What do you need to Grow Food?

Explore the raw materials and resources that a local crop needs to grow.

Objectives 

To see where your community’s food comes from, and to learn the social and

economic advantages of buying local produce

Materials

  • Paper or index cards
  • Writing utensils
  • World map
  • String
  • Tape

Time

30 minutes for preparation, 30-45 minutes for game

Procedures

Organize the kids into pairs or small teams, and give each team drawing paper and supplies (e.g., crayons, paints, markers, pencils). Ask them to draw a familiar crop grown in the area and its seed or fruit, and then make lines radiating from the drawing toward a natural resource necessary to grow the crop (e.g., soil, water, clean air, space, pollinator, pest controls). Then, ask each group to draw lines radiating from each of these resources to drawings portraying what is necessary for these resources to be present and healthy. For example:

  • Soil: Dead leaves and other organic matter, soil animals to break down the organic matter and stir up the soil, rock to contribute to making the soil and providing nutrients, plant cover to prevent it from washing or blowing away
  • Clean Water: Healthy soil and plants upstream to filter rainwater before it enters streams, plants especially along the stream banks to prevent soil from washing into streams
  • Clean Air: Trees and other plants to clean the air
  • Pest Controls: Habitat for insects that feed on insect pests
  • Pollinators: Food, water, and habitat for pollinators

Discussion Questions

If we want to grow crops …

1. Why do you think it is important to maintain a healthy environment for insects and other living things?

2. Why do you think it is important to keep trees around?

3. What do we need to do with the environment around here to keep growing crops?

Variation:

Kids can create this diagram with string instead of drawn lines and make an exhibit.

This lesson plan is an activity from the Environmental Activities for Youth Clubs and Camps, a resource developed by the Peace Corps Office of Overseas Programming and Training (OPATS). It was contributed by Peace Corps/Dominican Republic.


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