to harvest. (4:16)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Cauliflower Brochure

    Brochure containing cauliflower facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Cauliflower Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Upper Valley Farm to School Network – Harvesting Broccoli and Cauliflower

    This video explains that the parts of broccoli and cauliflower plants that we eat are flower buds and stems, and discusses the nutrients that these plants provides for us. (4:33)

    Bonnie Plants: How to Plant Broccoli Plants

    A short informational video on how to plant broccoli and other cole crops. (1:13)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Broccoli Brochure

    Brochure containing broccoli facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Broccoli Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Learning About Broccoli

    This is a short video demonstrating that we eat the flower buds of the broccoli plant. (1:07)

    True Food TV: Foods That Are Actually EDIBLE FLOWERS

    Even though we call them fruits and vegetables, everything from cauliflower to broccoli, and artichoke to fig, are really their plants' flowers. (1:41)

    True Food TV: Cauliflower | How Does It Grow?

    This video discusses the origin of cauliflower, explains that a cauliflower is a bouquet of flowers, and takes you to a commercial farm to demonstrate how they grow cauliflower. (4:03)

    Broccoli Pedigree | PBS

    A short video vignette about why we have never stumbled across a wild broccoli. (1:58)

    Broccoli & Cauliflower:

    broccoli and cauliflower illustration

    Books

    Green Power: Leaf & Flower Vegetables (Plants We Eat) by Meredith Sayles Hughes (2001)

    Describes the history, growing requirements, uses, and food value of various leafy green vegetables and vegetable flowers, including cabbage, broccoli, artichokes, spinach, Belgian endive, and lettuce. Includes recipes.

  • Cabbage:

    Cabbage:

    red cabbage illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    FoodMASTER: Vegetables

    Students will explore food safety concepts by learning how to read thermometers and measuring temperatures, about bacteria that we carry on our hands, potential disease-causing bacteria that can grow on food, and the health benefits of proper food safety practices.   Teacher Edition Student Edition

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-1
    7-MS-PS1-2
    7-MS-LS1-3
    RI.6.2,7
    RI.7.7
    RI.8.2,8
    WS.6.1,2,4,9
    WS.7.1,2,4,7,8
    WS.8.1,2,4,7,8
    SL.6.1,2,4
    SL.7.1,2,4
    SL.8.1,2,4
    6th
    1-M-2.1
    6-M-1.1
    7-M-1.1
    7th
    5-M-2.1
    6-M-1.2
    6-M-1.3
    8th
    1-M-1.1

    Center for Ecoliteracy: Investigating Cabbage Traditions

    While this lesson was originally intended for grades 3-5, it can be a valuable and powerful culture exploration. Students examine the cultural importance of cabbages, conduct a comparison tasting of different cabbages, and explore family food traditions involving cabbage.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-SL-1, 4
    6-RI-7
    6-WS-2, 4, 7,8
    7-RI-9
    7-WS-2,4, 7,8
    7-SL-1, 4
    8-SL- 1, 4
    8-WS-2, 4, 7, 8
    6th
    2-M-1.1,2,3
    2-M-3.1,2
    7th
    2-M-1.1, 1.2
    5-M-2.1
    8th
    2-M-1.1, 1.4

    Almanac: Planning the Planting Calendar

    After introducing students to the variety of vegetables in the Brassica family, have students create a garden-growing calendar for 3-5 different Brassica crops using the planting dates and days to maturity listed at the Almanac site. Using the Almanac Growing Calendar site, students simply type in their zip code and choose vegetables in the Brassica family. Seed sowing and transplanting dates appropriate for their zip code will be listed.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS2-2
    7-MS-LS2-4
    7-MS-LS4-4, 5
    8-MS-LS1-4&5
    8-MS-LS3-1
    6-WS-7, 8,9
    6-SL-1,2,3
    WS-7.8,9
    7-SL-1,2
    8-WS-7,8,9
    8-SL.1,2
    8th
    3-M-1.1, 1.4
    6th
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7th
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Oregon Harvest for Schools: Planning the Planting Calendar

    After introducing students to the variety of vegetables in the Brassica family, have students create a garden-growing calendar for 3-5 different Brassica crops using the planting dates and days to maturity listed at the Burpee Growing Calendar site. This is the link for the online Burpee Growing Calendar. Using the Burpee Growing Calendar site, students simply type in their zip code and choose vegetables in the Brassica family. Beautiful pictures and planting months appropriate for their zip code will be listed.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS2-1,2
    7-MS-LS1-6&7
    7-MS-LS2-4&5
    7-MS-LS4-4
    8-MS-ESS2-6
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    8-MS-LS1-4&5
    8-MS-LS3-1
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.8,9
    SL.6.1,2,3
    RI.7.1,7,8
    W.7.8,9
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    W.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3
    6.1.1
    6.3.1
    7.1.1
    8.1.1
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Better Lesson: Household pHun!

    Students will get an introduction to pH and identify common substances as acids and bases using red cabbage juice. Students love the bright colors of this lab! Students will be able to analyze the property of pH in common household substances.     Household pHun! PDF

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7-MS-PS1-2 6-RI-1
    6-WS-9b
    7-RI-1
    7-WS-9b
    8-RI-1
    8-WS-9b

    Cabbage:

    red cabbage illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Cabbage Brochure

    Brochure containing cabbage facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Cabbage Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Growing Cabbages from Sowing to Harvests

    A how-to video for growing cabbages, from seed to harvest. (6:27)

    Center for Ecoliteracy: A Comparative Tasting of California Fruits and Vegetables/Fruit and Vegetable Adjectives

    This is a resource to accompany Investigating Cabbage Traditions. The Fruit and Vegetable Adjectives PDF is found at the end of this resource. Since many students describe the taste of fruits and vegetables with opinionated words such as “good” and “yummy” or “bad” and “nasty,” this resource is very helpful to facilitate specific descriptions of the tastes and appearances of fruits and vegetables.

    Cabbage:

    red cabbage illustration

    Books

    Sauerkraut by Kelly Jones (2019)

    HD Schenk is a maker--an inventor, someone who builds cool stuff. He's got a plan for the summer: he'll build his own computer and enter it in the county fair. Then everyone will know who he is and what he can do. To earn enough money for the parts he'll need, HD has promised to clear out his uncle's overflowing basement. No big deal, right? But there's more in that basement than HD bargained for. On his first trip down there, a voice only he can hear starts talking to him. About...sauerkraut? Who knew the ghost of his great-great-grandmother was haunting an old pickling crock? She's got a grand plan, too. She wants HD to help make her famous recipe for sauerkraut and enter it in the county fair so that she can be declared pickle queen

    Green Power: Leaf & Flower Vegetables (Plants We Eat) by Meredith Sayles Hughes (2001)

    Describes the history, growing requirements, uses, and food value of various leafy green vegetables and vegetable flowers, including cabbage, broccoli, artichokes, spinach, Belgian endive, and lettuce. Includes recipes.

    Katie’s Cabbage by Katie Stagliano (2014)

    Katie's Cabbage is the inspirational true story of how Katie Stagliano, a third grader from Summerville, South Carolina, grew a forty-pound cabbage in her backyard and donated it to help feed 275 people at a local soup kitchen.

  • Catfish:

    Catfish:

    Lessons and Activities

    Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries: Explore a fish 

    In this lesson, students will identify the characteristics of a fish—both internally and externally. Students will describe the shape and function of the different fish organs. 

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    4-LLS1-1
    4-LS1-2
    4-ESS2-3
    6-MS-LS2-1
    6-MS-LS2-2
    7-MS-LS1-3 8-MS-LS4-2

    NC Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom: Overfishing and Aquaculture    

    In this lesson, students will discuss the diverse types of fish and seafood that can be found in an ecosystem. Students will compare wild-caught and farm-raised aquaculture systems and determine how overfishing can damage the delicate balance of the ecosystem. 

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    3-LS2-1
    3-LS4-3
    3-LS4-4
    4-LS1-1
    5-LS2-1
    5-ESS3-1
    6-MS-LS2-2
    6-MS-ESS3-4

    Catfish:

    Videos and Other Resources

    Kid Engineer: Growing Plants with Fish

    Did you know you can grow plants using pipes, water, and fish instead of soil? Kid Engineer Rikalize shows how she designed and built her own aquaponics farm.

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Catfish

    This month's Louisiana Harvest of the Month thrives in the muddy waters of the southern region of the United States, and it holds a humble yet essential piece of our culinary history here in the South. It's catfish! In the past, eating catfish was a social experience, where they were caught wild, prepared, and eaten together as a group. Now, most of the catfish we eat are farmed from ponds like the one we'll see today. Join me and let's learn a little more about how the catfish hooked America.

    Catfish:

    Books

    Making a Big Splash with Louisiana Fishes by Prosanta Chakrabarty, Sophie Warny, and Valerie Derouen (2014)

    The Making a Big Splash with Louisiana Fishes features 10 kid’s activities, a short fiction story, and a guide to Louisiana’s common fishes. Download the free pdf or purchase a hardcopy color version at lsufoundation.org/fishbook

    Atchafalaya Catfish: Fishing in the Atchafalaya Basin of South Louisiana by Sheila LeBlanc (2012)

    Take a boat ride in the Atchafalaya Swamp to check Frank’s trotline for catfish. Watch out for the cypress stumps and alligators! Keep your fishhooks baited and your appetite ready for some of Loretta’s delicious fried catfish. Enjoy the beautiful photographs of one of Louisiana’s pristine wilderness areas. Learn how a Cajun father from Henderson, Louisiana, worked in the Atchafalaya Basin to raise enough money to take care of this family.

    Catfish: Bottom-Dwellers by Dr. Richard A. NeSmith (2021)

    This is a nonfiction book that discusses how catfish communicate, regulate their body temperature, the environment that they live in and much more. 

    Facts About the Blue Catfish by Lisa Strattin (2016)

    This is a nonfiction book that provides facts along with photographs to instruct children about the Blue Catfish.  

  • Citrus:

    Citrus:

    orange citrus fruit illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Science-U: Lemon Batteries

    Is it possible to use the acid in a lemon to power a light? Try it to find out! Students will create a circuit with a lemon or other citrus fruit. They will learn how electrochemical cells or batteries work and experiment with using multiple citrus fruits and electrodes.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-PS2-3,5
    7-MS-PS1-2
    8-MS-PS1-6
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Florida Harvest of the Month: Satsuma

    Students will analyze the history of satsuma oranges, the citrus industry and issues facing the future of citrus. Students will conduct a tactile lab on the amount of oranges needed to meet the consumer demands for orange juice. This classroom guide also includes a classroom recipe for Kale Salad with Citrus Dressing.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7-MS-LS3-2
    7-MS-LS4-4,5
    8-MS-LS1-5
    8-MS-LS3-1
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.8,9
    SL.6.1,2
    RI.7.1
    W.7.8,9
    SL.7.1,2
    RI.8.1
    W.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Citrus:

    orange citrus fruit illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    6 Citrus Varieties Multi Grafted onto One Fruit Cocktail Tree! (4:29)

    A multi-grafted fruit cocktail citrus tree featuring tangerine, Meyer lemon, calamansi, Tahitian lime, kumquat, and kaffir lime.

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Citrus

    This month's Louisiana Harvest of The Month is a juicy sweet fruit high in vitamin C and enjoyed any time of the day. It's citrus! Let's unpeel this refreshing fruit, a crop that has been grown in Louisiana for over 300 years.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Tangerine Brochure

    Brochure containing tangerine facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Tangerine Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Satsuma Brochure

    Brochure containing satsuma facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Satsuma Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Orange Brochure

    Brochure containing orange facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Orange Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Lime Brochure

    Brochure containing lime facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Lime Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Grapefruit Brochure

    Brochure containing grapefruit facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Grapefruit Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    True Food TV: Why Ripe Limes Are NOT Green

    You've likely never eaten a ripe lime. Here's why in 60 seconds. (1:09)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Kumquat Brochure

    Brochure containing kumquat facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Kumquat Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    True Food TV: Almalfi Coast Lemon | How Does It Grow? Special: The Flying Farmer

    This human-interest video shows how some Italian lemon farmers grow their huge lemons in terraced gardens on mountainsides off the Almalfi Coast of Italy. From the town below, an 83-year-old, fourth-generation lemon farmer appears to be flying in the clouds as he climbs his arbors to harvest lemons. (11:22)

    How Orange Juice Is Made

    From orange trees to orange juice. (6:39)

    True Food TV: Orange | How Does It Grow?

    Very informative video on the varieties of oranges and how they are grown commercially. (7:38)

    Center for Ecoliteracy: Nourishing Students: Posters

    Display these posters in kitchens, cafeterias, classrooms, and during after-school programs as a fun and engaging way to promote fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy eating. Each poster is designed to print 24" by 36." These posters won the 2018 Graphic Design USA award for Health + Wellness. This set of free, downloadable full-color posters features wildlife animals with the following fruit or vegetable: Radish, Strawberry, Grape, Tomato, Orange.

    California Harvest of the Month: Grapefruit Botanical Image

    This site includes facts about grapefruit and a colorful diagram of the anatomy of a grapefruit, a lemon, and a lime.

  • Crawfish:

    Crawfish:

    Videos and Other Resources

    Dan Does: How Louisiana’s Biggest Crawfish Farm Sells Three Million Pounds of Crawfish Every Year

    Rice farmers like Mike Frugé of Cajun Crawfish in Louisiana figured out that the two-year growing cycle of crawfish synced perfectly with the two-year cycle of the rice crop. He shows us how his rice fields are seeded with baby crawfish every other year, creating a new source of food and income for farmers in the area.

    Louisiana Crawfish Co. Our Process (2:23)

    How Louisiana Crayfish Became China’s National Dish

    In China, crayfish is king. Chinese people consume 90% of the world’s crayfish every year. But the species they eat is not actually native to China. Just a few decades ago, it wasn’t even considered food. So how did crayfish end up becoming such a beloved dish? We talked to some crayfish enthusiasts and experts to find out.

    Day in the Life of a Louisiana Crawfish Farmer

    Join Kara and Nate as they learn all about the crawfishing industry-- from pulling mudbugs out of the pond to serving them up at a boil!

    Crawfish:

    Books

    Crabs, Crayfishes, and Their Relatives by Beth Blaxland (2002)

    Defines crustaceans, such as slaters and freshwater crayfishes, and describes their physical characteristics, life cycles, habitats, senses, food and means of self-defense.

  • Cucumber:

    Cucumber:

    cucumber illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Kids Gardening: Imperfect Flowers

    In this lesson, students will explore plants that have imperfect flowers and learn how this characteristic can help ensure their survival. Students will learn that plants with imperfect flowers have two types of flowers: some contain male structures producing pollen and others contain female structures producing eggs and seeds. They will also learn that cross-pollination supports genetic diversity, and genetic diversity supports the survival of a species.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS2-2
    7-MS-LS3-2
    8-MS-LS1-4
    8-MS-LS1-5

    RI.6.7
    WS.6.1
    SL.6.1,2,4,5
    RI.7.1,7,8
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3

    Edible Schoolyard: Seed Sleuth

    In this activity, students will observe and compare seeds to match which vegetables are related to each other. Using the Seed Sleuth Chart, ask students to observe the size, shape, and color of the seeds to classify the vegetable into its plant family. For example, when comparing pepper, tomato, and eggplant seeds, students realize that they are very similar and that these vegetables belong to the same plant family. To take this lesson further, students can research plant families. Finally, students can expand their vocabulary through this activity, learning the definition of “sleuth” and “taxonomy.”     Seed Sleuths Powerpoint Slides

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7-MS-LS3-2
    8-MS-LS1-4
    8-MS-LS1-5
    WS.6.1
    SL.6. 1
    SL.6.4
    WS.7. 1
    SL.7.1
    SL-.7.4
    WS.8.1
    SL.8.1
    WS8.1
    WS. 8.4

    National Ag in the Classroom: Flower Power

    This is an excellent flower dissection lesson or pollinator unit that includes pollinator (bee) lessons and videos. Students will observe the anatomical structures of flowers and explain a flower's role in plant growth and reproduction as well as their connection to our food supply.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS2-1
    7-MS-LS3-2
    7-MS-LS4-5
    8-MS-LS1-4
    8-MS-LS1-5
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.8,9
    SL.6.1,2
    RI.7.1,7
    W.7.8,9
    SL.7.1,2
    W.8.8,9
    SL.8.1

    Cucumber:

    cucumber illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Cucumbers

    This month's Louisiana Harvest of the Month is not only refreshing to eat, but people have been relying on them for centuries for things like soothing sunburns, hydrating skin, and even curing bad breath. It's cucumbers! These crispy fruits add crunch to salads and sandwiches, and they're often enjoyed preserved as pickles. Let's head to the farm to learn a little bit more about what makes a cucumber such a big deal!

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Cucumber Brochure

    Brochure containing cucumber facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Cucumber Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Disco Cucumber Time-Lapse

    Time-lapse video of a cucumber’s tendrils supporting the vine. (1:46)

    Pickle Time-Lapse

    Time-lapse video of a cucumber growing from flower to picking size. (2:39)

    True Food TV: Cucumber | How Does It Grow?

    This video discusses the origin of cucumbers, explains why cucumbers sometimes have a bitter taste, and takes you to a commercial farm to demonstrate how they grow cucumbers. (7:52)

  • Eggplant:

    Eggplant:

    eggplant illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month: Why Did the Eggplant Turn Brown?

    This lesson focuses on the browning of an eggplant (oxidation) when it is cut or bruised. In a simple controlled experiment, students will test different processes that they believe will inhibit the browning of eggplant slices. The desirability and acceptability of browning on eggplants should also be discussed. Students will brainstorm, discuss, plan, and test different processes that could inhibit eggplant browning. Before this activity, students should understand that a chemical reaction occurs when two or more substances combine to form a new substance.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-PS1-1
    7-MS-PS1-2
    8-MS-PS1-1
    W.6.7
    SL.6.1,2
    W.7.7
    SL.7.1,2
    W.8.7
    SL.8.1,2

    Edible Schoolyard: Seed Sleuth

    In this activity, students will observe and compare seeds to match which vegetables are related to each other. Using the Seed Sleuth Chart, ask students to observe the size, shape, and color of the seeds to classify the vegetable into its plant family. For example, when comparing pepper, tomato, and eggplant seeds, students realize that they are very similar and that these vegetables belong to the same plant family. To take this lesson further, students can research plant families. Finally, students can expand their vocabulary through this activity, learning the definition of “sleuth” and “taxonomy.”     Seed Sleuths Powerpoint Slides

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7-MS-LS3-2
    8-MS-LS1-4
    8-MS-LS1-5
    WS.6.1
    SL.6. 1
    SL.6.4
    WS.7. 1
    SL.7.1
    SL-.7.4
    WS.8.1
    SL.8.1
    WS8.1
    WS. 8.4

    Eggplant:

    eggplant illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    How to Grow Eggplants – Complete Growing Guide (11:27)

    In this growing guide we will be talking all about eggplants! When to tell if they are ripe, how to fertilize, when to fertilize, how much to water them, temperature requirements, and spacing.

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Eggplants

    This month's Louisiana Harvest of the Month just might be the most mysterious of all the vegetables. In many parts of the world it's called an Aubergine but it's even known as the king of vegetables. It's eggplant! Early varieties were white oval fruits that looked a lot like chicken eggs, which is how the eggplant originally got its name. What else is this mystery vegetable hiding? Let's head to the farm to find out what other secrets we can reveal about this ancient plant.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Eggplant Brochure

    Brochure containing eggplant facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Eggplant Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Harvesting and Saving Eggplant Seeds

    Saving eggplant seeds is very easy, and doesn't require fermenting. A couple of eggplants will produce many more seeds than you need. (7:31)

    I Grow Eggplant

    A farmer from Florida describes growing eggplant. (2:00)

    Oxidation in Apples

    This tutorial explains oxidation and how to stop oxidation on an apple slice down to the molecular level. This video can be shown before the eggplant lesson to explain oxidation and give students ideas for stopping the oxidation of their eggplant slice. (4:12)

  • Leafy Greens:

    Leafy Greens:

    leafy greens illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    PRISM: Seed Germination Experimental Design Challenge

    In this lesson, students will participate in the experiment design-process. The goal of this investigation is for students to design and carry out an experiment on seed germination, analyze their own data, and report their findings. Seeds from leafy-green varieties of plants (or beans as recommended in the lab) are great options. This lab is flexible and student-driven, so the sky is the limit in terms of experimental design and expected level of data analysis/lab report write-up.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-1
    6-MS-LS2-1
    6-MS-LS2-3
    7-MS-LS1-6
    7-MS-LS2-4
    8-MS-LS1-5
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    SL.6.1
    SL.6.4
    SL.7.1
    SL.7.4
    SL.8.1
    SL.8.4

    Oregon Harvest for Schools: Recipe Rendezvous

    Incorporating new foods into students’ palates can be a daunting task. Providing a creative way for students to introduce themselves to vegetables and can create a greater likelihood of acceptance. Students work collectively to create the best tasting salad and dressing. After their salad is created, have groups create a recipe for a salad dressing and record that recipe. Discuss the process with the students -- did they use all ingredients, what factors influenced their decision to use or not use an ingredient, etc.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    SL.6.1a-d
    SL.7.1a-c
    SL.8.4
    VA-AP-M1,M2,M3,M4,M5,M6
    VA-AP-H1,H2,H3,H4,H5,H6
    VA-CE-M3,M5,M6
    VA-CE-H4,H5,H6

    Kinder Art: Natural Paint Dyes

    Students will learn that plants are a source of natural plant dyes and paints. This is a good lesson to show how pioneers or early civilizations may have used plant dyes to color cloth.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    RI.6.1,7
    SL.6.1,2,3
    RI.7.1,7,8
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3
    6.1.1
    7.1.1
    8.1.1
    VA-CE-M1,2,3

    Growing Minds Farm to School: Spinach Smoothies

    This lesson uses creating a smoothie as a way to become observant of the green, leafy vegetables. The lesson includes step-by-step instructions for making spinach smoothies.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    RI.6.1,7
    SL.6.1,2,3
    RI.7.1,7,8
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Edible Schoolyard: Seed Sleuth

    In this activity, students will observe and compare seeds to match which vegetables are related to each other. Using the Seed Sleuth Chart, ask students to observe the size, shape, and color of the seeds to classify the vegetable into its plant family. For example, when comparing pepper, tomato, and eggplant seeds, students realize that they are very similar and that these vegetables belong to the same plant family. To take this lesson further, students can research plant families. Finally, students can expand their vocabulary through this activity, learning the definition of “sleuth” and “taxonomy.”     Seed Sleuths Powerpoint Slides

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7-MS-LS3-2
    8-MS-LS1-4
    8-MS-LS1-5
    WS.6.1
    SL.6. 1
    SL.6.4
    WS.7. 1
    SL.7.1
    SL-.7.4
    WS.8.1
    SL.8.1
    WS8.1
    WS. 8.4

    Leafy Greens:

    leafy greens illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    What Are Collard Greens?

    Wondering what collard greens are? Check out our short video to learn the history, nutrition, and unique facts of this incredible vegetable.

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Greens

    This month’s Louisiana Harvest of the Month is a staple in southern cooking. It's greens! Check out our video to learn a little more about what makes greens so special!

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Spinach Brochure

    Brochure containing spinach facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Spinach Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Collard Greens Brochure

    Brochure containing collard green facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Collard Green Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Spinach Time-Lapse (40 days)

    A time-lapse video that shows how both leaves and roots grow on spinach plants. (2:34)

    How to Cook Collard Greens Quickly

    An easy, quick, and delicious way to prepare collard greens. (6:46)

    Growing Kale and Collard Greens

    A suburban homesteader gives tips on growing collards and kale. (5:49)

    How to Cook Swiss Chard

    This video covers everything you need to know about buying, storing, prepping, and cooking Swiss chard. (5:10)

    Growing Swiss Chard from Seeds, Days 0-31

    A home gardener describes the process of growing Swiss chard from seeds in a container. (13:13)

    True Food TV: Hydroponic Spinach | How Does It Grow?

    Very informative video on spinach and how it is grown hydroponically. (5:40)

    Leafy Greens:

    leafy greens illustration

    Books

    Green Power: Leaf & Flower Vegetables (Plants We Eat) by Meredith Sayles Hughes (2001)

    Describes the history, growing requirements, uses, and food value of various leafy green vegetables and vegetable flowers, including cabbage, broccoli, artichokes, spinach, Belgian endive, and lettuce. Includes recipes.

    A Wonderland Garden: The Collard Green Boy! by Cynthia Robinson-Bell (2014)

  • Lettuce:

    Lettuce:

    lettuce illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Seeds to Success: Decorating with Plant Dyes

    In this lesson, students will practice using a growing guide to determine the best way to sow and grow lettuce. Students will then apply what they know about sustainability and recycling to repurpose a pillowcase to be used as an outdoor planter for their lettuce. Students will learn the historical significance of using plants parts and dyes and then use what they have learned to decorate their pillowcase planters.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-2
    7-MS-LS2-4
    8-MS-LS1-4
    VA-CE-M4
    VA-CE-M5
    VA-AP-M2
    VA-AP-M4
    VA-AP-M6

    Kids Gardening: Let There Be Light

    Students will learn about how light is important to plants, and how both quality and quantity of light affect plant growth. Students will also design and conduct experiments using grow lights to demonstrate the impact of variations in light on plant growth. From this they will draw conclusions about the best and most efficient source of light for plants.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6.SP.1,2,3 6-MS-LS2-1
    7-MS-LS1-6
    7-MS-LS2-4
    SL.6.1
    SL.6.4
    SL.7.1
    SL.7.4
    SL.8.1
    SL.8.4
    WS.6.8
    WS.6.9
    W.7.7
    W.7.8
    W.7.9
    W.8.8
    W.8.9

    Kids Gardening: Edible Landscaping

    Interested in starting a food garden with your students, but can’t find space for a traditional vegetable garden or fruit orchard? Try edible landscaping! Students will investigate the ornamental properties of lettuce to expand their perceptions of plant material that can be used in landscapes.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7-MS-LS2-5 W.6.7,8
    SL.6.1
    W7.7
    W.7.8
    SL.7.1
    W.8.7
    W.8.8
    SL.8.4
    6th grade
    7-M-1.2
    8th grade
    1-M-1.1
    1-M-1.3
    VA-AP-M1,M2,M3,M4,M5,M6
    VA-CE-M3,M5,M6

    Georgia Organics: Lettuce Experiment

    Students will discover the function of a cell membrane and learn how materials move in and out of a cell using a lettuce leaf. Students will try to figure out what would be allowed into a cell through predictions, observations, and explanation. They will conduct an experiment to show the movement of water into and out of the cell.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-1,2
    6-MS-LS2-1,3
    HS-LS1-2,3

    Kids Gardening: Soil vs Water – Exploring Hydroponics

    This lesson guides students to compare plants grown traditionally in soil with plants grown hydroponically. This is an innovative and engaging way for older students to explore plant needs.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-ESS3-4
    6-MS-LS2-1,3
    7-MS-LS1-6
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    8-MS-LS1-5
    SL.6.1,4
    SL.7.1,4
    SL.8.1,4

    Georgia Organics: Lettuce Calculate

    Students will conduct a lettuce taste test and collect data. Then they will calculate percentages, ratios, and scatter plots.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6.RP.1
    6.RP.3
    6.SP.4
    7.RP.2
    8.SP.1,
    SL.6.1a-d
    SL.7.1,4
    SL.8.4

    Kids Gardening: Classroom Hydroponics

    In this lesson students will explore hydroponics and discover how and why plants, like lettuce, are able to grow without soil. Challenge your students to research, design, and create a simple hydroponics system. Instructions for a simple Styrofoam raft system are included. These can serve as a springboard for students’ own ideas.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-ESS3-4
    6-MS-LS2-1,3
    7-MS-LS1-6,7
    7-MS-LS2-4,5
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    RI.6.1,7
    SL.6.1,2,4
    RI.7.1,7
    SL.7.1,2,4
    RI.8.1
    SL.8.1,4

    Lettuce:

    lettuce illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Rapidly Growing Lettuce from Seeds

    Enjoy this 24-day time-lapse of lettuce growing from seeds

    Kid Engineer: Growing Plants with Fish

    Did you know you can grow plants using pipes, water, and fish instead of soil? Kid Engineer Rikalize shows how she designed and built her own aquaponics farm.

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Lettuce

    This month’s Louisiana Harvest of the Month is made up of 95% water and is used as toppings on things as tacos and sandwiches but it also tasty on its own. It’s lettuce! Let us learn a little bit more about the second most popular vegetable in the United States.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Lettuce Brochure

    Brochure containing lettuce facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Lettuce Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    NASA Space Station Live: Lettuce Look at Veggie

    Astronauts on the International Space Station are ready to sample their harvest of a crop of "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce from the Veggie plant growth system that tests hardware for growing vegetables and other plants in space. (4:06)

    Hydroponic Gardening: Grow Organic Plants Fast

    Virtual field trip to an organic hydroponic lettuce farm. Students will see how lettuce is grown hydroponically year-round. (3:06)

    Kids Gardening: Best Crops for Hydroponics – Growing Guide

    This guide discusses the best starter crops for beginning hydroponic gardening.

    Kids Gardening: Gardening Basics – Hydroponics

    This is a simple guide to the two main types of hydroponic systems: passive and active.

    True Food TV: 6 Amazing Heirlooom Lettuces to Plant Now for Fall/Home Gardening: Ep. 8

    Along with introducing her top picks for easy-to-grow, delicious lettuce, kale, and mustard greens, Nicole Jolly of True Food TV explains the history of lettuce. (10:03)

    Lettuce:

    lettuce illustration

    Books

    Green Power: Leaf & Flower Vegetables (Plants We Eat) by Meredith Sayles Hughes (2001)

    Describes the history, growing requirements, uses, and food value of various leafy green vegetables and vegetable flowers, including cabbage, broccoli, artichokes, spinach, Belgian endive, and lettuce. Includes recipes.

  • Mushrooms:

    Mushrooms:

    Lessons and Activities

    Growing Math: Fungi, Mushrooms,and Ethnomycology

    Vocabulary and historical events key to mycology are provided in a slide presentation. Students learn more about mycology through videos and activities, including mushroom dissection, crossword puzzle, word journal and actual or virtual collection of mushrooms. Academic vocabulary is at the 7th grade level. The lesson ends with a game and an optional virtual field trip to a mushroom farm

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-1
    7-MS-LA1-3
    8-MS-LS1-4
    RI.6.4
    RST.6-8.3

    Florida Harvest of the Month: Mushroom Classroom Guide

    Multiple pdf classroom guides for grades K-8 found at this website

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    K.MD.A
    1.MD.A.1
    2.MD.D.10
    3.MD.3.6-7
    4.MD.A.1,3
    K-LS-1-1
    2-LS2-1
    4-LS1-1
    5-LS2-1
    RI.3.4
    RI.3.7
    SL.3.4
    RI.4. 4
    RI.4. 7
    SL.4. 4

    California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom: Mushrooms

    A fact and activity sheet on mushrooms.This resource contains a mushroom dissection activity!

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    5.MD.A1 3-LS1-1
    4-LS1-1
    5-LS1-1
    5-LS2-1
    6-MS-LS1-1
    7-MS-LS1-3
    8-MS-LS1-4
    RI.3.7
    W.3.2,3,4,7,8,
    SL.3.1,4
    RI.4.7
    W.4. 2,3, 4,7,8
    SL.4.1,4
    RI.5.7
    W.5.2,3,4,7,8
    SL.5.1,4,5

    3rd Grade
    1-E-2.3
    1-E-2.4
    4-E-1.2
    4th Grade
    1-E-2.3
    1-E-2.4
    3-E-2.2
    5th Grade
    4-E-1.1
    8-E-2.1

    Mushrooms:

    Videos and Other Resources

    Picking The Right Mushroom For Every Recipe

    Join Chef Adrienne Cheatham for a deep dive into everything you’d ever need to know about cooking with mushrooms.

    Growing Mushrooms Time Lapse Compilation

    Observe the similarities and differences between black pearl, elm oyster, pink oyster, grey oyster, and golden oyster mushrooms through this time lapse complilation.

    How 400 Million Mushrooms are Grown a Year in This Small Town

    From shiitakes to criminis, 60% of America's mushrooms come from one small Pennsylvania town, Kennett Square. But America's mushroom capital is getting hit hard with a labor shortage. With not enough pickers, farmers have been forced to kill off rooms of mushrooms they can't get to in time. It's led to million-dollar losses for mushroom farmers already operating on thin margins. So what caused the labor crunch, and can the industry recover? We visited three mushroom farms in Kennett Square to find out.

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Mushrooms

    This month’s Louisiana Harvest of the Month is not a plant or an animal. It’s often mistakenly called a vegetable, but it is actually the fruit of a fungus. It’s mushrooms! These tasty toadstools prefer to grow in the dark. In fact, they require no sunlight at all, but today we're going to shed some light on what it takes to get these meaty, nutritious mushrooms from the farm to your fork.

    Do Mushrooms Have Roots? A Lesson on How Mushrooms Grow

    The answer is ‘No’, but they do have a wonderful root-like structure called mycelium. (4:13)

  • Melon & Watermelon:

    Melon & Watermelon:

    watermelon and cantaloupe illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    California Harvest of the Month: Melons

    This Harvest of the Month newsletter has activities that give students the opportunity to explore, taste, and learn about reasons to eat melons. It also includes botanical information, melon history, and nutrition facts. Lessons include studying nutrition fact labels for different melon varieties, conducting a bug hunt in your school garden, and a melon math activity.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7-MS-LS3-2
    7-MS-LS4-5
    8-MS-LS3-1
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.8,9
    SL.6.1,2,3
    RI.7.1,7,8
    W.7.8,9
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    W.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3

    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom: Melon Meiosis

    Students will read about the discovery of colchicine, which made seedless watermelon possible. Students will use modeling clay and beans to model meiosis and mitosis. Students will design imaginary watermelons and write marketing plans for them. Students will examine the meanings of prefixes in scientific words.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-1,2
    7-MS-LS3-2
    7-MS-LS4-4,5
    8-MS-LS3-1
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.4,7
    SL.6.1,2
    LS.6.4
    RI.7.1,7
    W.7.4,7
    SL.7.1,2
    LS.7.4
    W.8.4,7
    SL.8.1,2
    LS.8.4

    Melon & Watermelon:

    watermelon and cantaloupe illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Watermelon

    This month's Louisiana Harvest of the Month was so loved by American writer, Mark Twain, that he declared, “when you taste it you know what the angels eat,” and it is a heavenly treat on a hot summer day. It’s watermelon! Louisiana is known to grow some of the sweetest varieties of watermelon, so today we are in Washington Parish at Perry Talley’s farm to learn a little bit more about this angelic fruit.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Cantaloupe Brochure

    Brochure containing cantaloupe facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Cantaloupe Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    How to Pick a Ripe Watermelon

    An informative video on how to know when a watermelon is ripe enough to pick. Some of these tips can also be used to pick a ripe watermelon from the store. (2:07)

    Watermelon from Seed: Time-Lapse

    A time-lapse video of a watermelon growing from germination (Day 8) to first true leaves (Day 39). (1:05)

    True Food TV: SEEDLESS Watermelon – You’ll Never Guess How It’s Grown

    If seedless watermelons have no seeds, how exactly are they grown? And what about other seedless fruit? Bananas and seedless grapes — how do they grow? Prepare to have your mind blown. (3:39)

    The Trick to Making the Perfect Sorbet

    This video demonstrates how to use a floating egg to adjust the density of a sorbet solution made with simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water solution) and pureed fruit (6 cups) such as cantaloupe or watermelon. Using the floating egg concept, students can make a sorbet that freezes perfectly: not too hard (not enough sugar) and not too slushy (too much sugar). (3.57)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Watermelon Brochure

    Brochure containing watermelon facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Watermelon Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Melon & Watermelon:

    watermelon and cantaloupe illustration

    Books

    The Melon by Amy Goldman (2019)

    Melons are the vegetable garden's crown jewels--and Amy Goldman's lifelong passion and calling. Her new book, THE MELON, will entice and educate, whether you are a passionate gardener, a locavore, or simply delight in the inherent beauty and evanescence of the fruits of the vine.

    Genetically Modified Foods by Nigel Hawkes (2000)

    Discusses the pros and cons of mass producing modified foods while offering an examination of how these products are made, the specific genes that are altered, and the types of modified food that are in the market today.

  • Radish:

    Radish:

    radish illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Kids Gardening: Vegetable Carving

    Carving vegetables is a great way to promote creativity, hone fine motor skills, and learn about global cultures. It can also be a fun way to get kids interested in trying out new foods, and to create festive decorations. Check out this fun activity and let your students explore different root vegetables through vegetable carving!

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    k-4
    VA-CE-E2
    VA-CE-E4
    VA-AP-E2
    VA-AP-E4
    VA-AP-E6
    VA-HP-E1
    VA-HP-E4
    5-8
    VA-CE-M4
    VA-CE-M5
    VA-AP-M2
    VA-AP-M3
    VA-AP-M6
    VA-HP-M1
    VA-HP-M2
    VA-HP-M4
    VA-HP-M5
    9-12
    VA-CE-H3
    VA-CE-H4
    VA-CE-H5
    VA-AP-H2
    VA-AP-H4
    VA-AP-H6
    VA-HP-H1
    VA-HP-H2
    VA-HP-H4

    PRISM: Seed Germination Experimental Design Challenge

    In this lesson, students will participate in the experiment design-process. The goal of this investigation is for students to design and carry out an experiment on seed germination, analyze their own data, and report their findings. Seeds from leafy-green varieties of plants (or beans as recommended in the lab) are great options. This lab is flexible and student-driven, so the sky is the limit in terms of experimental design and expected level of data analysis/lab report write-up.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-1
    6-MS-LS2-1
    6-MS-LS2-3
    7-MS-LS1-6
    7-MS-LS2-4
    8-MS-LS1-5
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    SL.6.1
    SL.6.4
    SL.7.1
    SL.7.4
    SL.8.1
    SL.8.4

    Food Corps: Rocks to Radishes – Understanding the Food System

    Students will make the connection between their food sources and geology. They will make the connection between the origins of food in nature and understand the important actors and stages involved from seed to fork. Students will develop a concept of what a “food system” is.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS2-3
    7-MS-LS2-4
    8-MS-ESS2-1,2
    8-MS-LS1-5
    SL.6.1
    SL.7.1
    SL.8.1
    SL.8.4

    Center for Ecoliteracy: Raising Radishes

    Students will learn about composting as a way to recycle food waste, and then conduct an experiment with radish seeds to see which type of soil is best for radishes: soil only, compost only, or a mixture of soil and compost. Using composting to lessen the human impact on the environment could be discussed.   Supplemental resource: Comparative Tasting of Fruits and Vegetables — Students taste two or more varieties of a particular kind of fruit or vegetable, develop language to describe its nuances, and learn about its growing requirements and seasonality.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS2-1,2,3
    7-MS-LS1-7
    7-MS-LS2-4&5
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    8-MS-LS1-5
    RI.6.1,7
    WS.6.1,4
    SL.6.1,4
    RI.7.1,7,8
    WS.7.1
    WS.7.4
    SL.7.1,4
    RI.8.1
    WS.8.1
    WS.8.4
    SL.8.1,4

    Radish:

    radish illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Groundwork Harvest of the Month: Rosie the Radish

    In this Groundwork Harvest of the Month video, Rosie the Radish tells of her life.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Radish Brochure

    Brochure containing radish facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Radish Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    How to Grow Radishes – Complete Growing Guide

    This growing guide will demonstrate how to grow radishes from start to finish. (6:37)

    Radish Time-Lapse (68 days)

    This is a time-lapse video of radishes growing. (2:35)

    Center for Ecoliteracy: Nourishing Students: Posters

    Display these posters in kitchens, cafeterias, classrooms, and during after-school programs as a fun and engaging way to promote fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy eating. Nourishing Students: Enrichment Activities for Grades K–5 coordinates with these five posters and makes after-school, out-of-school, and summer programs more memorable. Each poster is designed to print 24" by 36." These posters won the 2018 Graphic Design USA award for Health + Wellness. This set of free, downloadable full-color posters features wildlife animals with the following fruit or vegetable: Radish, Strawberry, Grape, Tomato, Orange.

    Radish:

    radish illustration

    Books

    Runaway Radish by Janice Levy (2008)

    Don Pedro wants to care the best radish sculpture for the Nigh of the Radishes. One radish won't cooperate. Written in a style reminicent of the Gingerbread Man. Based on the annual festival in Oaxaca, Mexico

  • Rice:

    Rice:

    Lessons and Activities

    Focus on the Family: Rice Art Mosaics

    Have you ever seen a mosaic at a museum? Artists take small pieces of broken tile and arrange them to make beautiful designs. With a little imagination, you can create your own mosaics using materials from your kitchen.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    VA-CE-M1
    VA-CE-M3
    VA-CE-M4
    VA-CE-M5
    VA-CE-M6

    Lesson of Our Land: Wild Rice

    Students will identify wild rice as an important historic food source for Ojibwe people, how wild rice was harvested and processed, and the important cultural significance wild rice has for the Ojibwe people.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    WS.6.4
    WS.6.7
    WS.6.8
    SL.6.1
    SL.6.4
    SL.6.5
    LS.6.1
    LS.6.2
    WS.7.4
    WS.7.7
    WS.7.8
    SL.7.1
    SL.7.4
    SL.7.5
    LS.7.1
    LS.7.2
    WS.8.4
    WS.8.7
    WS.8.8
    SL.8.1
    SL.8.4
    SL8.5
    LS.8.1
    LS.8.2

    Nourish: Food Traditions

    This lesson challenges students conduct an interview of another classmate with the goal of learning more about that classmate’s family traditions. Once interviews are completed, groups of students collaborate to create a Venn diagram that compares the food traditions within their groups.   Students can be asked to focus specifically food traditions centered around a specific ingredient, like rice.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    WS.6.4
    SL.6.1
    SL.6.4
    WS.7.4
    SL.7.1
    SL.7.4
    WS.8.4
    SL.8.1
    SL.8.4
    6th Grade
    2-M-1.1
    2-M-1.2
    7th Grade
    2-M-1.2
    8th Grade
    2-M-1.1
    2-M-2.1

    Ag in the Classroom: More Than One Grain of Rice

    Students investigate the cultivation and identify the parts of rice by reading One Grain of Rice by Demi and removing the hull, bran, and germ from grains of rice

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7.RP.2
    8.EE.1
    RS.6.1
    RS.6.2
    WS.6.1
    SL.6.1
    SL.6.4
    RS.7.1
    RS.7.2
    WS.7.1
    SL.7.1
    SL.7.4
    RS.8.1
    RS.8.2
    WS.8.1
    SL.8.1
    SL.8.4
    6.5
    7.5
    8.5

    USA Rice Federation: Think Rice

    Introduce your students to the All-American grain — rice! Students learn how rice growing has contributed to American history since colonial times, and how today’s U.S. rice growers not only help sustain wetland habitats but also help reduce carbon emissions by providing a close-to-home source of good nutrition. Includes a recipe-building activity to reinforce how rice can help families meet the MyPlate guidelines for a balanced diet.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6.NS.B.2 MS-LS1-4,5
    MS-LS2-2,3,4,5
    MS-ESS2-1
    MS-ESS3-3
    RI.6.1,4,5,7 6.1-M-1
    6.3-M-1
    6.5-M-2

    Rice:

    Videos and Other Resources

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Rice

    This month’s Louisiana Harvest of the Month has a long history in Louisiana, although it is not native here. It is actually one of several contributions brought from West Africa to the Southern table. It’s rice! Rice is an essential ingredient in Cajun cuisine, such as gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee, and boudin. Join me, here in Acadia Parish, as we uncover the grains of truth behind this simple, hearty dish.

    MN Ag in the Classroom Harvest of the Month: Wild Rice

    Wild rice is a staple in Minnesota. Watch how the White Earth Reservation in Naytahwuash, Minnesota shows how important wild rice is to the Ojibwe tribe. Logan Cloud shows the process of rice parching and finishing

    Rice- How Does it Grow? (Part one)

    Flooded rice paddies have become a big problem for our planet. Meet a farmer going against the current, growing dryland (or upland) rice in a regenerative, sustainable, small-scale practice.

    How It’s Made: Rice

    Rice is arguably the most popular food on Earth. Here's how they make it on a global scale

    Think Rice: Explore the U.S. Rice Industry

    Visit rice fields & mills to discover the U.S.-grown rice difference in this chef-hosted virtual tour.

    Rice:

    Books

    Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life: A Story of Sustainable Farming by Jan Reynolds (2013)

    With lush photographs and captivating text, Jan Reynolds explores the traditional world of rice farming on the beautiful island of Bali. Readers of all ages will come away with an enhanced awareness of how we farm, eat, and live today, and the effects these practices have on the world of tomorrow.

    Glorious Grasses : The Grains (Plants We Eat) by Meredith Sayles Hughes (1998)

  • Shrimp:

    Shrimp:

    Lessons and Activities

    LUMCON: Biodiversity of Terrebonne Bay

    Explore trawling as a scientific research method and the diversity of demersal and pelagic species of Terrebonne Bay by working with data collected by LUMCON over decades

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    MS-LS2-1
    MS-LS2-2
    MS-LS2-3
    MS-LS2-4
    MS-LS2-5

    LUMCON: What are you tasting?

    In this lesson, students will analyze the impacts that outside environmental factors can impact the taste quality of shrimp. Students will create a hypothesis then test this by collecting and analyzing data.  

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    5-ESS3-1
    6-MS-LS2-1
    7-MS-LS2-4
    8-MS-ESS3-3

    LUMCON: Your Coastal Classroom Activity Book 

    This activity book includes several coloring sheets and activities that deal with the unique ecosystem of Louisiana’s marshes. These items also include the shrimp life cycle information, including how it begins life, moves into estuary out to the Gulf of Mexico. 

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    3-LS2-1
    3-LS1-1
    4-LS1-1
    5-PS3-1
    6-MS-LS2-1
    6-MS-LS2-2
    6-MS-ESS3-4

    Foodspan: Seafood- Wild and Farmed          

    In this lesson, students will discuss different ways that aquatic animals, including shrimp, are harvested and farmed. The lesson will investigate some of the impacts of seafood production on the ecosystem and human consumption. Lastly, students will create ideas on how to make fishing practices more sustainable. 

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-ESS3-4
    7-MS-LS2-4
    8-MS-ESS3-3

    NSTA: How do Shrimp Live in a Closed System?    

    In this lesson, students will determine how matter and energy move throughout an ecosystem. Students will create food webs to represent these energy transfers and create an argument about how shrimp obtain the energy they need to survive. 

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS2-1
    6-MS-LS2-2
    6-MS-LS2-3
    7-MS-LS2-4
    7-MS-LS2-5
    8-MS-ESS3-3

    Education.com: Salinity and Hatching Brine Shrimp Eggs          

    In this lesson, students will examine how water salinity impacts the hatching and development of brine shrimp. Students will determine what other environmental conditions could change the development of brine shrimp.    Salinity and Hatching Brine Shrimp Eggs Lab Page

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    4-LS1-1
    5-ESS2-5
    6-MS-LS2-2

    The Evolution of Shrimping Vessels

    This lesson will explore how shrimping vessels changed over time to meet the needs of shrimping production and how technology played a role in the changes. Throughout this lesson, students will discuss what changes have occurred over time and how these changes have impacted shrimp production. Lastly, students will analyze how these changes have affected the environment and the role they will continue to play.   Additional Materials: https://www.laseagrant.org/education/resources/seafood/shrimping-vessels/

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6.RP.A.3
    7.RP.A.1
    6-MS-ESS3-4
    7-MS-LS2-4
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    W.6.1
    W.7.1
    W.8.1
    SL.6.1
    SL.7.1
    SL.8.1
    6.1.4
    7.1.4
    8.1.2
    8.10.3

    Louisiana Sea Grant: The Life of a Shrimp

    In this lesson, students will examine the life cycle of shrimp to determine how they develop. Students will then analyze how the shrimp fits into the ecosystem and the food web throughout the distinct stages of its life.   Additional Materials: https://www.laseagrant.org/education/resources/seafood/life-of-a-shrimp/

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    MS-ESS3-4
    MS-LS2-4
    MS-ESS3-3
    W.6.1
    W.7.1
    W.8.1
    SL.6.1
    SL.7.1
    SL.8.1
    6.61
    7.5.1
    8.10.3

    Shrimp:

    Videos and Other Resources

    FARMED SHRIMP | How It’s Made

    Ever wondered how farmed shrimp are grown? See the full process right here!

    Behind the Scenes: The Gulf Coast Shrimp Industry

    “Shrimping is a way of life here,” says this third-generation shrimper. Learn more about the Gulf Cost shrimp industry in this behind-the-scenes video.

    PBS NewsHour: Tiger Shrimp Invade Louisiana Waters

    An invasive species known as tiger shrimp have been spotted in the Gulf of Mexico over the last six years. Charlie Whinham talks with shrimpers and researchers about how these huge shrimp could cause big problems for Louisiana's multi-billion dollar industry.

    Shrimp:

    Books

    Three Little Shrimp by J. Steven Spires (2017)

    Dive into crystal blue waters to follow three very curious little shrimp as they explore beneath the surface. Dangers surround them--egrets, red fish, and a loggerhead turtle all love eating shrimp! Even the fisherman's net is out to capture them. When the little shrimp venture out of their troupe they find more than they expected in this entertaining and educational adventure for beginning readers. This updated edition provides beginning readers and teachers up-to-date information on this curious crustacean in "The Amazing Shrimp" page packed with definitions, statistics, and "you won't believe it" facts about shrimp.

    Shrimp For Kids by Rachel Smith (2015)

    This is a nonfiction book that discusses how shrimp act, where they live, the history of shrimp and humans, and more. 

  • Sweet Corn:

    Sweet Corn:

    Lessons and Activities

    Kansas Corn STEM: Corn-ucopia

    Corn is a vital part of the Kansas economy and landscape. Understanding how corn is planted, grown, and harvested helps students comprehend the importance of this crop to the Midwest. As cities have grown, many people move away from an agricultural understanding, even though it is essential to their lives. In this activity, students will learn about the origins and types of corn. They will gain knowledge about its growth and development, where it is grown, and products made from it. Students will also get the chance to apply math concepts, interpret graphs and data, and dissect a corn plant.   Lesson Plan PDF

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    A1: N-Q.1
    A1:N-Q.2
    A1: N-Q.3
    7-MS-LS3-2
    8-MS-LS1-5
    RI.6.1
    RI.6.7
    W.6.2
    SL.6.1
    RI.7.1
    RI.7.7
    W.7.2
    SL.7.1
    RI.8.1
    RI.8. 7
    W.8.2
    SL.8.1

    Kansas Corn STEM: Explore Corn

    Corn is a vital part of the Kansas economy and landscape. Understanding how corn is planted, grown, and harvested helps students comprehend the importance of this crop to the Midwest. As cities grow, many people move away from an agricultural understanding, even though it is essential to their lives. In this activity, students will get a background in the origins of corn, as well as the growth process for a single corn plant. Students will also get the chance to dissect a corn plant.   Lesson Plan PDF

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7-MS-LS3-2
    8-MS-LS1-5
    RI.6.1
    RI.6.7
    W.6.2
    SL.6.1

    RI.7.1
    RI.7.7
    W.7.2
    SL.7.1
    RI.8.1
    RI.8. 7
    W.8.2
    SL.8.1

    IL Corn: Statistics for Field Corn and Sweet Corn

    After the lesson and activity, students will have a better understanding of corn statistics and the production differences between field corn and sweet corn.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6.RP.1
    6.SP.1
    7.RP.2
    RI.6.7
    WS.6.8
    SL.6.4
    WS.7.8
    SL.7.4
    WS.8.8
    SL.8.4

    National Ag in the Classroom: Inherited Traits in the Living Corn Necklace

    Students will observe the growth of Indian corn and popcorn seeds, observe similarities and differences between the two varieties, and discuss heredity. 

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7-MS-LS3-2
    7-MS-LS4-4,5
    8-MS-LS1-4,5
    SL.6.1
    RI.6.7
    W.6.4
    SL.7.1
    W.7.4
    SL.8.1
    W.8.4

    Sweet Corn:

    Videos and Other Resources

    Maryland Farm & Harvest: The Difference Between SWEET Corn & FIELD Corn (4:43)

    Did you know there's a big difference between the corn you eat on the cob and the corn that's made into cornmeal? Al Spoler stops by Hopkins Produce in Havre de Grace and shows us the difference between sweet corn (which you eat fresh, frozen, or canned) and field corn (which is dried out and used for cornmeal and livestock feed.) Dave Hopkins shows Al how to pick sweet corn by hand, and then his wife Michele has a great recipe for fresh corn soup!

    SciShow: The Science of the World’s Most Colorful Corn (6:29)

    Don't be fooled! The yellow or white corn you see in the grocery store is only the tip of the rainbow-colored iceberg of corn coloration. And these more genetically diverse varieties of corn might just save our husks one day.

    TED-Ed: The history of the world according to corn

    Trace the 9,000 year old history of the domestication of corn, or maize, and its effects on global agriculture.

    Corn time lapse – 12 days – Plant time lapse series

    Observe the germination and early growth of corn.

    Fields of Gold: How Sweet Corn Pollination REALLY Works

    Learn about the wild way baby sweet corn grows — with tassels and corn silk, unlike any other plant!

    Three Sisters Legend

    The legend explains the history of this Native American companion planting method.

    Sweet Corn:

    Books

    The Biography of Corn (How Did That Get Here?) by L Michelle Nielsen (2007)

    Maize, or com, was the staple food of many early cultures in South America, Mesoamerica, and the Caribbean. The Biography of Corn will teach young readers how the farming of corn spread to the rest of the world and how corn may be one answer to today's problem of fossil fuel consumption.

  • Snap Beans:

    Snap Beans:

    snap beans illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    PRISM: Seed Germination Experimental Design Challenge

    In this lesson, students will participate in the experiment design-process. The goal of this investigation is for students to design and carry out an experiment on seed germination, analyze their own data, and report their findings. Seeds from leafy-green varieties of plants (or beans as recommended in the lab) are great options. This lab is flexible and student-driven, so the sky is the limit in terms of experimental design and expected level of data analysis/lab report write-up.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-1
    6-MS-LS2-1
    6-MS-LS2-3
    7-MS-LS1-6
    7-MS-LS2-4
    8-MS-LS1-5
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    SL.6.1
    SL.6.4
    SL.7.1
    SL.7.4
    SL.8.1
    SL.8.4

    Kids Gardening: Let There Be Light

    Students will learn about how light is important to plants, and how both quality and quantity of light affect plant growth. Students will also design and conduct experiments using grow lights to demonstrate the impact of variations in light on plant growth. From this they will draw conclusions about the best and most efficient source of light for plants.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6.SP.1,2,3 6-MS-LS2-1
    7-MS-LS1-6
    7-MS-LS2-4
    SL.6.1
    SL.6.4
    SL.7.1
    SL.7.4
    SL.8.1
    SL.8.4
    WS.6.8
    WS.6.9
    W.7.7
    W.7.8
    W.7.9
    W.8.8
    W.8.9

    California Harvest of the Month: Green Beans

    This Harvest of the Month newsletter has activities that give students the opportunity to explore, taste, and reasons to eat green (snap) beans. It also includes information on its origins and how it grows. Lessons and activities include a school garden experiment, taste testing activity, and a cafeteria contest.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-ESS3-4
    6-MS-LS2-1&3
    7-MS-LS1-6
    8-MS-LS1-4&5
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.7,8,9
    SL.6.1,2
    RI.7.1
    W.7.7,8,9
    SL.7.1,2
    RI.8.1
    W.8.7,8,9
    SL.8.1,2
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Florida Harvest of the Month: Snap Beans

    A collection of snap bean facts, recipes, and lessons. Students will calculate the number of snap beans lined end-to-end it would take to circle the state of Florida. Students will complete a lab to determine which variables have the strongest effect on seed germination-light, temperature, moisture and/or medium of germination. This classroom guide also includes a classroom recipe for Fresh Green Beans with Garden Dill Dip.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-ESS3-4
    6-MS-LS2-1&3
    7-MS-LS1-6
    8-MS-LS1-4&5
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.7,8,9
    SL.6.1,2
    RI.7.1
    W.7.7,8,9
    SL.7.1,2
    RI.8.1
    W.8.7,8,9
    SL.8.1,2
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Snap Beans:

    snap beans illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Growing Beans from Sowing to Harvest

    This short video shares tips from the pros to help you grow a bountiful crop of beans this summer.

    Beans time lapse – 53 days

    Observe the growth of a bean plant over 53 days

    Three Sisters Legend

    The legend explains the history of this Native American companion planting method.

    Green Beans – Growing Step by Step [How To Do It]

    A step-by-step video on growing and harvesting green beans. (5:40)

    Green Bean Time-Lapse

    This is a time-lapse video of green beans growing in a hydroponics system. (7:21)

  • Squash:

    Squash:

    yellow squash illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    National Ag in the Classroom: The Geography of Thanksgiving Dinner

    In this lesson students will identify common Thanksgiving foods and their farm sources. Then they will determine if those foods can be produced locally, and locate the common origins of their Thanksgiving dinner.     The Geography of Thanksgiving Dinner PDF

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-ESS3-4
    6-MS-LS2-1,
    W.6.7
    W.6.8
    SL.6.1
    SL.6.4
    SL.6.5
    W.7.7
    W.7.8
    SL.7.4
    SL.7.5
    SL.7.1
    SL.8.1
    W.8.7
    W.8.8
    SL.8.4
    SL.8.5
    6.1
    6.4
    7.10.i
    8.1
    8.8.a
    8.12.c
    6th
    2-M-1.1
    7th
    2.M-1.2
    8th
    2-M-1.1

    California Harvest of the Month: Winter Squash

    This Harvest of the Month newsletter has activities that give students the opportunity to explore, taste, and learn about the importance of eating winter squash. It includes a garden activity to help students learn the plant parts we eat, plus a cafeteria activity to help students taste and learn about different winter squash varieties.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-ESS3-4
    6-MS-LS2-1&3
    7-MS-LS1-6
    8-MS-LS1-4&5
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.7, 8,9
    SL.6.1,2
    RI.7.1
    W.7.7, 8,9
    SL.7.1,2
    RI.8.1
    W.8.7, 8,9
    SL.8.1,2

    Kids Gardening: Imperfect Flowers

    In this lesson, students will explore plants that have imperfect flowers and learn how this characteristic can help ensure their survival. Students will learn that plants with imperfect flowers have two types of flowers: some contain male structures producing pollen and others contain female structures producing eggs and seeds. They will also learn that cross-pollination supports genetic diversity, and genetic diversity supports the survival of a species.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS2-2
    7-MS-LS3-2
    8-MS-LS1-4
    8-MS-LS1-5

    RI.6.7
    WS.6.1
    SL.6.1,2,4,5
    RI.7.1,7,8
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3

    Squash:

    yellow squash illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Winter Squash

    This month’s Louisiana Harvest of the Month was so vital to the early settlers of our country, that they may not have survived without it during those harsh New England winters. Today they are every part of our autumn celebrations. It’s winter squash! The indigenous people of that time taught us all that we know and love about pumpkins, squash and gourds. This is Chenier Farms, where they’re going squash our curiosity on how this crop is grown, harvested, and prepared into a cornucopia of treats!

    Growing Zucchini At Home In A Container – Large, Long Fruit – 1 To 72 Day Diary

    This video diary shows the process of growing zucchini is buckets from germination to fruiting.

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Summer Squash

    This month’s Louisiana Harvest of the Month comes in all sorts of beautiful sizes and colors and its name celebrates, probably your favorite season. It’s summer squash! There are some many interesting things to know about this amazing group of vegetables. Let’s head out to the farm to find out more!

    Three Sisters Legend

    The legend explains the history of this Native American companion planting method.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Winter Squash Brochure

    Brochure containing winter squash facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Winter Squash Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Summer Squash Brochure

    Brochure containing summer squash facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Summer Squash Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    True Food TV: Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie – The ORIGINAL Recipe (“Pie in a Pumpkin”)

    For the first American Thanksgiving, the pilgrims made pumpkin pie — only it didn't look anything like the pumpkin pie we eat today. The original, colonial recipe is surprisingly delicious — and gorgeous! And should be called "pie in a pumpkin." (1:17)

    True Food TV: Pumpkin | How Does It Grow?

    You’ve been duped: that “pumpkin” puree in the can isn’t pumpkin at all — at least not the kind you think! This video discusses the history and facts about pumpkins. Be sure to watch the video below on the real pumpkin pie from the first Thanksgiving and try it out! (3:56)

    Pumpkin Growth Time-Lapse

    Time-lapse video showing pumpkin growth from seed to mature fruit – 108 days and nights. (4:26)

    The Rusted Garden: Identifying Male and Female Squash Flowers & How to Hand Pollinate

    There are male and female squash, zucchini, and cucumber flowers. The female flowers have little baby squash on them, but if the flower doesn't get pollinated the squash will grow a bit and die off. Sad. Here is a basic introduction to male and female squash flowers and hand pollination. (2:38)

    How Summer Squash Grow

    Video showing the development of zucchini squash from immature fruit with flower to mature fruit on the plant. (1:26)

    Summer Squash Growing Time-Lapse

    Time-lapse video showing growth of summer squash from germination to flowering to fruit. (0:47)

  • Strawberries:

    Strawberries:

    strawberry illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Ag in the Classroom- DNA: Expressions in Agriculture

    This lesson centers around the activity of extracting DNA from a strawberry while highlighting careers in biotechnology and agriculture.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    RI.6.1
    RI.6.7
    W.6. 4
    W.6.7
    W.6.8
    RI.7.1
    W.7.4
    W.7.7
    W.7.8
    RI.8.1
    W.8.4
    W.8.7
    W.8.8

    Center for Ecoliteracy: Strawberry No-Crush Challenge

    In this lesson, students will compare fresh and thawed frozen strawberries, and then design a way to transport fresh strawberries without crushing them. You may conduct this lesson anytime you can get fresh, ripe strawberries from your school garden, local market, or farmers market.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-PS2-1,2
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    RS.LSTS. 6-8.1, 9
    WS. HST.6-8.2
    W.6.4
    SL.6.1
    W.7. 4
    SL.7.1
    W.8. 4
    SL.8.1
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Strawberries:

    strawberry illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    The Unbelievable History of Strawberries

    Take a look at the unbelievable story behind one of the world's favorite fruits - The strawberry.

    Strawberry growing from Seed to Fruit (90 Days Time-Lapse)

    Enjoy this Wild Strawberry plant growing from seed to fruit in 90 Days.

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Strawberries

    This month’s Louisiana Harvest of the Month is grown in every U.S. state and every Canadian providence. It became the official Louisiana state fruit in 1980 and it’s celebrated each year at its very own festival in Ponchatoula. It’s strawberries! Join me and let’s learn a little more about what makes this fruit the berry best!

    Real Food TV: Strawberry Grilled Cheese Sandwich

    Adding fruit to your grilled cheese will take it to a whole new level. Try out this recipe. (0:58)

    Real Food TV: Why Are Strawberry Seeds on the Outside?

    Most fruits have seeds buried deep inside the fleshy part we eat. So why are strawberries so different? Watch this short video to find out. (0:45)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Strawberry Brochure

    Brochure containing strawberry facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Strawberry Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    Center for Ecoliteracy: Nourishing Students: Posters

    Display these posters in kitchens, cafeterias, classrooms, and during after-school programs as a fun and engaging way to promote fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy eating. Nourishing Students: Enrichment Activities for Grades K–5 coordinates with these five posters and makes after-school, out-of-school, and summer programs more memorable. Each poster is designed to print 24" by 36." These posters won the 2018 Graphic Design USA award for Health + Wellness. This set of free, downloadable full-color posters features wildlife animals with the following fruit or vegetable: Radish, Strawberry, Grape, Tomato, Orange.

  • Sweet Peppers:

    Sweet Peppers:

    red bell pepper illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Kids Gardening: Vegetable Carving

    Carving vegetables is a great way to promote creativity, hone fine motor skills, and learn about global cultures. It can also be a fun way to get kids interested in trying out new foods, and to create festive decorations. Check out this fun activity and let your students explore different root vegetables through vegetable carving!

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    k-4
    VA-CE-E2
    VA-CE-E4
    VA-AP-E2
    VA-AP-E4
    VA-AP-E6
    VA-HP-E1
    VA-HP-E4
    5-8
    VA-CE-M4
    VA-CE-M5
    VA-AP-M2
    VA-AP-M3
    VA-AP-M6
    VA-HP-M1
    VA-HP-M2
    VA-HP-M4
    VA-HP-M5
    9-12
    VA-CE-H3
    VA-CE-H4
    VA-CE-H5
    VA-AP-H2
    VA-AP-H4
    VA-AP-H6
    VA-HP-H1
    VA-HP-H2
    VA-HP-H4

    Florida Harvest of the Month: Bell Pepper

    A collection of bell pepper facts, recipes, and lessons. Students will learn the anatomy of a pepper flower and fruit. Create a "Plant Breeding Lab" in your classroom and have students design a new pepper cultivar and create a presentation to promote their new super pepper plant to growers. A Weather STEM activity is also included for students to learn about how precipitation affects crop production. This classroom guide includes a classroom recipe for a Food Art Octopus.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7-MS-LS3-2
    7-MS-LS4-4
    7-MS-ESS2-5,6
    8-MS-LS1-4,5
    RI.6.1,7
    SL.6.1,2,3
    RI.7.1,7,8
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    Sweet Peppers:

    red bell pepper illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Growing Sweet Bell Pepper Plant From Seed To Fruit (118 Days Time Lapse)

    Time lapse of growing sweet red bell pepper from seed to harvest over 118 days.

    The Sophisticated Glasshouse Enterprise Growing Capsicums in Warkworth

    Southern Paprika is New Zealand’s largest single site glasshouse grower of capsicums. Founders Hamish and Robin Alexander originally built a one hectare glasshouse at Point Wells back in 1998. Over the years, additional glasshouses have been added, and Southern Paprika now have 26 hectares of state of the art glasshouses, producing almost 7 million kilograms of capsicums per year.

    True Food TV: Bell Peppers | How Does It Grow?

    Very informative video on how bell peppers are grown commercially. (6:05)

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Bell Pepper Brochure

    Brochure containing bell pepper facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Bell Pepper Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

  • Sweet Potatoes:

    Sweet Potatoes:

    Lessons and Activities

    North Carolina Ag in the Classroom: The Science of Growing NC Sweetpotatoes

    Students will identify scientifically relatable content to the process of planting, transplanting, growing, cultivating, and harvesting sweet potatoes. Students will examine how abiotic and biotic factors, photosynthesis, soil, and fertilizer affect sweet potato production

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS1-1
    6-MS-LS1-2
    6-MS-LS2-1
    6-MS-LS2-3
    7-MS-LS1-3
    7-MS-LS1-6
    7-MS-LS1-7
    7-MS-LS2-4
    8-MS-ESS3-1
    8-MS-ESS3-3

    North Carolina Ag in the Classroom: The Journey of NC Sweetpotatoes after Harvest

    Students will explore the importance of the curing process and the special equipment needed to process sweet potatoes once they’ve been harvested.  Learners will also observe the physical transformation that occurs when sweet potatoes are cooked and then add in extra ingredients to make a tasty, seasonal treat with this nutritious power-house!

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MA-PS4-2
    7-MS-PS1-4
    7-MS-PS3-4
    W.6.2
    W.6.7
    W.7.2
    W.7.7
    W.8.2
    W.8.7
    6th
    1-M-1.3
    7th
    5-M.2.1
    8th
    1-M-1.3

    Sweet Potatoes:

    Videos and Other Resources

    The Unbelievable History of Sweet Potatoes

    Take a look at the history of sweet potatoes, from their earliest origins, to the oceans they traversed in pre-history, to their spread to the plates of the upper classes of Europe, all the way to the modern day

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Sweet Potatoes

    This month’s Louisiana Harvest of the Month was grown by our nation’s first president, George Washington. It’s a root but its leaves are also edible. Have you guessed it? It’s sweet potatoes! Now let’s learn a little bit more about the sweet potato, a vegetable with a history as colorful as its bright orange flesh.

    P. Allen Smith – How to Harvest Sweet Potatoes

    Harvesting and storing sweet potatoes. (3:15)

    Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

    Harvesting Japanese sweet potatoes in a small backyard plot. (4:04)

    Making It Grow – Sweet Potato Harvesting

    Sweet potatoes planting slips to harvesting on a large farm scale. (5:43)

    Sweet Potatoes:

    Books

    Buried Treasure : Roots & Tubers (Plants We Eat) by Meredith Sayles Hughes (1998)

    Explores topics ranging from where the plants originated; how they were first cultivated; how they're currently grown, processed, and sold; to how they're eaten around the world and what their scientific applications are. Each book includes cross-sectional diagrams of the focus plants, literary quotes, nutritional information, sidebars, recipes, and activities.

  • Tomatoes:

    Tomatoes:

    tomato illustration

    Lessons and Activities

    Northwest Educational Services: The Life of a Tomato

    Students will learn the difference between a local and non-local food system by tracing the energy it takes to get a tomato to a consumer in during different times during the year.  Students model the supply chain in multiple scenarios and then discuss the food systems modeled in each situation.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    W.6.4
    SL.6.1
    SL.6.4
    W.7.4
    SL.7.1
    SL.7.4
    W.8.4
    SL.8.1
    SL.8.4

    Edible Schoolyard NYC: A Tale of Two Pizzas and Pizza Museum

    This includes two lessons on pizza!     A Tale of Two Pizzas (December): Students compare the seed-to-table stories of an industrially produced pizza and one grown and made locally, noting the health and environmental impacts of each.     Pizza Museum (February): Students explore a pizza museum that has been set-up in their classrooms, learning about the history and geography of pizza.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-ESS3-4
    6-MS-LS2-1
    7-MS-LS2-5
    8-MS-ESS3-3
    8-MS-LS1-4&5
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.8,9
    SL.6.1,4
    RI.7.1,7,8
    W.7.8,9
    SL.7.1,4
    RI.8.1
    W.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,4

    Edible Schoolyard: Seed Sleuth

    In this activity, students will observe and compare seeds to match which vegetables are related to each other. Using the Seed Sleuth Chart, ask students to observe the size, shape, and color of the seeds to classify the vegetable into its plant family. For example, when comparing pepper, tomato, and eggplant seeds, students realize that they are very similar and that these vegetables belong to the same plant family. To take this lesson further, students can research plant families. Finally, students can expand their vocabulary through this activity, learning the definition of “sleuth” and “taxonomy.”     Seed Sleuths Powerpoint Slides

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    7-MS-LS3-2
    8-MS-LS1-4
    8-MS-LS1-5
    WS.6.1
    SL.6. 1
    SL.6.4
    WS.7. 1
    SL.7.1
    SL-.7.4
    WS.8.1
    SL.8.1
    WS8.1
    WS. 8.4

    Tomatoes:

    tomato illustration

    Videos and Other Resources

    Growing TOMATO Plant From Tomato Slice TIME LAPSE – 120 Days

    Observe a tomato plant grow and produce its own fruit through this time lapse.

    Vermont Harvest of the Month: Tomatoes

    This set of activities are a great way to explore tomatoes with learners, big and small!

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month Video Series: Tomatoes

    This month’s Louisiana Harvest of the Month was legally designated as a vegetable over a 100 years ago in the United States; although, it is botanically classified as a fruit. Now it is the third most popular vegetable in the United States. It’s tomatoes! No matter how you slice it, the tomato is a delicious treat and so much fun to grow!

    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Tomato Brochure

    Brochure containing tomato facts and recipes. Scroll to the bottom of the "Tomato Nutrition" paragraph to download the flyer.

    True Food TV: How to Grow Tomatoes That Taste Amazing!

    Pruning. Trellising. Sucker removal. Pest management...all the things you need to know to grow successful tomato plants. (9:31)

    True Food TV: Heirloom Tomato | How Does It Grow?

    Heirloom tomatoes are SCIENTIFICALLY sweeter than the round red ones that dominate our supermarkets. So why don't we see more heirlooms? Because they are insanely difficult to grow — and sell! Very informative video on how heirloom tomatoes are grown. (11:10)

    True Food TV: Tomato | How Does It Grow?

    Tomato farming is NOT what you think it is! Meet the farmers behind your pasta sauce, who grow and harvest plum-style processing tomatoes — the source of more vitamins than any other fruit or vegetable consumed in the U.S. The history of the tomato is interwoven into a virtual field trip to a commercial tomato farm. (11:02)

    Center for Ecoliteracy: Nourishing Students: Posters

    Display these posters in kitchens, cafeterias, classrooms, and during after-school programs as a fun and engaging way to promote fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy eating. Nourishing Students: Enrichment Activities for Grades K–5 coordinates with these five posters and makes after-school, out-of-school, and summer programs more memorable. Each poster is designed to print 24" by 36." These posters won the 2018 Graphic Design USA award for Health + Wellness. This set of free, downloadable full-color posters features wildlife animals with the following fruit or vegetable: Radish, Strawberry, Grape, Tomato, Orange.

  • General Lessons & Activities:

    General Lessons & Activities:

    Lessons and Activities

    California Academy of Sciences: Flowers Seeking Pollinators

    In this activity, students learn about plant reproduction and use real data to construct explanations about which flowers are the most attractive to different pollinators.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    3-LS1-1
    4-LS1-1
    MS-LS1-4
    SL-K-1
    SL-1-1
    SL-2-1
    SL-3-1
    SL-4-1
    SL-5-1
    SL-6-1
    SL-7-1
    SL-8-1

    Ag in the CLassroom: Understanding My Plate

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

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6.RP.2 SL.6.1-6
    SL.7.1-6
    SL.8.1-6
    8th grade
    1-M-4.4

    Kids Gardening: Object-Based Storytelling in the Garden

    Objects evoke memories, emotions, and ideas and can be used as inspiration to express our thoughts and feelings. In this lesson, young gardeners use objects they find in the garden or in a natural space to help them create a story that shares a lived experience.   Consider having students create a gallery walk within the school that showcases the objects and the writing those objects helped to inspire!

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    W.6.3
    W.6.4
    L.6.1
    L.6.2
    W.7.3
    W.7.4
    L.7.1
    L.7.2
    W.8.3
    W.8.4
    L.8.1
    L.8.2

    Seeds to Success: Keep or Go

    Students as the wildlife managers for their school. Due to recent student complaints, the school board has asked the wildlife management to determine if the "pest" in question is actually a pest at all. Through research, students must create an educational pamphlet for the board and weigh in on whether or not the insect should be kept or be removed from campus.   This lesson is intended to be used after completing the Bug Census, but can be done on its own. Teachers will need to identify potential insects in the garden so that they can be used as focus organisms for groups.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS2-1
    6-MS-LS2-2
    6-MS-LS2-3
    7-MS-LS2-4
    7-MS-LS2-5
    8-MS-LS1-4
    8-MS-LS1-5
    RI.6.7
    W.6.1
    W.6.2
    W.6.4
    W.6.7
    SL.6.4
    W.7.1
    W.7.2
    W.7.4
    W.7.7
    SL.7.4
    W.8.1
    W.8.2
    W.8.4
    W.8.7
    SL.8.4

    The Garden Classroom: Bug Census

    In this activity, based upon the Bug Census activity outlined in The Garden Classroom, students survey specific areas in the school garden or other outdoor areas. Groups of students record and count the insect biodiversity in the area and then report their findings back to the class.   The class is challenged to use their data to generate tally charts, bar graphs, and a food web illustrating the relationships between the various insects observed in the garden. A follow-up activity that may be done after Bug Census is Keep or Go.   Student Page   Data Charts

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    6-MS-LS2-1
    6-MS-LS2-2
    6-MS-LS2-3
    7-MS-LS2-4
    7-MS-LS2-5
    8-MS-LS1-4
    8-MS-LS1-5
    SL.6.1
    SL.6.4
    SL.7.1
    SL.7.4
    SL.8.1
    SL.8.4

    Seeds to Success: Scribble Stones

    Students plan, design, and contribute word rocks to the school rock garden. This very adaptable activity can be adjusted and used across all grade levels and subjects!

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    L.K.1
    L.K.2
    L.1.1
    L.1.2
    L.2.1
    L.2.2

    L.3.1
    L.3.2
    L.4.1
    L.4.2
    L.5.1
    L.5.2

    L.6.1
    L.6.2
    L.7.1
    L.7.2
    L.8.1
    L.8.2

    L.9-10.1
    L.9-10.2
    L.11-12.1
    L.11-12.2
    VA-CE-E1
    VA-CE-E2
    VA-CE-E4
    VA-CE-E6
    VA-AP-E6

    VA-CE-M2
    VA-CE-M5
    VA-CE-M6
    VA-AP-M6

    VA-CE-H2
    VA-CE-H5
    VA-CE-H6
    VA-AP-H6

    Seeds to Success: Ripe for the Searching

    Louisiana Harvest of the Month word search. Use the word bank to find the hidden names of the harvest of the month items. Words can be going horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

    Sixth Grade: Edible Schoolyard NYC

    A full unit of lessons centered around seed-to-table pizza. These documents include seven to thirteen lesson plans per grade — that’s approximately one lesson per month of the school year. Most lessons are written to take place over two consecutive days in 50-minute sessions, with roughly equal time given to academic inquiry and hands-on learning.  

    The Summer Garden (September): Students orient themselves in the garden using a map, noting how the garden has changed since they left it in the spring and learning about what vegetables are in season in late summer.  

    Soil is Where Food Begins (October): Students study how soil is created from a combination of organic and inorganic material and begin the long process of making their own soil—which will be used to grow their pizza ingredients—through a “lasagna bed” (layers of cardboard, compost and straw).  

    A Tale of Two Pizzas (December): Students compare the seed-to-table stories of an industrially produced pizza and one grown and made locally, noting the health and environmental impacts of each.  

    Spring Vegetables and Herbs (January, lesson 1): Students study the foods they can grow and harvest in their garden in the spring. They examine and select some of the seasonably possible herbs for their pizza toppings.  

    Choosing our Spring Vegetables (January, lesson 2): Students continue their study of seasonality, this time focusing on and selecting the spring vegetables that they can grow for their pizza toppings.  

    Pizza Museum (February, lesson 1): Students explore a pizza museum that has been set-up in their classrooms, learning about the history and geography of pizza.  

    Spring Kale Pesto (February, lesson 2): Students learn that pesto is a sauce made from whatever herbs or greens are available, and they make a seasonal version with kale, to be used on their pizzas.

    American Farm Bureau: When I Grow Up: Discovering Ag Careers

    There is a growing demand for recent college graduates entering the workforce in the agricultural sector. The resources in this kit are based on nine agriculture career focus areas:

    1. Agribusiness Systems
    2. Agricultural Education
    3. Animal Systems
    4. Biotechnology Systems
    5. Environmental Service Systems
    6. Food Products & Processing Systems
    7. Natural Resources Systems
    8. Plant Systems
    9. Power, Structural, & Technical Systems
      Each area includes:
    • One lesson that introduces students to the career focus area and associated career opportunities
    • Three standards-based, interdisciplinary supplemental activities that each feature a different career from that area
    • One take-home activity sheet that introduces students to another career from that area through a fun, engaging activity.
      The resources are designed to focus on one career focus area each month during the school year. If you choose to follow this structure, we recommend having a weekly career day. The main lesson is presented the first week of the month, followed by the three supplemental activities. This is a free full-color downloadable curriculum.

    Drexel University: Go for the Green!

    In this lesson students will describe the importance of vegetables in their diet and their relationship to health. Then, they will prepare and taste a healthy snack.

    Louisiana Student Standards
    Math Science English
    Language Arts
    Social Studies Health Art
    RI.6.1,7
    W.6.8,9
    SL.6.1,2,3
    RI.7.1,7,8
    W.7.8,9
    SL.7.1,2,3
    RI.8.8,9
    WS.8.8,9
    SL.8.1,2,3
    8th
    1-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    3-M-1.1, 1.3, 1.4
    7th
    6-M-1.1, 1.2, 1.3
    7-M-1.1, 1.2

    General Lessons & Activities:

    Videos and Other Resources

    KidsGardening: Pollinator Pals Activity Book

    Meet a pollinator! Pollinators are animals that help many flowering plants produce their seeds. Their important work helps support the continued existence of millions of plant species, and in turn, most animal species, including humans.   Download this FREE 39-page activity book now to explore twelve pollinators, including swallowtail butterflies, lesser long-nose bats, bumblebees, chocolate midges, mason bees, sphinx moths, yucca moths, flying fox bats, honeybees, hummingbirds, hoverflies, and monarch butterflies!

    Green Mountain Farm to School: Cooking with Kids

    Welcome to Green Mountain Farm to School’s Cooking with Kids Guide. We believe that cooking with students is a valuable learning opportunity, but we know it may be difficult to know how to start. After years of visiting schools to lead hands-on cooking and nutrition activities with children, we’ve developed a list of best practices and resources to help others bring the excitement of cooking to their classroom. Through planning and preparation, these cooking activities can become a highly-anticipated part of your curriculum. Use our safety tips, suggested recipes, and guidelines to bring cooking and nutrition education to your site.

    National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes

    Spielmaker, D. M., & Leising, J. G. (2013). National agricultural literacy outcomes. Logan, UT: Utah State University, School of Applied Sciences & Technology. Retrieved from agclassroom.org/teacher/matrix. This free downloadable document outlines benchmarks related to agricultural literacy and academic achievement.

    General Lessons & Activities:

    Books

    The Nitty-Gritty Gardening Book by Kari A. Cornell (2015)

    Grow your own fruits, vegetables, and flowers! Become a gardener in any season with these fun and easy projects. Colorful photographs and simple step-by-step drawings make each project easy to follow for gardening success. Ready to get your hands dirty and your garden growing?

    You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Vegetables! By Alex Woolf (2016)

    Vegetables provide us with essential vitamins and minerals that make our bodies healthier and stop us from getting sick. When someone mentions spinach, broccoli or kale, do you think YUCK? Why do we need these foods and what would the world be like without them?  Learn how vegetables are grown and cultivated, and the often-inspired innovations made with such humble foodstuffs as the potato and the carrot.

    Potatoes on Rooftops: Farming in the City by Hadley Dyer (2012)

    From high school students to high-rise dwellers, people are discovering innovative ways to grow fresh, healthy, and delicious fruit and vegetables at home, in community gardens, and at school. This brisk, informative overview explains how farming in the city is not only fun, but also important for the planet.

    The Little Gardener: Helping Children Connect with the Natural World by Julie Cerny (2020)

    The Little Gardener is an engaging illustrated guide for parents, grandparents, caregivers, and educators who want to help children explore the natural world through gardening. Part how–to, part teaching tool, and part inspiration, The Little Gardener is a thoughtful combination of detailed instructions, tips, anecdotes, and seasonal activities designed to connect gardeners to natural systems.

    Composting: Nature’s Recyclers by Robin Koontz (2006)

    Dead leaves, food scraps, and grass clippings for lunch? Small animals, fungi, and bacteria called decomposers turn trash into a tasty compost treat. Learn more about compost and how you can use it in your garden or yard.

    Down To Earth: How Kids Help Feed the World by Nikki Tate (2013)

    From a balcony garden with pots of lettuce to a farm with hundreds of cows, kids can pitch in to bring the best and freshest products to their families' tables―and to market. Loaded with accessible information about the many facets of farming, Down to Earth takes a close look at everything from what an egg carton tells you to why genetic diversity matters―even to kids.

    Math in the garden: Hands-on Activities that Bring Math to Life (2006)

    Thirty-six standards-based lessons on math in the garden for ages 5-13. Through experiential learning activities, this book fosters growth in elementary and middle school-aged children.

    The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun (2012)

    The book features simple, practical gardening advice, including how to design a play-friendly garden, ideas for fun-filled theme gardens, and how to cook and preserve the garden's bounty.

    Keeping a Nature Journal (2003)

    Keeping a Nature Journal is full of engaging exercises and stimulating prompts that will help you hone your powers of observation and appreciate new aspects of nature’s endlessly varied beauty.

    Outdoor Science Lab (2016)

    52 family-friendly physics, chemistry, and biology labs designed to get you outside.

    Square Foot Gardening with Kids (2014)

    The easy geometry of the gridded box breaks the complex world of gardening into digestible bites for enthusiastic young learners, and the sequence of tasks required to grow plants from seeds is repeatable and reassuring.

    Worms Eat Our Garbage: Classroom Activities for a Better Environment (2003)

    This book presents 150 worm-related classroom or home activities to help children in grades 4-8 develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Centered around a classroom worm bin, activities integrate science, mathematics, language arts, biology, solid waste issues, ecology, and the environment.

    How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers (2010)

    It's all here: developing the concept, planning, fund-raising, organizing, designing the space, preparing the site, working with parents and schools, teaching in the garden, planting, harvesting, and even cooking, with kid-friendly recipes and year-round activities.

    Project Garden: A Month-by-Month Guide to Planting, Growing, and Enjoying ALL Your Backyard Has to Offer (2012)

    Ideas to explore, innovate, and cultivate through simple projects that will get a garden growing at any time of year.

    The Louisiana Urban Gardener: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Vegetables and Herbs (2017)

    This book offers easy guidelines and useful tools to jump-start and maintain small yet bountiful gardens.