TGC Fellow Unit Template 

Prepared by:   Sheila Freehill                                                                           School/Location:  Eagle Crest Elementary School

Subject: ELL Social Studies/ Environmental Science/ Literacy    Grade:   4th grade              Interdisciplinary Unit Title:  What is on my plate? How our food choices impacts the world.

Time Needed:  6-8 weeks 

Unit Summary:   Students will do an inquiry based action research project with three parts. In all parts students will learn strategies to reduce hunger by asking the question: How can we improve food security locally and globally?  First, students will learn how to define and measure hunger and food insecurity and compare different families food expenses for a week.  We will also discuss the cultural significance of food and how food is an integral aspect of who we are. We will then research sustainable agricultural and food distribution practices that are used around the world through real case studies, picture books, video, (STG partnerships), and interact with our sister school via email and Skype in Nairobi, Kenya called the Empakasi School ( and the Mwebaza Infant Primary School in Kyengera, Uganda.  Students  will generate questions to interview students in Kenya about their sustainable agricultural programs.  

After reading a few picture books on sustainable agricultural development stories,  students will practice and learn about how to become micro-entrepreneurs  (using the One Hen model) and learn about successful microentrepreneurs who grew food or raised animals to become self sustaining local farmers.  We will compare how they grow, sell and distribute their food to reduce hunger.  We will discuss the causes and effects of purchasing locally grown food versus globally produced food using the case studies and our own lives as examples.  They will compare different success stories and analyze how these people have transformed their lives with the help of small business loans or the gift of an animal from Heifer.  Students will collaborate to decide how they want to design a prototype to potentially begin their own business to raise money for our sister school using the design challenge principals.  If the design is successful, they will write the school’s PTO  and ask for a loan to start their product. We will collaborate with art teacher and create a product to sell throughout the fourth grade to raise funds for our sister school’s farming projects.

We will use the STG world goal 2: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture as a guide in our research.  Students will also participate (the timing may not be the same for both projects)  as lunchroom volunteers in an action research project at our school called, “Share Table.”  Some members of my fourth grade  class will collaborate with the school eco-club to support a new pilot for our school district.   It is a new initiative at Eagle Crest to reduce food waste in our cafeteria by creating a food share table.  Children can donate or take unused food and eat it.  We will research how much food we save and how much waste we reduce with our efforts.  We will discuss the perspective of those who share and those who take the food. We will talk about the culture in our school and how we can be school leaders who support the school community to be more sustainable and how this helps our planet.  

STAGE 1:  Desired Results


G1: Civics 4: Analyze and debate multiple perspectives of an issue.

G2. Geography 2: Connections within and across human and physical systems are developed.

G3: Students become agents of change by participating in a Food Share table project.

Reading Standards:

Compare and contrast key ideas presented in multiple resources, some fiction and some nonfiction.

Integration and evaluation of knowledge and ideas presented in diverse media formats including visually, quantitatively as well as in words- 7 and 9

Speaking and listening: Comprehension/collaboration/presentation of knowledge and ideas.


7: Research to build and present knowledge

based on focused questions to demonstrate understanding of the subject under investigation.


  1. Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment.
  • Students will study case studies of community food production and learn how to be an entrepreneur using the One Hen lessons and concepts from the story and real life examples.
  • Students will communicate with sister school in Kenya.
  1. Recognize Perspectives.
  • Students will discuss their experiences with hunger both personal and observations of other cultures.
  • Understand different perspectives and points of view; how to respect each other and talk about ideas we may not all agree on. Develop empathy skills to have compassion for those who live or have lived with hunger.
  • Students will learn about how other communities work to combat hunger.
  • Students will consider needs and wants of both local and global communities in regards to food.
  1. Communicate ideas
  • Students will communicate with one another.
  • Students will share outcomes from our food share table project with the school district and Eagle Crest community.
  • Students will design questions and interview students at sister school.
  1. Take Action:
  • Students will learn about sustainable agricultural practices used at our sister school and raise awareness and money to support their school to improve their sustainable practices.
  • Students will participate in the Share food Table Project at Eagle Crest.


1) Google Maps locate sister school look at street view of communities, and identify locations of food sources.

 2) Google Presentation to share project with peers and sister school,

 3) I-pads or Chromebooks for internet research and creation of presentation, to gather data regarding amounts of food shared and saved, and for making video reflection of food -share table experience.

 4) Padlet to post inquiry questions to group and respond

 5.) SeeSaw and email to share the project with parents.

 6) Skype to communicate globally with sister school.

7)Internet to share videos and research SDG’s

RESOURCES:  (food mapping idea)

Book: The Hungry Planet: What the world eats

 (food mapping native versus plants currently being grown in different countries) ( Maria’s journey from Hunger to having enough)

The Good Garden: How one family went from Hunger to having enough By, Katie Smith Milway

Ending hunger by helping farmers sell their food locally

Sustainable food poster

Beatrice’s Goat:read aloud by Lori Lohstoeter

One Hen,read aloud by, Katie Smith Milway   used with One Hen organization to end hunger.

Heifer Project

(Heifer classroom fundraiser action project)

Food sharing table action project at Eagle Crest to reduce food waste and hunger

Good Semaritan Act:

The journey of strawberries...   ( feed people not landfills)


Students will be able to independently use their learning to:

T1: Recognize perspectives. Understand that we all need food to survive and there are many ways to contribute to reducing hunger locally and globally.

T2: Consider how our daily actions around our food production, purchasing choices and food waste can impact the world beyond their local community.

T3: Use an inquiry approach to work together to design questions,  to compare actions used to reduce hunger on a local and global level.

T4: When people help each other and work together the community grows stronger.  Students will collaborate, share ideas, build life skills, and negotiate with one another.

T3: Explain their learning and communicate with others locally and globally using technology, Talk Moves, levelled language frames and Thinking Maps to scaffold their communication skills as ELL’s.



Students will understand that:

U1: Each person has the ability to make choices that impact the world either positively or negatively.

U2: What we eat is very personal and culturally significant.

U3: Everyone needs to eat, but we don’t all have the same access to food.

U4: When people can live a self-sustaining life they can have a chance to rise above poverty.


E1:  How can we reduce hunger in the world?

E2: How can each person become more sustainable in our food choices (growing, buying, eating, selling)?

E3: How can having food security support communities to become more sustainable?

E4: How can we improve food security locally and globally?  



Students will know: Content

K1: Where some of their food comes from and be able to compare their food sources to where people around the world get their food.

K2: Eating locally grown food helps reduce global hunger by supporting people to be self-sustaining.

K3: Reducing food waste helps end global hunger.

K4: People around the world have similar human needs.

K5: Definitions of key terms: monoculture, producer, consumer, sustainable agriculture, globalization, point of view, global, local, production, distribution, waste, entrepreneur (micro/macro-finance/entrepreneur), profit, loan, finance, invest, food insecurity

Students will be able to: Skills

S1: How to ask questions to guide their learning.

S2: Students will collaborate with a group as leaders to take action to improve their school community by reducing food waste and hunger locally.

S1: DIscuss the pro’s and con’s of importing and growing  fresh produce or food.

S2: Compare and contrast different global case studies that have developed food security through sustainable agriculture and food production.

S3: Build a greater understanding that one’s choices as a consumer and producer of food affects others.

S4: Analyze the STG goal 2 to end hunger and discuss why this is important.

S5: Students will use multiliteracy tools (including maps and graphics, websites, books, articles and video)  to research, ask questions, and build background knowledge on the topic.

S6: Students will collaborate to take action to design a product to raise money to support a family in need of food through micro- financing.  

Stage 2 - Evidence


Evaluation Criteria (Learning target or Student Will Be Able To)

 Assessments FOR Learning

1. Students will talk about what they already know about where their food comes from and build background knowledge on topic.

2. Students will complete cause and effect thinking map on food insecurity and hunger.

3. Students will participate in planning meetings and help run the food share table at lunch under the supervision of the teachers and lunchroom staff. They will weigh the food to keep track of the amount of food being rescued from waste. (This part of the unit may happen before the rest of the unit and will be additional to the actual lesson.)

4. Students will read the books and fill in a note catcher for  One Hen, Beatrice’s Goat and The Good Garden. They will build background knowledge using the One Hen website on what steps the characters (and real people the books were based upon)  took to start a microfinance project.Students will use Talk Moves and Thinking Maps strategies to encourage higher level discussions.


Students will use the sister school website and other websites about Kenya and Uganda to learn about their biomes, agriculture, culture, and school microfinance projects to understand more about their perspectives.

  1. Students will share what they had for dinner last night on Padlet. Then, using a Flow Map sequence  the origin of one fresh food item from the farm to table and discuss advantages and disadvantages to purchasing food locally or food that has been imported to a grocery  store. They will share their findings with partners. They will also use this experience to generate questions to ask the sister school students about their experiences with growing food or buying food where they live.

2. Students will be able to verbally explain the causes and effects of hunger and food insecurity.  Students will discuss interventions to address food insecurity and ask them to number their list from most important to least and explain their reasons. They will use a visual thinking map that we generate as a group and use levelled language frames as scaffolds using stories and other research to guide their thinking.

2. Students will analyze how the Food Share table has worked at lunch and discuss their opinions about the pro’s and cons of the program and brainstorm suggestions for improvement.  Students will generate list of environmental impacts of imported food and solutions to reduce food waste.

3. “The having of wonderful microfinance ideas”.  Students will compare ideas in story One Hen or Beatrice’s Goat with other microfinance ideas.    Use the website for One Hen to research ideas and design a product or decide on a way to experiment with raising awareness and money for the sister school. Students will learn about what microfinance is and what are desired character traits to be successful leaders of a business.

3. Students will each generate written interview questions to interview students at the sister school.  Students will write a reflection of their conversation and a thank you letter to the sister schools’ students.

4. Students will demonstrate understanding of vocabulary words in context of their microfinance project and food share projects.

Assessments OF Learning:

 At the end of unit, students will plan a locally prepared meal, discuss what they have learned using a Nearpod project and reflect on what they have learned about where food comes from and revise or add to their original ideas about how their personal food choices impact the world both locally and globally.

Final prototype project will be assessed with a rubric. Student partner groups  will write a written reflection on Padlet and share it with the group.

  1. Students will plan, research, create a world food map.
  2. Students  will share their ideas about food share table in a video with the school Eco-club and school community.
  3.  Students will write diary entries from the perspective of one of the characters or real person describing the steps the person followed to start the business.
  4.  Students will work in partners to design a prototype. We will vote on the different products and choose one final prototype to present to  apply to the PTO for a loan to start project.  Students will raise funds to send to sister school to support their egg farm. Students will compare their experiences with being entrepreneurs with the characters in the books and our sister school communities experiences. They will self evaluate their projects.

5)  Students will reflect on learning process and share thoughts using a Nearpod evaluation presentation. This will require students to be thoughtful in their reflection with the group.

Stage 3 - Learning Plan

Summary of Key learning Events and Instruction (Make this a useful outline of the unit.)

  • Week One:  
  • Define in context vocabulary words each week that relate to topics. ( food insecurity, point of view, perspective, distribution, nutrition)
  •  Discuss with group: Why is food important to life?  What do students know about hunger? Brainstorm questions about food, nutrition and hunger. ( do an exercise list this video as a hook to generate ideas for ending hunger. Post questions on Padlet or in Nearpod presentation. Kids do Google search and add to list.
  •  What did they eat for dinner last night? They will discuss and write about their own experiences, beliefs,  or observations of what it means to be hungry and what people could do to prevent hunger.  We will then generate a class chart on Padlet of observations.
  •   Students will begin unit by looking at pictures of what different families around the world eat and where they live. and

Students will compare different families weekly food and discuss observations. ( Use Ted talk for ideas to add to discussion)

  • Week Two:
  •  Vocabulary: monoculture, producer, consumer, sustainable agriculture, globalization
  • Return to original questions from week one. Add to them. Answer any questions.
  • Discuss causes and effects of food insecurity.  Create a flow map.
  • Students will research one food item and sequence food’s journey from farm to table using flow map. Students will discuss impacts of food travelling so far and reasons buying food locally helps farmers and the planet be more sustainable. ( use lesson ideas from “This is the orange that grew on a tree… images in One Hen book from market.
  •  (food mapping idea)
  • Watch The journey of strawberries… and discuss enviromental impacts and solutions to the issues that were raised.
  •  Students in Food Share Table group will act as leaders during this lesson and share what they already have learned during the share food program at lunch. ( We may discuss this program weekly and review the data of the amount of food that has been saved from the landfill.)
  •  Watch True Cost of Food video (The True Cost of Food VIdeo) and fill in note catcher about the messages of the video regarding the hidden costs of buying imported food. Students record new learning onto Padlet and pose a question to the group to further discussion.
  • Students will create video responses regarding their learning about the distance the food has travelled and discuss solutions to reduce global footprint.

  • Week Three:  
  • Vocabulary:  entrepreneur (micro/macro-finance/entrepreneur), profit, loan, finance, invest, 
  • Return to original questions from week one. Add to them. Answer any questions.
  • Students read One Hen and watch video about Kwabena Darko, the founder of Opportunity International.  Students will visit One Hen website and explore case studies of successful entrepreneurs. Students will write diary entries from the perspective of Kojo or Beatrice ( Beatrice’s Goat)  
  • Students will learn about organizations such as Heifer and microlending groups. Students will learn about microfinance and discuss how it helped the characters in the books.
  • Students will learn about sister school’s agricultural products design questions to use in their interview with students in Kenya and Uganda. Students will use learning about microfinance and sustainable agriculture to formulate questions for sister school.

  • Week Four: Students will interview students at sister school. Write thank you letter and post reflections of sister school conversations to Padlet.
  • Return to original questions from week one. Add to them. Answer any new questions.
  • Students will read Beatrice’s Goat and learn more about the Heifer Project.  Compare this story with the One Hen project.
  • Students will learn about real hunger initiatives with the SDG goals and compare the stories examples with actual projects.
  • Students will begin micro-lending projects.

  • Week Five:
  •  Students will continue microlending projects and begin to design prototypes.
  • Return to original questions from week one. Add to them. Answer any new questions.

  • Week Six:
  • Students will write a letter to PTO and apply for a loan for their products.
  • Students will write another diary entry from the perspective of Beatrice.
  • Students will design new questions for second sister school interview.

  • Week 7:  Students will compare their experiences as microlenders with the experiences of characters in book. Discuss the need to work collaboratively since no one can be an expert at everything.
  • Continue Microfinance project-collaborate with art teacher on design and production plan.
  • Talk with sister school again and ask new questions.
  • Share learning with 4th grade classrooms, parents (See Saw).
  • Reflect on learning on with Nearpod presentation. Write a summary of learning.

  • Week 8: Make up week to catch up if project is behind schedule.

TGC FELLOWS UBD Lesson Template



Lesson Title:              Subject:        Social Studies:4th grade ELL  Prepared by: Sheila Freehill

Why is food important to life?  What do students know about hunger or food insecurity?  

Materials Needed: and

 Use Padlet app to record dinner food menu from previous evening.

Global Competency:

  1. Recognize Perspectives.
  • Students will discuss their experiences with hunger both personal and observations of other cultures.
  • Understand different perspectives and points of view; how to respect each other and talk about ideas we may not all agree on. Develop empathy skills to have compassion for those who live or have lived with hunger.
  • Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment.
  • Communicate Ideas


Where is the lesson going?

(Learning Target or SWBAT)

 SWBAT- Evaluate prior experience and knowledge with the topic of hunger and food insecurity.

Discuss why this is an important topic to them and to the world around them. Compare their perspective on hunger with others around the world and communicate their new understandings on  a Padlet post.




Hook: Show video and photos of families around the world and what they eat in a week. Discuss observations and compare to their own lives.


Tailored Differentiation:




1. Use Thinking maps and Levelled language frames to support oral and written language skills.

2. Review key vocabulary before starting with visual supports.

3. Use a think aloud approach to encourage students to develop higher level thinking skills and deeper questions.

4. Have students talk with a partner before sharing out with the group.

5.Use Talk Moves strategies to encourage deeper conversations with partners.


I -Pads with Padlet prepared, computer with videos loaded, markers, large poster paper for note taking




Rethink and revise:






Use student Padlet reflections as an authentic assessment to gauge understanding and determine what to reteach and revisit the next lesson.