1 A RIF GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY COORDINATORS Before reading: Ask children what they had for lunch. After they respond, ask them to tell you where that food came from. If they answer from the grocery store, ask where the store got it. Can anyone tell you? Explain that this book is about how food gets from the farm to the lunchbox. RELATED ACTIVITIES FAVORITE FRUIT FINDINGS (AGES 5-12) Materials: paper plate; paper; pencil; bite-sized pieces of apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, strawberries Find out the group s favorite fruits by having a taste test. First make sure there are no food allergies. Then let each child taste the five fruits and rank them in order of preference. Compile the data in a class chart. Which fruit did the children like most? Least? For older children, find the average ranking of each fruit. BUTTER IT UP! (AGES 5-12) Ingredients: heavy cream, clean marble, small baby food jar, salt, crackers Where does butter come from? Cream, of course! To make your own butter, fill the jar about 3/4 full of cream. Drop in the marble and a tiny bit of salt. Close the lid tightly and begin to shake. Have the group take turns shaking until cream begins to solidify (this may take some time). When finished, drain off the excess liquid and spread the butter on crackers. NUTRITIONAL NAMES (AGES 8-12) Materials: markers, crayons, paper Have children think about foods that could represent the letters in their names. List them out. For each food, draw an illustration. Example: LISA might look like: TECHNOLOGY LINK Visit urbanext.illinois.edu/food/ for an interactive presentation on global food origins. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES OTHER BOOKS ABOUT AGRICULTURE Where Food Comes From, Ronne Randall (2009), Our Farm: Four Seasons with Five Kids on One Family s Farm, Michael J. Rosen (2008), All in Just One Cookie, Susan E. Goodman (2006). TECHNOLOGY LINK FOR KIDS
2 A RIF GUIDE FOR EDUCATORS Content Connections: Social Studies, Science BEFORE WE READ, LET S LOOK AT... The Cover: Based on the title and cover illustrations, what do your students think this book will be about? Go through the different pictures on the cover and have your students explain what each one shows. The Pictures: Flip briefly through the book. Based on the pictures, have your students guess if this book is fiction or non-fiction? Prior Knowledge: Find out how familiar students are with the word agriculture. What do they think it means? What does agriculture include? Vocabulary: combine, orchard, milling, sorters, groves Purpose for Reading: As we read, think about each item. Use your sequencing skills to keep track of how all the food gets to the lunchbox. WHILE WE READ MONITORING COMPREHENSION How many different experts does it take to make bread? Have you ever heard of curds and whey? Where? Which food takes the longest to prepare? What do all of these foods have in common? Does the author mention your favorite food? LET S THINK ABOUT Our Purpose: Pick a few of the items and have students take you through the farm-to-lunchbox process. Write the steps on the board in a flowchart or sequential list. Extending Our Thinking: Ask these open-ended questions: What did you notice about the fruits and vegetables? How have machines changed what we eat? What do you think a lunchbox from 100 years ago would have looked like? Why? NOTE TO EDUCATORS Extension Activities for Educators also available. Vocabulary Scaffolding Sheet also available.
3 A RIF GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND FAMILIES Before reading, build background: What does your child usually eat for lunch? Do they pack a lunch or get one at school? While reading, s equence: All of the foods go through a number of steps before getting to the lunchbox. For each food, follow the steps After reading, make connections: Look around your kitchen. Do you have any of the foods mentioned in the book? Pick a food in your pantry and help your child list the steps it took to get from the farm to your kitchen. RELATED ACTIVITIES BANANA DETECTIVE Materials: 3 green bananas, paper bag, plastic bag, paper, pencil Does a banana ripen (turn yellow) faster out in the open, in a paper bag, or in a plastic bag? What do you think? Have your child make a hypothesis, or guess. Put one green banana in each situation; check them each day for three days and record what you find. Was your hypothesis right? Why do you think one banana ripened faster than the others? BUTTER IT UP! Ingredients: heavy cream, small jar with lid, crackers Where does butter come from? Cream, of course! To make your own butter, fill the jar half full of cream. Close the lid tightly and shake until the cream begins to solidify (this may take some time). Stop a few times to unscrew the lid and check your progress. When finished, drain off the extra liquid and spread the butter on crackers. Enjoy! FIND A FARM Visiting a farm or farmers market is a great way to get a firsthand look at where food comes from. Log on to and enter your zip code to find one near you. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES OTHER BOOKS ABOUT AGRICULTURE Where Food Comes From, Ronne Randall (2009), Our Farm: Four Seasons with Five Kids on One Family s Farm, Michael J. Rosen (2008), All in Just One Cookie, Susan E. Goodman (2006).
4 A RIF VOCABULARY SCAFFOLD ripe: grown, ready to eat to swell: to grow, get big, get fat to squish: to squeeze, smash, push on something until it pops or bursts bakery: store that sells bread or baked sweets factory: a place where you make or build a lot of something to bloom: to grow flowers; for a flower to open bunches: groups of something that grow together, like grapes tanker: truck that carries liquids energy: the power to do things; you get energy from eating and drinking stalk: the stem of a plant; the tall, thin part of a plant that something else grows out of
5 RIF EXTENSION ACTIVITIES FOR EDUCATORS STEAM-THEMED: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, ART, MATH SCIENCE, MATH VISIONS OF VEGGIES Materials: vegetable seeds, disposable cups, soil Provide different types of vegetable seeds that grow quickly, like lima beans, pumpkins, or peppers. Let each student choose a seed to plant in a cup of soil. Have students chart the growth of their plants over the course of two or three weeks. Compile the results into a class chart or graph. For older students, find the mean, median, and mode for the class as a whole and for each kind of plant. TECHNOLOGY, MATH CLASS COOKBOOK Ask students to bring in a favorite recipe to add to a class cookbook. Walk the class through the nutrition facts of a sample recipe to explain the important concepts, then have students visit recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp to find the nutritional value of their own recipes. Once completed, compile recipes into a class cookbook to share. ENGINEERING, SCIENCE COOKIE CRUSH Materials: 3 cardboard squares, tape, glue, foil, plastic wrap, toothpicks, 5 lb. weight Challenge: Build a container for a chocolate chip cookie that can withstand five pounds being dropped on it without crushing the cookie. Put students into groups. Let them feel how heavy a five pound weight is for reference, then work together to design and build the container. After construction, test the designs. Place the containers on the ground and drop the weight onto each one from a height of three feet. Observe the results and record whether the cookie inside was crushed. ART FAMOUS FRUIT Materials: painting supplies, fruit Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican painter, painted fruit she found in her garden in Mexico. Have students visit this site ( for a look at her work. Bring in fruit and allow students to arrange it for a still life painting. Encourage them to incorporate a statement into their pieces as Frida did with her peace dove. MATH, GEOGRAPHY FOOD TRAVELS How far does food have to travel before it gets to your table? Have each student bring in one food product of their choice. For each food, find the country of origin. Have students calculate the distance between that country and your school. Label and track each food on a world map. Which food traveled the farthest? Was one country the source of multiple foods? Did any foods come from the United States? Why does our food have to travel so far? Has it always been this way? WRITING, TECHNOLOGY FIND A FARM Find a local farm by logging on to org. What questions do your students have for the farmer who runs the farm? Have them write letters to the farmer to find out the answers. They might ask about what types of crops grow on the farm, how many people work there, what machines they use to help them harvest, etc. Compile the letters into one big envelope and send them to the farm. Don t forget to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the reply.
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