Support for Educators

            Increasing organic awareness in classrooms


Take a Healthy Bite out of Climate Change

Since 2009, the Climate Change Action Group of Erin (CCAGE) has been developing and piloting a Grade 5-6 curriculum around understanding the impacts of food on climate change. COG PWW has supported the farmer in the classroom component of that project, and now we are hosting the materials on-line for teachers across the province to download and use in the classroom. Please use freely and share with other teachers, but give credit to CCAGE, when you do!



A Five-Session Unit for Grades 5-6 Linking Climate Change and Food


Question for teachers: How to address the enormous issue of climate change while engaging your Grade 5-6 students in a fun, positive way to reduce their carbon footprints?


Answer: One bite at a time!


Seriously now: If you have focused on news about ‘the environment’ over the past several years, you will know that climate change is one of the biggest threats facing all life on Earth in this 21st century. It can be both frightening and overwhelming – especially for kids – and it begs the question:


What can one class do?


With the help of this unit, try focusing on food! The food we eat – how far it travels to our lunch box, how much it has been processed and packaged, whether or not it’s organic - has a huge impact on the size of our carbon footprint and the amount of greenhouse gases we send up into the atmosphere.


Kids don’t drive cars, choose the way their homes are heated, or have much say about most of the big purchases that impact their family’s greenhouse gas emissions. But they do eat food – and lots of it! And this can be a great entrée (if you’ll pardon the pun) into a world of positive changes – to improve their own personal health, and the health and future of our beautiful planet Earth.


We hope you and your class will enjoy Taking a Healthy Bite out of Climate Change! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with Liz Armstrong at liz @ ican . net or 519-833-4676.

Amy, Cathy, Heidi and Liz

The Climate Change Action Group of Erin

Wellington County, Ontario


Teacher Curriculum and Resources 

Taking a Healthy Bite out of Climate Change - Unit Overview (Brief Outline of 5 Sessions)


Recommended Resource List & Glossary of Terms


Tips for Cooking in the Classroom


Seasonal Classroom-Appropriate Recipes (any can be used in Session #4):




(Click on the Session Title for the Complete Lesson Plan)

Session #1 - The Greenhouse Effect - Why We Need It, Why We Don’t Need More!

The goals of this session are to explore what climate change is, and how the food we eat contributes to our carbon footprint, and therefore, to climate change.


Session #2 - What’s “Up” With Climate Change?

The goal of this session is to help students discover that the greenhouse effect is a natural process needed for life on Earth but that human activity (including the transportation and processing of food) increases greenhouse gas concentration and therefore, the contributes to climate change.  A graphing exercise demonstrates recent increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.


Session #3 - Growing Solutions to Climate Change - Eat Sunshine, Not Fossil Fuels!

The goals of this session are to review and link what we have learned about climate change and food to a farmer who grows and markets local, organic fruits and vegetables.


              Session #3 PowerPoint Presentation

              Session #3 PowerPoint Presenter’s Guide


Session #4 - Take A Healthy Bite Out of Climate Change (Classroom Meal)

The goals of this session are to wrap up our unit about the impact that kids’ lunches & snacks have on their carbon footprint, GHGs and climate change. But most of this session will be devoted to getting the students organized to prepare and eat a local, organic lunch.


Session #5 - Kids Taking Action on Climate Change - Food, Art, Drama & Writing

The goals of this session are:

  • to get feedback from students about what worries them about climate change
  • to demonstrate to students how to turn their worries into action, including what they can do to reduce their (and their family’s) carbon footprints, starting with the food they eat, and then other ways.
  • help students seek action from adults who have the power to make changes at school, in the community and as Canadians.  There are many opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint of food at school, such as growing a school garden or having a local, organic Pizza Day, or creating a local, organic salad bar to go with the pizza...



(included in package, but listed here for use on their own)


A Week’s Worth of Food Activity (highly recommended - from Session #1)


Climate Change Crossword Puzzle (from Session #1)


Greenhouse Effect Colouring Activity (from Session #2)

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Graphing Activity (from Session #2)


Lunchbox Carbon Footprint Activity (from Session #3-4)









"We have a health system that doesn't care about food and a food system that doesn't care about health."
- Wendell Berry