An introduction to The Good Garden: Food Security For Kids Project
Download lesson as a pdf
Time: 45 minutes
Subject: Social Studies (Latin American culture), Language Arts (biography), Math/Economics (microfinance), Community Service (fundraising); World Resources (sustainable development); Geography (South America); Environment (reuse, recycling)
A copy of the Good Garden book
Access www,thegoodgarden.org website for the following resources: From Hunger to Having Enough video
The Good Garden downloadable poster: optional
Print out of picture of the real Maria
Internet access and projector, optional
To introduce children to The Good Garden program through a reading of the book The Good Garden: How One Family Went From Hunger to Having Enough.
Brainstorm Exercise – 10 minutes
Begin your lesson with a warm up exercise. Ask the students to do a brainstorm on the particular subject you have chosen to focus on with the book. For example, if your lesson is going to focus on Honduras, have the students brainstorm what they think or know about the country.
The purpose of this brainstorm is to show that life in other parts of the world has many similarities to and differences from their life in the US.
What do People wear in Honduras which is similar to what people wear in the US? What do they wear that is different?
What do People Eat?
What do People do for Work?
What do Kids do during the Day?
What Animals might you see?
What Trees might you see?
Book Reading & Video – 35 minutes
1. Begin reading the story aloud to the students.
2. Many of the facts the students brainstorm will come up in the story. You can use these opportunities to make connections. Students may want to go on a “scavenger hunt” to see if what they predicted for facts appear in the story as they listen or if they can spot the pictures from the memory game. You can ask them to raise their hands (but not call out!) when a fact they have discussed appears as you read the story.
3. As you read the story, pause and build connections with the students by asking questions.
4. After you finish the story, show them the picture of the real life Maria. Ask if they’d like to see a video of her story (if teaching biography, you can emphasize that the story is literary biography, or realistic fiction, the movie is autobiography.) Click on the Learn tab on and click on “Maria Luz’s Video” (6 min video).
5. After the movie, ask how many children have a garden? And what they planted?
Optional Follow up Activities:
The Good Garden lesson does not need to end here. Classrooms have started with the lesson plan and generated projects such as a food drive, forming a co-op to grow and sell vegetables or volunteering in a community garden.
Below are some additional ideas you’ll find under Make A Difference on www.thegoodgarden.org:
The Good Garden Food Drive: Research the needs of your local soup kitchen or food bank. Pick a day, where each child brings a vegetable or cans of food to school. Donate vegetables to your local soup kitchen and cans to your local food bank. Children can visit the soup kitchen or food bank to help and to learn more about hunger in their community and how they can help.
Change for Change: A simple fundraiser for schools, libraries and families. Make a cardboard watering can "bank" out of an empty milk carton. Stick on a spout and handle. Fill watering can banks with pennies and other coins, and then donate your collection to One Hen, Inc. to support families like Maria Luz’s.
Add “The Good Garden” Logo: Add “The Good Garden” logo to your school/class t-shirts and increase the price by $1. Keep the majority of proceeds for your school and donate the extra dollar to One Hen, Inc.
Visual representation – for each dollar your school raises cut-out a paper watering can and hang it up in your library. You can tape them to walls, hang them from ceilings or make paper watering can chains! This is a great way for students to see how much money they have raised as a school.
Principals or teachers do something after x amount of money is raised – i.e., shave heads, wear clothing backwards, etc.
Extra recess time