National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
The Farmer Grows a Rainbow: Super K Buffet
K - 2
Students will develop an awareness that farmers provide the variety and abundance of foods we need to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles.
- MyPlate Activity Poster
- Pictures of various food items (a Food Models Kit is available for purchase)
- Nutritious Choices activity sheets
- The Farmer Grows a Rainbow song
- White paper plates
- Crayons or markers
- Red, orange, green, purple, and blue balloons or scarves
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
MyPlate: a guide to remind us that a healthy diet includes foods from all five food groups
moderation: the avoidance of extremes; not too much
Did you know? (Ag Facts)
For a healthy diet, MyPlate recommends that you:
- make half your plate fruits and vegetables,
- make at least half of your grains whole grains, and
- drink water instead of sugary drinks.
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
- Ask students to name foods that are healthy and nutritious (or that adults say are “good for them”). Discuss why they think certain foods help them grow and stay healthy while other foods should only be eaten sometimes. Talk with students about nutritious foods versus non-nutritious foods, making sure they understand that foods that provide vitamins, minerals, and energy are better for developing bodies, helping them grow healthy and strong.
- Show students the MyPlate Activity Poster and introduce them to each food group, noting the colors on the plate and how each one represents a food group. Information about each food group is available at Choosemyplate.gov.
- Distribute the pictures of various food items to students, either individually or in small groups. Allow students to arrange the food pictures on the MyPlate poster according to food groups. Discuss the health benefits of the various foods.
- Ask the students to draw a picture of themselves enjoying a healthy meal. Invite students to share their pictures and talk about the foods they are eating, why they like those foods, and why each food is good for them.
Activity 1: Nutritious Choices
- Ask students to raise their hands if there is a farmer in their family. Explain that almost all of the food we eat is grown on a farm. Many of the foods have high nutritional value and should be part of daily eating. Others need to be eaten in moderation. Discuss various examples.
- Have students complete the Nutritious Choices activity sheet.
- Sing the song The Farmer Grows a Rainbow.
- Have students draw and color a rainbow design and their depiction of a farmer at work on their white paper plates. Have students place pictures of healthy food choices on their plates to demonstrate their understanding of the class discussions. Check for appropriate choices.
Activity 2: Run the Rainbow Challenge-Rainbows Aloft
- Discuss the importance of physical activity. All children need at least 60 minutes of exercise each day. Activity levels will directly affect the amount of food needed to maintain a healthy body.
- Play the “Rainbows Aloft” game to help students associate the various colors of MyPlate with the food groups they represent. The game can be played using balloons that are batted by students to stay aloft or colored sheer scarves, which students can blow.
- Have the students stand in a random arrangement. Sing and/or play a recording of The Farmer Grows a Rainbow song. Students may move to the music and sing along with the first verse. As the subsequent verses are sung, the teacher should toss in balloons or scarves that match the color represented by the food group mentioned. Students sing along and do their part to keep the colors aloft. If a playground parachute is available, the activity may be adapted to include use of the parachute.
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:
- Almost all of the food that we eat is produced on farms.
- Some foods are more healthy and nutritious than others.
- Nutritious foods can be eaten regularly, but less healthy foods should only be eaten sometimes.
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!
Have students properly set a table or place setting and role-play proper etiquette and food safety protocol (i.e., serving with a spoon instead of picking food up with hands; hand washing; napkin in lap; etc.).
Provide information for accessing the website Choosemyplate.gov. Have each student follow the directions on the website to obtain their personalized dietary plan, “MyPlate Daily Checklist.” Visiting the website can be a class activity, or information can be shared with parents to be completed at home. Individual nutrition needs, along with portion sizes, can be obtained for children and adults at this website.
Suggested Companion Resources
- Eating the Alphabet (Book)
- I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (Book)
- Vegetable Garden (Book)
- Food Models (Kit)
- MyPlate Activity Poster (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- Eat & Move O-Matic (Multimedia)
- Eat Happy Project video series (Multimedia)
- How to Teach Nutrition to Kids (Teacher Reference)
- Choose MyPlate (Website)
- Food-A-Pedia (Website)
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Food, Health, and Lifestyle
- Identify healthy food options (T3.K-2.a)
- Recognize that agriculture provides our most basic necessities: food, fiber, energy and shelter (T3.K-2.b)
Education Content Standards
Health Standard 1: Comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
1.2.1Identify that healthy behaviors impact personal health.
Common Core Connections
Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.