Abundant California Educational Resources

Everything we eat has a story to tell. The Abundant California suite teaches students in grades 3–5 about California crops and introduces them to the food system that sustains us all.

Abundant California Lessons

Whether a specific ingredient came straight from the garden or a local farm, the story of our food reveals a web of relationships among many different people and other living beings, each dependent on the others. Abundant California lessons contain engaging, hands-on activities that highlight individual crops and a specific phase in the food system, including growing, harvesting, seed production, processing, storing, transporting, marketing, and eating. At its core, these lessons tell the story of how our food gets from the field to our plate and who helped it get there.

Abundant California lessons are built around California education standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the History–Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools, and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Suggested timing is included to ensure each crop is showcased during its peak season. Whether taught individually or together, these lessons will spark curiosity and give students a solid understanding of individual crops grown in California and their place in the story of the food system.

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Abundant California Food System

 

Modeling the Local Food System

Students examine the steps involved in producing California oranges, and create a model showing the food system that brings them one of their favorite foods. They begin to understand and appreciate the people and places affected by their food choices.

Download this lesson [2.3mb PDF]

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Abundant California Grapes

 

Grapes: Celebrating the Harvest

Students reflect on the important role of farmworkers in the 1960s grape strike led by Cesar Chavez and others and plan a grape harvest celebration, paying tribute to some of the people we depend on for our food.

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Abundant California Tomato

 

The Tomato Salsa Challenge

Students learn surprising facts about California tomatoes and extend their learning through comparison tasting and a hands-on tomato salsa challenge.

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Abundant California Beans

 

Designing Bean Seed Packets

Students examine dry heirloom beans and develop seed packets to highlight the characteristics of one or more dry bean varieties grown in California, learning the value of dry beans and the importance of saving seeds for next year’s crops.

Download this lesson [1.5mb PDF]

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Abundant California Winter Squash

 

Winter Squash: Sink or Float?

Students sample several winter squash varieties, comparing their color, taste, and texture. In conducting a sink/float test, they learn about density and assess each variety’s suitability for storing.

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Abundant California Cabbage

 

Investigating Cabbage Traditions

Students examine the cultural importance of cabbages, conduct a comparison tasting of varieties grown in California, and explore related family food traditions.

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Abundant California Oranges

 

Oranges: A Taste of California Sunshine

Students learn about Eliza Tibbets, a California food pioneer, and extend their learning through observation and comparing the tastes of navel oranges to other citrus fruits.

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Abundant California Strawberry

 

Strawberry No-Crush Challenge

Students compare fresh and thawed frozen strawberries and then design a way to transport fresh strawberries without crushing them.

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Abundant California Asparagus

 

Creating Asparagus Ads

Students conduct a taste test of fresh and cooked asparagus, then develop ads to promote the benefits of asparagus and to entice other children to try it.

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Abundant California Radishes

 

Raising Radishes

Students learn about composting as a way to recycle food waste, and then conduct an experiment with radish seeds to see which type of soil is best for radishes.

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