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The Whole Grains Council is your hub for all things related to whole grain education. Click on an activity listed below to learn more and to download the materials.
5 Lessons (geography, math, creative writing (2), and listening skills) plus our original Whole Grain Train Song (preschool-grade 5)
Single Lesson + Activity: “Healthy Kids Whole Grain Toolkit” (grades K-5)
Single Lesson + Physical Activity: “Great Grain Obstacle Course” (ages 8-11)
Single Lesson + Activities: “Whole Grain” (ages 8-12)
5-Lesson Plan Series + Activities: “The Power of 3” (grades 3-6)
Whole Grain Cartoons with Lesson Plan: “Fizzy’s Lunch Lab” (grades 1-4)
Video Lesson + Online Game + Activities: “KickinNutrition.TV: No Breakfast, No Bueno” (grades 4-8)
Baking Program: “Learn Bake Share” (grades 4-7)
Handouts with Scavenger Hunt and Recipe Activity: “Choose Whole Grain Bread Instead,” and “Choose Brown Rice”
Worksheet with Activity and Recipe: “Happy Whole-idays” (elementary level)
Baking Activity + Lesson: “Pumpkin Power Book and Bake” (pre-school & early elementary)
Baking Activity + Lesson: “Bread with a Twist”
From the American Institute of Cancer Research
This toolkit from the AICR (The American Institute of Cancer Research) is designed to educate youngsters about whole grains and get them interested in switching more of their grains to whole grain. The toolkit includes a recipe for whole grain fruit bars, an activity sheet, and a lesson plan. Click here to access this Toolkit.
From Michigan State University Extension
This interactive, 20-minute activity is a part of the Jump into Foods and Fitness Curriculum from the Michigan State University Extension. The lesson features a fun obstacle course to help students make the connection between whole grains and energy. Click here to download the lesson plan.
From Cornell University Cooperative Extension
This 70-90 minute lesson for 8-12 year olds is packed with hands-on whole grain learning, although many of the activities can be repurposed for shorter classes if time is a constraint. Some of the activities encourage movement (such as a ﬁber relay race), while others allow for practice identifying whole grains. There are also three whole grain recipes to choose from, and it is also available in Spanish.
This lesson is part of a 6-lesson curriculum called Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness and can be downloaded for free, although the Cornell University Cooperative Extension kindly asks that you contact Wendy Wolfe (email@example.com), PhD, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University with your name, agency/organization, state and intended use, if you decide to use these copyrighted materials. They also recommend that for best results, the complete curriculum be used (see website for ordering information).
To access the lesson, click here. Use the menu options on the left to navigate the site. Under Order and Print Information, go to Curriculum and Materials, where you can scroll down to Lesson 4 “Make Half Your Grains Whole.” See the Supplies page in the lesson for what posters, visual aids and handouts to also download from this page, and other teaching supplies needed such as actual grain samples.
From University of Minnesota Extension Service
This school-based curriculum available is designed to increase intake of whole grain foods by elementary school students. This 3-component program includes a ﬁve-lesson classroom curriculum supporting student learning and behavior change, newsletters and events to encourage parents to make whole grain foods available at home information for school foodservice personnel to increase the number of whole grain foods that are incorporated into school menus. Click here to link directly to the Power of 3 curriculum.
As many cartoons are associated with unhealthy food marketing, it is refreshing to come across cartoons that promote nutrition education and whole grains. These 5 “Fizzy’s Lunch Lab” cartoon videos range from 1 minute to 7 minutes in length, with one lesson plan (including handouts and activities) accompanying the collection of videos. Click here to link directly to “Fizzy’s Lunch Lab” and accompanying materials.
From KickinNutrition.TV (KidsCOOK Productions and Ingredients for Education)
“No Breakfast, No Bueno” is a fun, 25 minute video lesson that highlights the importance of breakfast, with a large focus on whole grains. This video lesson is part of a six-lesson series from KickinNutrition.TV, a peer-taught, scripted comedy program about high schoolers that face nutrition dilemmas and learn about food and nutrition concepts. The lessons are aligned with the Core Curriculum and National Health Education Standards, and are intended for students in grades 4-8. In addition to the video episodes, KickinNutrition.TV also oﬀers engaging activities, and an online adventure game called StudentTopia. Click here for instructions on how to access the lessons, or click here to access the online adventure game.
From King Arthur Flour
The King Arthur Flour Learn Bake Share Bread Baking Program is available during the school year to student populations between 50-200 people in grades 4-7. Baking is a great hands-on way for kids to learn math, science, and cultural traditions, all while having fun. Through their free Baking Program, King Arthur Flour has taught more than 90,000 school children how to bake bread. In turn, they’ve shared this bread with local food pantries and senior centers.
How does the program work?
King Arthur Flour’s Learn Bake Share Bread Baking Program is available to schools free of charge. We present one or more 50-minute assemblies for students — a fun combination of baking science, technique and bread-making know-how — and provide everything necessary for each student to make two loaves of bread at home: all-purpose and white whole wheat ﬂour, yeast, a recipe booklet, and even bread bags and twist ties! Students keep one loaf to enjoy at home and bring the other back to school to donate to a community organization chosen by your school.
What does the school do?
- Enthusiastically supports and promotes the KAF Learn Bake Share Bread Baking Program
- Coordinates the assembly arrangements and use of classroom training materials
- Notiﬁes parents and the community about the Learn Bake Share Bread Baking Program
- Selects students to assist the instructor before, during, and after the presentation
- Assists the instructor with set up and clean up
- Distributes ingredients and materials to students for bread baking at home
- Designates a local organization to receive the bread donations and coordinates bread delivery
How can I get more information?
To ﬁnd out how to get your school involved, visit KingArthur’s website, call 802-526-1837 or email learnbakeshare@kingarthurﬂour.com.
“Choose Whole Grain Bread Instead” and “Choose Brown Rice” Whole Grain Handouts with Scavenger Hunt & Recipe Activities
From the Whole Kids Foundation
“Choose Whole Grain Bread Instead,” a colorful, double sided handout from the Whole Kids Foundation, has lots of information on why whole grains are healthy, and how to ﬁnd them. The whole grain scavenger hunt activity at the bottom of the ﬁrst page is intended as a grocery store activity, but can easily be adapted to the classroom if you bring in a variety of food packages (or pictures of food packages). It also comes with four whole grain recipes for kids to take home and try (although the Whole Grain Wrap could be made in a classroom, as it doesn’t require cooking).
The Whole Kids Foundation also has a similar handout called “Choose Brown Rice,” with information on why brown rice is healthier than white rice, along with three take home recipes, and one hands-on recipe activity. Click to download the “Choose Whole Grain Bread Instead” activity here, and the “Choose Brown Rice” activity here.
From Cooking Matters
This double sided, full color handout features a whole grain detective activity to help kids learn to identify whole grain foods by reading ingredient lists. The worksheet also includes a grain-related wordsearch and a take-home recipe for whole grain cookies. This worksheet is freely available, although Cooking Matters kindly asks that you complete this form stating your intended use, before downloading materials. Click here to download the worksheet.
From the Home Baking Association
If your class has access to kitchen space, this fun “Book and Bake” lesson from the Home Baking Association is a great way to introduce whole grains, as well as an important American crop: pumpkin. Instructors can choose from two diﬀerent book pairings for the lesson, based on the age of the students (one for pre-school, and one for early elementary). The lesson also comes with two whole grain pumpkin recipes (pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin whole grain bread or muﬃns). Click here to access the lesson.
From the Home Baking Association
For those with access to kitchen supplies, this activity is a fun way to explore the history of a familiar food, and get some hands-on experience baking with whole grain ﬂour. After all, when kids have a hand in making a recipe, they are more likely to try it and enjoy it. According to the Home Baking Association, elementary youngsters and high schoolers alike all enjoy this lesson, as the instructor chooses the most ﬁtting questions to explore with the students. Click here to access the lesson.
From the Oldways Whole Grains Council
This one-page black and white handout shows examples of the many diﬀerent foods that can make up your 3 daily servings of whole grains, and makes a great opener to jumpstart the conversation about healthy eating and whole grains. A second page has teacher’s notes in English. Click here to link directly to this Coloring Sheet. (Also available in Spanish).