Students do research to locate and display on a resource map the regions in which particular grains are grown.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Food packaging with ingredients listed, at least one of which is a grain
- World resource map
- Sticky labels (or push-pins in different colors)
- Fine-point felt-tip pens
WHAT TO DO
- Bring to class (and/or ask students to do so) clean, empty packaging from
prepared foods that are popular with students, such as frozen items, breakfast
foods, breads, and pastries.
- Divide class into teams. Distribute the packaging so that every team has one
and there is no duplication (that is, each team is responsible for a different
- Help students identify which ingredients are grains. On the chalkboard, list
the grains the groups identify, for example, wheat, rice, corn, barley, rye,
oats, and buckwheat. Assign a symbol (or, if you're using push-pins, a color)
for each grain.
- Have students follow these steps:
- Study the part of a resource map that shows the United States. If you don't
have a resource map available, use an encyclopedia or other
reference materials to research where each grain is grown.
- Locate the different regions on a political map.
- Find the general locations in the U.S. where that grain is grown.
- Draw the symbol for the grain on sticky labels and place one everywhere it
belongs on the map. Or, use the push-pins with the correct color and place one everywhere it belongs on the map.
- Gradually expand the scope of the activity to other parts of the world,
beginning first with Canada, then moving to the southern hemisphere, Europe,
Asia, and so forth.
- Encourage students to notice any patterns, such as parts of the world where
certain grains are more frequently grown than in others.
With students, locate your city or town and mark it. Ask teams to measure the
distances (again starting with the United States) between the source and their
own homes. Ask students to decide which regions are the farthest, which the
Encourage students to compare their resource map with a climate map and draw
conclusions about what climate is best for each grain. Extend the comparision
by using a physical map and having students note the landforms in each region.
Have students read other packaging to learn about other products containing the
grain they tracked. Teams prepare charts showing those products. They can draw
pictures of the products or attach clean packaging to poster board.
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