Lesson Plan: The Sustainable Food Choices

Written By: Lisa Boerboom

Time Allotment

1-5 class periods (or more) depending on options chosen


This unit includes an excellent video series on current food/consumer topics. Teachers many choose specific episodes or let students make selections based on their personal interest. A variety of assignment options are included for students to complete as they watch the videos and the culminating activity will have students create a comic strip to illustrate their understanding of the topics. TheSustainableFoodChoicesLesson.docx

Learning Objectives

  1. Define the terms sustainability and conservation
  2. Identify steps a consumer should take to purchase and then promote the use of sustainable food products.
  3. Identify the issues surrounding the global production of seafood, coffee, animals and organic food


  1. Students set up a document to use for their notes and vocabulary chart
  2. Set up a classroom discussion platform to use for formative assessment
    • google classroom, peardeck, infuse learning, padlet, twitter, etc…..

Introductory Activities

MATERIALS: http://www.foodday.org//food_literacy_quiz
Food Day quiz is used as the introductory activity. The short, 15 question quiz will get students to connect to their previous knowledge.

Learning Activities

View video episodes from the Lexicon of Sustainability series
  1. Students or teacher choose from the following activities or focus questions for each video clip. Students organize their responses in a document.
    • Create questions that stimulate discussion
    • List the arguments one could state to oppose this idea
    • List examples of this topic from your life experience
    • What is the main idea
    • Why is this segment important?
    • What is your opinion of this segment?
    • What questions would you ask the main speaker if given the opportunity to interview them?
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Use a similar format as students create a vocabulary chart in their notes. Teacher may choose to discuss some key terms before viewing the episodes. List of terms is included: http://www.pbs.org/food/features/the-lexicon-of-sustainability-terms/
    Term Define in your own words use term in a sentence self, school, or world connections

  4. Possible class discussion questions to use throughout the unit as formative assessment.
    • What was your score on the pretest? Name one topic you feel confident about.
    • On a scale of 1-5 how strongly do you agree with the speaker
    • List three things you have learned so far in class today
    • Choose the vocabulary term from your list that you identify most with a given picture
    • You have 5 minutes to locate an image from the Lexicon of sustainability website that you feels illustrates Sustainability in the most broad and complete way.
    • What are the consequences of…..?
    • Do you think _____ is a good thing or a bad thing?
    • What happened after________?
    • What was the problem with _______?

Culminating Activity

  • Students will create a comic strip to illustrate their understanding of the concepts in the unit. This summative assessment encourages higher level thinking and creativity.
  • Students will share their completed comic strip with a partner or small group. Discussion points will be earned based on the quality of the questions they ask the presenters.

  • Comic strip summative assessment

    Cross-Curricular Activity

    1. Prepare food that meets sustainability guidelines.
    2. Create art that illustrates sustainability concepts.

    Community Connections

    1. Interview local producers or others in the food industry to learn more about their sustainable initiatives.
    2. Post comic strips on the class blog to promote discussion.