Washington Youth Garden at the National Arboretum


LILI Unit: Washington Youth Garden at the National Arboretum

Essential Question:How do our food choices affect our health? Pre-trip lesson:  Using “My Plate” as their guide, students learn about the five food groups and portion sizes. They investigate the specific nutrients that come from each of the five food groups and the health benefits that are associated with each.  Students also examine the concept of “empty calories” and learn about the limited role that solid fats and added sugar should play in a healthy diet. Finally, students learn about the important role that gardens can play in producing the foods that our bodies need to be healthy.  It also looks at some of the other locations – corner stores, grocery stores, and farmer’s markets – where people can buy food, while also teaching students strategies to identify healthy foods.
Level of Difficulty:Low Trip:   During the trip, students explore the garden – harvesting and tasting different plants – to learn how a garden can provide a balanced meal. The culminating activity is cooking lesson where students help prepare a healthy snack which they eat together at the end of the trip.
Academic Standards:

  • English Language Arts (CC.4.R.I.2; CC.4.L.4.a)
  • Science (4.8.7)
Post-trip lesson:   As a culminating activity, students create a daily menu that includes well-balanced, healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Students also test their knowledge of the five food groups, “My Plate”, and healthy food choices as they compete in a collaborative review game and take written assessments.