"Where In The World Does My Food Come From?"

By Kortni Nelson

The students will discover that food comes from around the world while discussing the terms import and export.
The students will use their writing skills, with a parent's help, to write what places their dinner came from.
The students will become familiar with the globe and maps as they discuss the location of the place where their food came from.

Book: Foods From Friends and Neighbors, by Paul Humphrey, homework sheet, chart paper, marker, globe, maps of various countries, post-it notes

1. Read the book, Foods From Friends and Neighbors, by Paul Humphrey. Discuss the concept that food comes from different places. The book highlights a few foods and gives the names of their origin. Point out these places on a globe. Discuss the places in relation to where you live.
2. Send home the homework sheet that night after you have read this story. Give the students enough time so that every child has the opportunity to do this activity with a parent. If a parent or time at home is not available, take time during lunch or snack to help the child fill the paper out.

1. Instruct the children to bring their homework sheet with them as they gather in front of you in a circle. Guide a discussion on their findings. Toss a bean bag to a child and have the child share some of the interesting places that they found their food from. Point these out on the globe or an enlarged map. Mark the places they found food with post-its with the child's name on it. Then have the child toss the bean bag to someone else that has the same letter at the beginning of their name. If no one has the same starting letter, the child can choose a new letter.
2. After each child has been given the chance to share, point out how many different places on the globe that the United States imports food. Discuss this idea with leading questions for example, "Do you think these locations get any food from the United States?", or "Why don't we grow our own food here instead of getting it from these locations?".

Gather the homework sheets and check to see how in depth each child went into the assignment. Also observe the learning during the bean bag toss game. If a child needs to discover some more learning, hold an individual conference.

More developmental ideas!!

The students can participate in a food drive.

The children bring in canned food to donate to disaster victims or a country in need. The students can use their writing skills to write letters to send with their donation. The class can also use this as a math activity to calculate how many cans they collect. Also, teach the children about where their food is going, why the people in that location need it, and how it feels to help someone else.

Go on a field trip.

Take the children to a farm, grocery store, and restaurant. Discuss the concepts of how food is grown, how it gets to the grocery store and restaurant. Have the children use their writing skills to create thank-you notes to the people who help them at these locations.

Read more books.

Bring in various canned and boxed foods for the students to examine.

Point out the nutritional information on the labels. Ask the students to choose a kind of food that they like. Ask them to design a new label for the can or box. (Read All About It-Social Studies Teacher's Guide, Level B, Steck-Vaughn)