Food origins

Food has to be grown, reared or caught.

Food origins

Activity 1- Plants are grown

Plants are grown for food and might be grown on farms, allotments, in gardens or on windowsills.

This session will look at how wheat is farmed and how strawberries are grown.  You can cover both of these in the session or do them on separate occasions.

Question the children:

  • What food can be grown on a farm?
  • How do you think they are grown?

Show children the Growing wheat presentation and the From wheat to bread video and discuss how wheat is grown and turned into different foods.

Show children Growing strawberries presentation and question them about how strawberries are grown.

Show the Fruit and vegetable harvesting video.  Question the children:

  • What fruit and vegetables can you see in the video clip?
  • How are they harvested?
  • Why are they harvested in different ways?

Talk to the children about what can be grown at home:

  • Do you grow any food at home?
  • Does anyone you know?
  • What sorts of things can be grown at home?
  • Where about are things at home grown? (Allotment, greenhouse, garden, window sill.)

Children can complete the What’s growing on the farm? worksheet or organise a planting activity. You could grow:

  • potatoes in a bucket;
  • strawberries, tomatoes or beans in a grow bag;
  • herbs on the classroom window ledge. 

If you already have a food garden at school, take the children out to work on the garden. Discuss with the children what plants need to survive, e.g. water and light.


Activity 2 - Animals are reared

Animals are reared for food.

Question the children:

  • Have you ever visited a farm where animals live?
  • What did you see?
  • What animals live on farms?
  • What do you think an animal needs to grow and stay healthy?

Explain that all animals need food and water to stay alive and a clean place to sleep makes the animals comfortable. 

Show the Farming food presentation to help the children learn more about how farmers rear animals to supply food.

Arrange a visit to an animal farm so children can find out more about the animals there and how they are cared for. Alternatively, use The Farm Visit story to introduce dairy farming to the children. The story provides a useful introduction. Children could also use books or the internet to learn about how other animals are farmed, e.g. lambs.

Using information from the Farming food presentation, a farm visit, research from books or the internet, get children to complete the Farming food worksheet.


Activity 3 - Some food is caught

Some animals, like fish, are caught for food.  Fishing usually takes place in the sea, rivers or lakes.  Show children the Fishing video and question them about what they see. Explain to children that fish can also be farmed. This involves fish being bred in a type of container or enclosure.

To help children learn more about the variety of fish available, you could use the Seafish snap cards. These show 12 different fish which can be found in the sea. Children can:

  • look at the 12 fish and sort/group them in different ways;
  • compare and contrast features of different fish;
  • choose a fish and find out five facts about it;
  • play snap or pairs.

Explain to the children that some other food is caught, such as wild deer or boar.


Further activities

You could talk to the children about seasonal foods using the Season cards. 

Harvest festival: Arrange an assembly or classroom activities focusing on harvest festival. The following resources could be used:

  • Use the Harvest time presentation to set the scene. Explore the themes of harvest, as well as when different food is harvested throughout the year. Use the following worksheets to consolidate different aspects: Down on the farm worksheetGrowing food worksheet and Harvest time worksheet
  • Explore the theme of Harvest festival with the children. What does it mean to them? Ask children to create a display or artwork highlighting their thoughts and understanding. Use the What does Harvest mean to me? worksheet.

Plan to cook some dishes with ingredients which can be grown at home, e.g. potato salad, salsa, garden salad. 

5 - 7 YR
What's growing on the farm? worksheet

A simple worksheet for recording food that grows on a farm.

Season cards

A set of cards around the four seasons.

5 - 7 YR
Harvest time

A worksheet about harvesting.

7 - 11 YR
Down on the farm

A presentation looking at the origins of different animals on the farm being reared for food.

7 - 11 YR
Down on the farm worksheet

A worksheet to capture what animals would be on a farm.

5 - 7 YR
Growing strawberries

A presentation looking at how strawberries are grown.

5 - 7 YR
Growing wheat

A presentation investigating growing wheat.

Farming food for you - dairy

A poster about the dairy farm and farmer.

Farming food for you - beef cattle

A poster about the beef cattle farm and farmer.

Farming food for you - sheep

A poster about the sheep farm and farmer.

Farming food for you - potatoes

A poster about the potato farm and farmer.

Farming food for you - cereals

A poster about the cereal farm and farmer.

Farming food for you - pigs

A poster about the pig farm and farmer.


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