Where Does Our Food Come From?by: Ingrid Weiland

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Problem-based learning (PBL) is one approach to teaching science that supports the notion that students construct knowledge within contextual settings, and that critical thinking and application are best fostered within these realistic contexts. In other words, learning activities are best applied when they are authentic or embedded in real-life situations. PBL engages students in authentic tasks that emulate how science is conducted (Gallagher et al. 1995). Here, the author shares a PBL unit designed for third- through fifth-grade elementary students to support their science understanding, with a specific focus on research, data collection, and data representation. In the process, they discover where food comes from.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:32 PM

This problem based learning unit is designed for third graders. In setting it up one must consider the following: (1) identify a topic, (2) establish the problem to solve, (3) provide a role for students, and (4) create the scenario in which the problem takes place. This article takes the reader through all aspects of this educator’s activity that connects what students eat with science.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:54 PM

The author both describes an interesting PBL project and provides a step-by-step description of the process used to develop it. For teachers who are considering adding PBL to their instructional techniques, this does a good job of taking you through the process at any grade level. This project is ideal for upper elementary (and I know some secondary students who could learn from it as well, if you know any FACS teachers looking for a project on foods, this would be a good one to share!). Especially students in urban areas are separated from the food production process, this would be a good project to get them thinking about where food comes from besides the grocery and discount stores!

Tina Harris  (Fairmount, IN)
Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN)

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