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MyPlate, MyState Toolkit for Teachers

Draw MyPlate MyState iconAre you looking for resources for your classes that combine topics such as food and nutrition, farmers and farmers markets, and your state’s agriculture? The resources below include lesson plans around gardening, agriculture and nutrition, as well as new MyPlate, MyState activity sheets that can be used throughout the school year. If you need more information, perhaps those specific to your state, check out the National Farm to School Network's searchable research database.
 

Preschool/ Kindergarten

Teachers of preschool and kindergarten students can download and print their state’s or territory’s MyPlate, MyState coloring sheets and include basic lessons on state history, geography, and agriculture, as well as to reinforce the concept of eating locally grown or locally produced foods.

  • MyPlate, MyState Coloring Sheets – These can be used as simple coloring sheets to highlight foods grown locally. Teachers can find their state products here.
  • MyPlate Grocery Store Bingo – This is a fun and interactive game that children can play while grocery shopping with adults. (It could also keep their minds occupied when passing by the candy aisle.) Younger children can search for foods of various colors and shapes.
  • National Agriculture in the Classroom's Freshest Fruits Lesson – Students learn about where fruits are grown and a bit about their nutrition. What fruits are grown in your state? Do any students have fruit trees in their yards or neighborhoods
     

Early Elementary

For early elementary students, a lesson by National Agriculture in the Classroom on fresh fruits is sure to keep the interest of the children – especially when accompanied with tasty snacks. A MyPlate to My Family activity fosters thinking about foods and family time.

  • MyPlate, MyState Coloring Sheets – Ask students to research foods grown and produced in their state. Do any students have a backyard garden or live near a farm?
  • MyPlate Grocery Store Bingo – For older children, consider giving them their own shopping list so they can help with the shopping. Adults can point out "locally grown" signs, or ask the children to search them out.
  • National Agriculture in the Classroom's Freshest Fruits Lesson – Students learn about where fruits are grown and a bit about their nutrition. What fruits are grown in your state? Any students have fruit trees in their yards or neighborhoods?
  • National Agriculture in the Classroom's My Healthy Plate – Students become familiar with the foods they eat and healthy eating habits while learning about MyPlate. A special emphasis on locally grown and produced foods really brings the lessons home.
  • Local Foods MyPlate Menu – Help children to think about foods, food groups, and putting together basic meals. Drawing a sample meal is encouraged! Share your plate on social media using the hashtag #MyPlateMyState.
  • Family Activity: Cook Together This Week – With the help of adults and older siblings, children can help make a recipe that includes as many local fruits and vegetables as possible. Farmers markets are a great source of local products, as well as a great way to meet farmers.
  • Kids Food Critic Activity – Children select a new fruit, vegetable, or recipe to sample and then use their senses to help determine if they’d like to eat it again. A great way to start children on critical thinking.
  • Serving MyPlate to My Family – Children can write letters about their favorite foods to a parent, grandparent, or other relative explaining why it’s important to eat foods from each food group.
  • A Day in the Life of… – Encourage children to think about the life of a fruit or vegetable starting from its “birth” on a farm. Add a local twist by showing pictures or videos of local farms that produce foods that they may eat at home or in the school cafeteria or classroom.
  • My Menu Planner – Children can help plan a week’s menu by selecting foods from each of the food groups. Adults can follow up with a trip to the grocery store or farmers market.
  • My Food Card – Children pick their favorite food, write a little about it, and then draw a picture of it (or make a collage).
  • Farmers Market Field Trip – Kids love field trips! They connect students with local foods and local farmers. Field trips can reinforce classroom learning in multiple areas, including science, math, health, and social studies -- and deepen understanding of connections among agriculture, diet, health, and community well-being.
     

Later Elementary

Older children can design local food menus, play a farm-to-plate game where they trace foods along the agricultural route to their tables, and also play a fun game called the Geography of Thanksgiving – which is complete with lessons on food sources and a hint of a geography lesson thrown in.

  • MyPlate, MySelf – Children can use MyPlate as a guide to create 5 days of healthy dinners. How many of the meals can include foods only from their state (or expanded to surrounding states)?
  • Who Am I? Clue Card – Can you figure out what food you have been assigned by creating 10 key questions? This is one tasty detective game.
  • MyPlate Word Blanks: Cook-Off Craze – Fun and sometimes silly, this fill-in-the-blank game can take on a local flavor if you encourage the children to think about local foods when creating their word list.
  • Farm to Plate Game – From farmer to grocer to customer, children can play an interactive game that will get them thinking about the many steps foods take before ending up on their plates.
  • Geography of Thanksgiving – Students identify common Thanksgiving foods and their farm sources, determine if those foods can be produced locally, and locate the common origins of their Thanksgiving day dinner.
  • Geography of Thanksgiving: Pumpkins – This challenge combines internet research, geography, and writing skills. Students will certainly learn a thing or two about this favorite Thanksgiving food!
  • Farmers Market Field Trip – Kids love field trips! They connect students with local foods and local farmers. Field trips can reinforce classroom learning in multiple areas, including science, math, health, and social studies -- and deepen understanding of connections among agriculture, diet, health, and community well-being.