Engage students in a research project about access to healthy food in the United States, and plan actions for addressing food insecurity in your community.
This activity supports the development of the following social-emotional skills: relationship skills, responsible decision-making, self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness.
This activity focuses on challenges around food security experienced by different communities in the United States. Food security is the physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet dietary needs for a productive and healthy life. To start the activity, ask students to conduct research on access to food in their local community and analyze how this data has changed over time.
Educators in the United States might visit the online Food Environmental Atlas with their students and follow these steps:
Then, engage students in a think-pair-share discussion about their initial observations about how access to food in their community has changed over time. Students should start by thinking about the questions individually before sharing their thoughts with a partner and, finally, with the rest of the class. You might ask:
During your class discussion, guide students to think about how the map data points to any food security issues in their community. You might ask:
Engage students in a brainstorming session about actions they might take to address food insecurity, strengthen food environments, and promote the right to basic human health needs in their community. For example, students might:
Help students to narrow down their list of ideas and identify an action they want to take together. Remind them to listen to each other’s ideas with an open mind, include everyone’s perspective, and consider their unique strengths, resources, and skills. Then, develop a plan in which each student plays a different, but equally important role, in accomplishing their shared goal!
Facilitate a live virtual exchange with your Empatico partner class and invite students to share their thoughts and ideas. For example, they might discuss:
Encourage students to find similarities and differences between their communities, and learn from each other’s ideas and experiences. You might even challenge them to identify an action that they can take together!
This activity was developed in partnership with the University of California, Irvine Science Project.