Nourish Companion Guides

The Nourish video and companion guides help us to pay attention to the stories behind every bite of food we take.

Nourish Companion Guides

What’s the story of your food?

We use stories to tell ourselves who we are, where we come from, and what matters to us. To help students pay attention to the stories behind every bite of food we take, the Center for Ecoliteracy has developed a Viewing Guide and Middle School Curriculum Guide to Nourish: Food + Community, a new film from WorldLink.

Nourish is hosted and narrated by Cameron Diaz and features Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, Jamie Oliver, Anna Lappé, Bryant Terry, and Dr. Nadine Burke. The film asks, Where did my food come from? How did it get to me? How does our food system affect the people who grow, process, prepare, market, and consume food? What is the effect on the natural environment? What are the consequences of the choices we make about food? Are there better ways to feed ourselves? What can we do as individuals and as people working together to discover and support these better ways?

The DVD resources and the discussion questions and activities suggested in the companion guides are designed to help students:

  • Examine the stories behind their food.
  • Evaluate the effect of their food choices on people and the environment.
  • Consider ways that food can nourish individuals, families, and society.
  • Take action to address food-related issues at home, at school, and in the community.

The Viewing Guide includes a synopsis of the film and teachers' discussion questions appropriate for students in grades four through nine.

The Middle School Curriculum Guide  includes the Viewing Guide, classroom activities for exploring topics from the DVD more deeply, and suggestions for carrying out a culminating action project. It actively engages middle-school students in a meaningful conversation about food and food systems. The activities give students opportunities to reflect on current food practices, to consider more sustainable ones, and to link their learning to relevant action.

The Curriculum Guide is flexible and may be used in middle-school social science, science, health, or English classes, or in self-contained classrooms. It includes charts showing correlations with national curriculum standards and benchmarks of the National Council for the Social Studies, the National  Research Council, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Committee on National Health Education Standards, and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Depending on course objectives and the time available, the teacher may show selected content from the DVD and engage students in discussions about the topics, conduct one or more of the activities, facilitate students in planning an action project, or all of these.

The Nourish DVD, which contains a half-hour PBS television special and 11 short films, can be purchased on the Nourish website:

Download the Viewing Guide PDF [847k]


Download the Middle School Curriculum Guide PDF [4mb]


Download the Middle School Curriculum Guide Student Handouts in Spanish PDF [3mb]


Download the “Seasonal, Local Food” chapter containing these three activities
Try one or more of them with your students.

  • Map Your Foodshed
  • Construct Seasonal Circles
  • Develop Local Food Resources Booklets

Download the “Seasonal, Local Food” PDF [1.3mb]