Webster Public School Students Learn the Science and Nutrition of Kale

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February 13, 2019

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In line with the Webster Public School’s Wellness Policy, the food service department aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students.   As a recipient of the USDA Farm to School grant the district can integrate agricultural education into the classroom through locally grown and seasonal foods.  To help support this goal, Framingham State University (FSU) student dietitian, Shanna Fontaine created and presented a nutrition education lesson, Kale-atomy, based on the anatomy of November’s Mass Harvest of the Month to the third graders at Park Ave Elementary School in November, 2018.

Dinosaur Kale rubbing, created and labeled by third-grade student at Webster’s Park Ave Elementary School.

This investigative lesson helped students become familiar with the vegetable kale, which some students have never heard of before.

The third-grade library class participated in a True and False activity to identify kale’s plant family, number of varieties, years of existence, and harvest properties.  After learning of the background, each student received a kale leaf, made a leaf rubbing, and as a class labeled each part of the kale leaf.

Shanna Fontaine, Student Dietitian, leading a group activity, labeling parts of our bodies that are similar to parts of kale

Once the activity was complete, the students were surprised to learn that kale leaves are like parts of the human body.  For each part of the kale leaf, the student learned of a structure of the human body that is similar, along with the vitamins or minerals found in kale that help keep that part of the body healthy.  For example, the stem is like our bones, which helps support our body and the mineral calcium is found in kale that helps support our bones.

Seeking more resources on farm and sea to school? Visit the JSI Resource Center for additional information and lesson plans to help integrate Harvest of the Month education into your district’s nutrition education.

Submitted by: Shanna Fontaine,  FSU Undergraduate Food and Nutrition Student, Coordinated Program in Dietetics.