Food and Climate Curriculum for Farms

For students in grades 6-12.

Materials:

  • Student journals for recording observations and drawings

  • Planting beds where students can learn/experiment

  • Composting materials (for Lesson 5)

  • Farm infrastructure

Key Themes: Solutions-focused, project-based/experiential learning, environmental education, food-climate connection

Driving Question: What is the connection between food systems and climate change, and how can we design more climate friendly food production systems?

Statement of Motivation: This series of lessons and discussion is adapted and designed to evolve, experientially and organically, in on-farm applications. Farms are inherently dynamic, exciting, hands-on opportunities for students to engage in meaningful, purposeful work around growing food and cultivating sustainable agroecosystems. When applying this climate education series as farm-based educators, it will be more flexible and adapted to the needs of the working farm, student questions, and seasonal activities. The key takeaway is for farm-based educators to feel empowered with a set of examples and activities that can aid in talking to youth about climate change, while engaging in regenerative agricultural practices that have the potential to reverse climate change (if practiced at scale). This offers a unique solutions-based orientation to learning about climate change. By informing farm-based educators about climate science education opportunities, this guide seeks to expand climate education opportunities beyond the classroom to more experiential learning settings, with the goal of creating climate conscious farms, food systems, and food consumers. 

Curriculum outline/Lessons at-a-glance

Climate curriculum Lesson outline for farms.jpg

Curriculum Outline w/ lesson Links (6 lessons, approx. 1 hour each, can be modified to fit length of farm education program):

  1. What is climate change?

  2. What factors, including agriculture, have caused the rise in global temperature?

  3. What are the effects of climate change, and what will that look like here?

  4. How can we monitor effects locally?

  5. What are local solutions to climate change?

  6. Launch student food-climate action projects.

*Lessons can be worked into the day/visit around farm work, depending on the farm schedule and season. Work on the farm can be integrated into lessons as reflective journaling exercises at beginning or end, as prompts for discussion, or used for making connections between climate science content and hands-on work.