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The Edible Schoolyard

The Edible Schoolyard, in collaboration with Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley, CA, provides urban public school students with a one-acre organic garden and a kitchen classroom. Using food systems as a unifying concept, students learn how to grow, harvest, and prepare nutritious seasonal produce. Chef Alice Waters (Chez Panisse Restaurant) works with the school to transform education through the school lunch curriculum. It began in 1994 as a collaboration of Waters, King Middle School and community members for the planning of the Edible Schoolyard (ESY). Garden and kitchen lessons with strategies on linking the garden to the school lunch to develop ecoliteracy can be found on the ESY website.

Published by Martin Luther King Middle School in 2005

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Curriculum Information For Resource

Grade Level(s):6, 7, 8
Curriculum Areas:Science
English/Language Arts
Themes/Keywords: Food
Meal Planning

nutrition, nutritious, ecoliteracy, edible, sustainability, cultivation

Essential Question(s)
1. What is the School Lunch Initiative?
2. What is the role of an Edible Schoolyard in the middle school curriculum?

Discussion Question(s)
1. How can school lunches be more nutritious?
2. What is a sustainable garden?
3. How will the seasons effect the schoolyard garden?

Extension and Activities
1. Mathematics: Create a farmers almanac for the garden.
2. Mathematics: Collect data on the crop and weather to create a farmers almanac.
3. Humanities: Create a cookbook with personal experience stories and pictures.
4. Humanities: Make a documentary on a school or community garden.
5. Science: Create a plant cycle with pictures or videos.
6. Science: Brainstorm all the different data that can be collected from having a school or community garden.
7. Science: Trace the eco footprint for a crop from seed to dinner table.
Aligned to Standards
California Content Standards
Science, Grade Six
Focus on Earth Science
Ecology (Life Science)
Organisms in ecosystems exchange energy and nutrients among themselves and with the environment. As a basis for understanding this concept:
SCI.6.5.a. Students know energy entering ecosystems as sunlight is transferred by producers into chemical energy through photosynthesis and then from organism to organism through food webs.
SCI.6.5.b. Students know matter is transferred over time from one organism to others in the food web and between organisms and the physical environment.
SCI.6.5.d. Students know different kinds of organisms may play similar ecological roles in similar biomes.
SCI.6.5.e. Students know the number and types of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on the resources available and on abiotic factors, such as quantities of light and water, a range of temperatures, and soil composition.

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pictureSally Mearns
Site Director
Bay Area Foreign Language Program - Stanford, CA

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