Investigating Local Grains

Investigating Local Grains

Adapted From: Food Share and Ontario Eco-Schools
Target Age: Elementary (grade 1-6)
Key Learning Goals: Demonstrate an understanding of various grains grown in Canada, their uses and nutritional benefits
Equipment Necessary: Clear plastic cups or containers, a few different grains (example oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, wheat berries, corn etc)
Activity Type: Lunchtime Education (may need an extra few minutes to complete)


Directions

  1. Complete this activity on a day when cooked grains are being served as part of lunch.
  2. Hand out a container of 3-4 different grains to small groups of students. Explain to the students that these are all different types of whole grains. Grains are the dry fruits that grow from cereal grasses (like wheat) that grows all over Canada.
  3. Explain the nutritional benefits of grains: they are great for giving us energy so we can go out and play, they give us fiber which helps to keep our digestive systems running smoothly, they give us protein to keep our help build our muscles, and tons of vitamins and minerals like magnesium and B vitamins.
  4. Ask the groups of students to explore the grain with their senses: smell it, look at it, touch it.
  5. Do they know what grain they have?  Have they ever eaten it? What does it taste like? How is the grain usually prepared in their home? What are popular food products made with that grain? (For example, if one group has corn- popcorn or cornflakes; rice - Rice Krispy cereal or rice cakes)
  6. Discuss the type of grain they are eating that day, be specific with what the nutritional benefits are, and where it comes from.
  7. Ask the students what they learned about grains today to wrap up the activity.