Garden Science: Food System

Food System


In this 7th grade science lesson, students are introduced to the food system and play an interactive game called The Wind Blows.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Understand the steps involved in the production of food
  • Realize that they are active members of the food system


During this lesson, students will:

  • Provide examples of producers, processors and retailers
  • Connect their own actions with the food system while playing a game called The Wind Blows


  • Visual aid
  • Cards for The Wind Blows game

Before You Begin

  • Create the visual aid
  • Create the cards for The Wind Blows game


At the Opening Circle

  1. Welcome students and introduce our food system. Ask students what comes to mind when they hear that term. Explain to students that the food system includes all the steps involved in getting food to our bellies.  
  2. Focus attention to the visual aid and ask students to read, one by one, the different steps involved in the food system. Invite students to share what they already know about the food system.
  3. Have student volunteers read the visual aid out loud.
  4. Ask students if they know a consumer. Guide them to understand that they are consumers.
  5. Explore with students different examples of producers (farms), processors (brand names) and retailers (stores or restaurants) they are familiar with.
  6. Ask students to estimate how many miles food travels between the producer and their plate. Share that the average meal travels 1500 miles for the average American. Ask students how far the food from the garden travels before we eat it.
  7. Tell students that in Closing Circle they will play a version of The Wind Blows that is all about the food system.
  8. Divide students into working groups to complete garden jobs. Encourage students to be thinking about the food system during their time in the garden.

At the Closing Circle

Play The Wind Blows, a game similar to musical chairs. To start the game a teacher reads a statement, and all students for whom the statement is true stand up and change seats. The last student standing without a seat reads a follow-up to the statement and then reads the next statement. In this particular instance of the game, the statements are about the food system.






Food system

Download: Food System Visual Aid

Download: The Wind Blows - Food System

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