Activities about people
These activities take a closer look at the issues behind food, packaging, where it comes from, and the responsibilities of the farmer.
Activity: What's for lunch?
Consider what is in your lunchbox. Discuss the types of food there are and think about where it has come from (in terms of plant, animal and geographical location). How much was grown locally or in this country and how far as it travelled from where it was grown (this is called ‘food miles’). Is this a good food system?
Re-use or recycle?
Consider the packaging of the food in your lunch box. Can any of it be re-used or recycled? If it can, sort it into boxes for glass, paper, aluminium and vegetable waste. If not, the children have to take it home with them again.
Did you know?
Organic principles extend beyond the farm gate and look at the whole food system. They aim, where possible, to develop a local food economy so that the financial and environmental costs of transporting food nationally and globally are kept to a minimum. Local food for local people.
Pupils can find out about links with other places by looking at where their food comes from.
Discussion can develop about the food system and transport and environmental concerns as well as the implications for people’s health.
Pupils can learn about nutrition and healthy food and how humans fit into the food chain.
Activity: The farmer's boots
Having learnt so much more about how an organic farm works, it is now time to put yourself in the farmer’s boots. Imagine that you are a farmer who wants to convert from non-organic farming methods to organic principles, look around the farm to find out how you could do the following:
- Keep the soil fertile and healthy.
- Develop a good crop rotation.
- Help control harmful crop pests.
- Provide homes for wildlife – which ones help out.
- Make sure that farm animals have the best quality of life.
- Sell farm produce to make sure it is fresh and reduces ‘food miles’ – look for a farm shop on site.
- Encourage the public to find out more about organic farming – leaflet, farm plan, information boards, shop.
This could be developed further into a role play or piece of written work back at school.
Did you know?
To make sure that farmers who sell their food as organic are following the rules, the Soil Association sets strict organic standards for them to follow. The farm is inspected at least once a year to check that everything is in order. This gives the consumer confidence that by buying organic food, they are buying something that has been produced to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards.
Pupils can use a variety of sources of information to make observations, answer questions and draw conclusions. They will be able to study how plants and animals relate to each other and to the environment and the significance of this to organic farming.
Pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding of the local environment and how it can be managed sustainably. They will also be able to consider links with other places and issues such as food transport and its implications for the environment and people’s health.
Pupils can explain how the farmer can achieve these objectives by discussion or report writing. Drama activities can be developed using language and actions to create roles that help pupils to understand different situations.