What are cereals? (11-14 Years)

Explain where cereals come from, how they are processed and the different ways in which they are used to create a range of dishes.



  • Identify different types of grain, where they are grown and their main uses.
  • Describe the steps used in processing wheat grain to flour, oats and barley into end products.
  • Explain the steps used in the production of bread and cereal-based foods from farm to fork, including food assurance schemes.



  • How many different types of grain can the pupils name? Quiz pupils on the names and uses of different grains. Use the grain game presentation to support – ask pupils to vote on the grains and suggest foods that are made from different grains. You may wish to arrange a display of different grains to be set out.
  • Cereals form part of a healthy, varied diet and are in the starchy food group in The Eatwell Guide. What nutrients do cereals provide? (carbohydrate, fibre, vitamins and minerals)

Activity ideas

  • Explore the ‘grain chain’ with the pupils. What steps to they think are involved? If possible, use props to engage pupils – look at an ear of wheat, focus on the grains. Where is the flour? How can the flour be extracted from the grains? How is the flour made into bread?
  • Use the grain chain presentation to examine all the steps involved. Pupils can use the the grain chain worksheet to answer questions as you go through the presentation.
  • Bring the ‘chain’ to life – use the three videos (see above) to show the grain chain in action.
  • Ask pupils to place the the grain chain cards into the correct order. Ask them to list different foods that could be made from the grain.
  • Show the Bread making video (at school) so that pupils are reminded of the main stages involved.
  • Make bread, scones or savoury muffins, demonstrating the versatility of flour. Check out recipes on Food - a fact of life.
  • Find out more about the Red Tractor logo. Collect packaging that displays the logo for products made from cereal-based foods. 

Round up

Recap the learning by questioning the pupils:

  • What are the main stages of the grain chain?
  • Name three different cereals. Wheat, oats and barley.
  • What foods can be made with each of these cereals?
  • What is made from wheat?
  • List the stages involved in making bread.

Extension ideas

  • Cook a variety of dishes using different cereals.
  • Create a display showing the grain chain. Allocate different steps in the chain to small groups of pupils.
  • Focus on the contribution made by cereals to healthy eating.
11 - 14 YR
The grain chain game

Presentation with questions about the different types of grain and foods that can be made from them.

11 - 14 YR
The grain chain presentation

Exploring the stages of the grain chain from the farming of wheat through to the milling of flour.

11 - 14 YR
The grain chain worksheet

A list of questions about the main stages in the grain chain and process to make flour.

11 - 14 YR
Grain chain cards

A set of cards stating the different stages of the grain chain.

11 - 14 YR
Barley farming and processing presentation

A presentation exploring barley farming and the process of malting barley.

11 - 14 YR
Oat farming and processing presentation

A presentation exploring oat farming and processing.

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