Sixth grade students begin their nutrition education at King with the Wheel Program class What’s on Your Plate. In this class, students examine the choices we make concerning our food through a variety of activities, films, and projects. Some of the art projects they do include scale fruit and veggie drawings and swirl line drawings. They watch videos about nutrition, digestion, and farming as well as read excerpts from the book Chew on This. They discuss where our food comes from, comparing sustainable agriculture vs. non-sustainable and organic farming vs. mono-culture farming. They also examine what is in our food, looking at fat and sugar content as well as processed vs. unprocessed foods. The Dining Commons supply tasters from the lunch menu so that students can taste and learn to appreciate new foods. Teachers also bring tastings of fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market.
Students continue learning to make food choices that are nutritionally sound and environmentally responsible in King’s Edible Schoolyard. In the garden, they learn the basic tenants of growing food by working with compost, propagating plants in the greenhouse, cultivating beds, and harvesting fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs. In the kitchen classroom, students gain an understanding of the basic tools and techniques of preparing food, how to read and execute a recipe, and how to share food around the table. As the Edible Schoolyard is fully integrated in to the academic experience at King, participation also reinforces classroom learning in areas such as ancient civilizations, ecology, and life systems.