LiFE: Farm to Table & Beyond

Farm to Table & Beyond

In the Farm to Table & Beyond module, students learn science through the study of food systems. The module’s driving question — What is the system that gets food from farm to table and how does this system affect the environment? — frames students’ investigations of our complex and highly technological, global food system. Students develop an understanding of systems and examine the interacting parts of food systems. They engage in hands-on investigations of the cycling of matter in nature and human impact on this cycle including energy and resource use in processing, packaging, and transporting food. Using scientific reasoning, students analyze their personal food choices and apply what they have learned as they make personal decisions related to food systems, health, and the natural environment.


Designed for use in grades 5 or 6, the teacher guide includes:

  • Lesson plans with helpful background information, practical teaching tips, and tools for assessment
  • Student activity sheets and reading
  • A matrix that maps Farm to Table & Beyond to the National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy

Explore! the big ideas and learning objective for the units in Farm to Table & Beyond (PDF)

Review! the table of contents from Farm to Table & Beyond (PDF)

Read! How to help students make sense of the global food system in NSTA’s Science Scope (PDF)

Try! Lesson 5: From Field to Store (PDF)

Buy! your copy from LiFE’s publisher, the National Gardening Association

Share! Farm to Table & Beyond Flyer

Farm to Table & Beyond was made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NCRR or NIH.