Teaching children about organic farming opens the door to learning about ecology, economics and health. Visiting an organic farm, growing a small organic garden, researching small and major food distributors and doing fun group activities such as staging a play are some of the diverse ways to teach kids about organic farming.
1. Get to the Farm
Taking a family or class trip to an organic farm is one of the best ways to show kids how an organic farm operates. Call ahead to schedule a mutually agreed-upon time for the visit; farms are businesses. Many times, organic farmers are happy to explain their farming procedures to visitors. Dress for a day outdoors, be prepared for weather changes and bring your own snacks and drinks.
2. Grow Your Own
Whether you have a plot of ground or a free piece of real estate you can use, you can grow your own small organic garden. You can help your kids plant the seeds, compost, weed, harvest organically and eat the vegetables. Even if your child’s school does not offer gardening activities, you can do this at home.
You can help children learn about the differences between locally and organically grown food and food that is not grown organically and is shipped from farther away. Kids can email and call food companies and ask them questions about growing practices and pesticides. Michi Thacker, a teacher in Milwaukee, decided to launch a project just like this. She maintains that by the end, her students were able to think more critically about pesticides, transportation and quality of food, and how organically raised foods were different, according to the Organic Consumers Association.
4. Stage a Play
You can help kids learn about the science and philosophy behind organic farming by engaging their inner thespian. Stage a play. By recruiting students to help write the script, make costumes and even create a multimedia slide show production to accompany the actors, you can help the information about organic farming really hit home. Having students write and perform a play is an effective teaching tool, according to an article at the website for the Food For Life Partnership.
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