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National Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

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Lesson Plans (20)

Backpack Garden

Through project-based learning, students use school resources to construct and grow a school garden to supplement the school Backpack Program with fresh fruits and vegetables. Grades 3-5

Eggs on the Menu

Students will learn the versatility, function, and nutritional benefit of eggs in a healthy diet, identify the function and role of eggs in a recipe, identify forms of technology used on an egg farm, and understand how eggs are classified by size. Grades 6-8

Eggs: From Hen to Home (Grades 3-5)

Students trace the production path of eggs, beginning on the farm and ending in their home and identify the culinary uses and nutritional benefits of eggs. Grades 3-5

Eggs: Protein MVP

Students explore the importance of protein to a healthy diet and discover that eggs are a nutritious food and a good source of protein. Grades 3-5

Fruit and Vegetable Bingo

Students recognize the names of different fruits and vegetables and describe why they are important. Grades K-2

Give Me Five!

Students examine the five food groups and what state-grown foods fit into each group by making a local connection to good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Grades 3-5

Grocery Store Problem Solving (Grades 3-5)

Students use basic mathematical skills to solve problems related to the cost of food while integrating geography and nutrition to enhance learning. Students analyze grocery ads, assess the nutrition and cost of meals, and explore diets around the world. Grades 3-5

Grocery Store Problem Solving (Grades 6-8)

Students will use basic mathematical skills to solve problems related to the cost of food while integrating geography and nutrition to enhance learning. Activities include analyzing grocery ads, assessing the nutrition and cost of meals, and exploring diets around the world. Grades 6-8

Making Half MyPlate Fruits and Vegetables

Students examine MyPlate and discover the importance of making half their plate fruits and vegetables. Grades 3-5

My Healthy Plate

Students categorize the foods they eat, explore healthy eating habits, and investigate the MyPlate food campaign. Grades K-2

MyPlate, MyWin

Students will explore the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines, compare and contrast historical food guides, and discover how to apply principles of MyPlate into their diet to create a "MyWin."  Grades 9-12

Plant Tops and Bottoms

Students identify where fruits and vegetables belong on the MyPlate diagram and describe the major parts of plants—roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits—according to if they are produced on the top or bottom of a plant. Grades K-2

Sorghum at School: Learn, Grow, Pop, Taste

Students investigate how and where sorghum is grown and discover its health benefits. Grades K-2 

Sorghum at School: The Sorghum Story

Students will investigate sorghum, including the stages of plant growth, production in the United States, health benefits, geography, and positive environmental impacts. Grades 3-5

The Quicker the Better? Food Processing (Grades 6-8)

Students explore different levels of food processing and the ways in which processed foods affect the health of our diets by looking at examples of foods from the grocery store and by closely examining food labels. Grades 6-8

Understanding MyPlate (Grades 3-5)

Students explore appropriate serving sizes and learn how to make healthy dietary decisions by understanding the components of nutrition as illustrated by MyPlate. Grades 3-5

Understanding MyPlate (Grades 6-8)

Students will explore appropriate serving size and learn how to make good dietary decisions by understanding the components of nutrition as illustrated by MyPlate. Grades 6-8

Understanding MyPlate (Grades K-2)

Students explore appropriate serving sizes and determine how to make healthy dietary decisions by identifying the components of nutrition as illustrated by MyPlate. Grades K-2

What's on MyPlate? (Grades 3-5)

Students explore what it means to eat a healthy diet by comparing the foods they typically eat in a day with the recommendations of MyPlate. Grades 3-5

What's on MyPlate? (Grades 6-8)

Students will explore what it means to eat a healthy diet by comparing the foods they typically eat in a day with the recommendations of MyPlate. Grades 6-8

Companion Resources (16)

Eat & Move O-Matic
Free app teaching students how foods fuel their body to create energy for their favorite activities.
Fill MyPlate Game
Test your students’ understanding of nutrition with this exciting, fast-paced board game. Students take turns rolling a die, moving to different sections of the MyPlate board, and answering basic trivia about healthy eating and food science. The first to “fill their plate” with one trivia card from each section (Fruits, Grains, Vegetables, Protein, and Dairy) wins! In-game bonuses encourage students to exercise, reinforcing personal choice as an important component to a healthy lifestyle. Each gameboard comes with materials for up to five students. Available for purchase or free download. Order this game online from
Food Group Puzzle
This activity can be a supplement to any nutrition lesson.  Students will complete puzzles by matching food groups to the nutrients the food group provides and examples of foods within the food group. A digital and paper version is included.
Portion Size Comparison
This activity can supplement any nutrition lesson. Students will identify portion sizes for food and compare them with common every-day items through a "Grab Bag" activity.
The Healthy Hop 'n Shop
In this activity students categorize foods into food groups and describe the USDA MyPlate icon by participating in an activity where students act out the role of a grocery store worker and stock the "shelves" with food from each food group. 
Grains on MyPlate
Grains are hearty, wholesome, and healthy. Learn about how MyPlate helps kids make great food choices every day, including grains.
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
This story makes a fun hook to engage young students with healthy eating. Lola is a very fussy eater. Carrots are for rabbits and peas are 'too small and too green.' One day, after rattling off her long list of despised foods, she ends with the vehement pronouncement, "And I absolutely will never not ever eat a tomato." Not convinced, Lola's older brother Charlie has an idea. He tells Lola that the orange things on the table are not carrots, but "orange twiglets from Jupiter" and peas are in fact "green drops from Greenland." Mashed potatoes, when pitched as "cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji" suddenly seem appealing to Lola. And in the end, might she even eat a tomato? 
Jack & the Hungry Giant Eat Right with MyPlate
Yummy! Colorful images of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein foods fill the pages of this picture book starring Jack of beanstalk fame. Fortunately, the friendly giant in this version of the story is happy to invite a guest for dinner. As they cook together, Jack learns about the food groups that are a part of a well-balanced meal. The book is an appetizing way to introduce children to the MyPlate nutrition program, written and illustrated by Loreen Leedy.
Nutrition Ag Mag
The Nutrition Ag Mag is an agricultural magazine for students. This issue focuses on nutrition with segments highlighting physical fitness, career options, making healthy dietary choices, and how to read a food label. The entire publication can be viewed online. 
Food Science in a Box
This kit is designed to support various forms of homeschool, virtual learning, and online classes by providing ready-to-use supplies to facilitate hands-on learning and discovery. The kit contains materials for one student to complete a variety of activities found in the following lessons: What's on MyPlate? (Activity 1); Get Popping! (Interest Approach—Engagement); Cultures, Food, and Communities Around the World (Activity 1); Cheesemaking: From Liquid to Solid (Activity 1); By Land, Air, or Sea (Activities 2 & 3). Order this kit online from
Bon a la Beef Videos
Four professional video clips featuring elementary through high school students preparing recipes to educate students, teachers, and the public about beef, its nutritional value, and its proper handling and preparation. The student-developed recipes use easy techniques and readily available ingredients.
Dig In! Posters
These dynamic posters visually express the world of possibilities found in growing and eating fruits and vegetables. Display them in your classroom, the school cafeteria, and throughout the school to motivate students to choose more fruits and vegetables at meals and as snacks. Horizontal posters are 24" x 36". Vertical posters are 36" x 24". Posters are available in PDF or upon request from USDA Team Nutrition.
MyPlate Activity Poster
Use this 30" x 26" MyPlate poster to teach your students about food groups and healthy eating. MyPlate is the USDA’s visual nutrition guide, which depicts a place setting showing the five food groups and the relative proportions they take up in a healthy diet. MyPlate provides a simple, highly visual approach to nutrition that is directly applicable to daily life. Order this poster online from
The Power of Choice Bulletin Board
In a society with so many choices and a bewildering array of options, it's important to learn about healthful eating and active living. Students need to discover the connection between their food and the farm, learn facts about food and nutrition, and explore ways to be more active. This 42" x 42" nutrition bulletin board emphasizes the importance of making healthy choices that will last a lifetime. Order this bulletin board online from
Teacher Reference
How to Teach Nutrition to Kids
Teaching nutrition to children early and often is the key to developing healthy eating habits. The fourth edition of How to Teach Nutrition to Kids includes over 200 cross-curricular activities featuring the MyPlate food guide, children's books, gardening, recipes, food art, label reading, fitness and more.
MyPlate is the USDA's food guidance symbol that illustrates the five food groups using the familiar image of a place setting for a meal. A wide variety of resources are provided on the associated MyPlate website.