Global Gardens (Old Curriculum - Please note that this Topic will be phased out in December 2017)

Plant origins of food (Old Curriculum)

This topic explores plants and growing things, looking at plant cycles and food chains, investigating the history of different plant-based products and the global context of different foods. Children also use plants in creating artistic and musical projects.

Each Topic is written for a particular Key Stage. If you use a Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

This Topic was written for the old National Curriculum of England.  We have left it on the website so that teachers unconstrained by the new National Curriculum can continue to access this material.  Teachers in England would have to adapt this Topic to the new curriculum or use some of the new Topics available on the website. 

Please note, we will be removing Global Gardens from the website in December 2017.  If you think you might want to continue using this Topic after that date, please download and save it now. 

Supporting documents for topic
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01: Global gardens – chronology of foods

The children begin their work on foods/plants by considering the history of various foods. They discuss how long these have existed (using a timeline) and how some of the items are made (for example dairy products).

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01a: Food stories – traditional tales

Use a traditional tale with a food theme to explore differences between written and picture book versions. Children sequence the story in stages, then re-tell it in a different format, also creating their own versions of a food fable.

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02: History of sugar – cane and beet

Children learn about the history of sugar, including honey. They discover how sugar cane was brought to England and explore where sugar comes from now, looking at similarities and differences between sugar cane and sugar beet.

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03: History of salt – salt paintings

Children learn where salt is found, and what it has been used for throughout history. They discuss how it forms part of a healthy diet. Children then use salt and watercolours to create a fantastic sea-effect salt painting.

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04: History and origins of chocolate

Children explore the origins of chocolate, where cocoa beans grow, how they were brought to Europe and when its popularity grew. Session includes what is sure to be a very popular blind tasting of white, milk and plain chocolate!

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05: Using chocolate and cooking biscuits

Building on session 4, children discover the different forms of chocolate, how it was a drink first, then a solid food, and what happened in the war (rationing). Children then get to follow recipes and produce chocolate biscuits.

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06: History of tea – making tea-paper

Children discover the history of tea, how it was discovered and where it comes from. They then discuss how it became so popular in England. Children create ancient looking tea-paper using tea!

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07: History of tea – tie-dying using tea

Children look at and discuss the history of tea leaves, tea bags, teapots, teacups and caddies. They mark each one on a timeline. Children produce some traditional tie-dyed patterns on cloth using tea as the dye.

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08: Research chosen food history

Building on their investigations of sugar, salt etc children decide which other foods they would like to learn the history of. They develop suitable historical questions about their chosen food that they would like answered!

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09: Presentation of food history

Children will search for answers to the questions they have prepared in session 8 by using the web, information texts, etc. A large timeline is then populated with the facts that they have found out using bright ‘fact’ labels.

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10: Begin to learn about Christopher Columbus

Children begin to discover who Christopher Columbus was, hearing about when he lived and some of his voyages. They write simple sentences relating facts about his life.

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11: Columbus and potatoes – make a potato print flag

Children learn about the new plants and flowers that Christopher Columbus discovered and brought back to the West. These include potatoes and pineapples! Using potato prints, children make ship-flags using repeating patterns.

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12: Human rights - the start of slavery

Having read children the poem about slavery, Aunt Sue’s Stories, children learn how slavery began when European explorers discovered new foods in new lands. They discuss conditions of slavery, before developing ideas of equal rights.

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13: Columbus’ voyage - message in a bottle

Using their imagination, children try to imagine conditions and experiences as a crew member on one of Columbus’ ships. They write their experiences on the voyage, describing the features of life on board.

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14: Studying seed pod maracas, making shakers

Children look at how plants and growing things are traditionally used in the making of musical instruments. Working in pairs, children will be asked to make a pair of maracas using a variety of seeds.

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15: Composing music representing a plant growing

Having revised the life cycle of plants from session 2, children work together to select instruments and compose music to represent each stage of the cycle. They explore ways of writing their composition.

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16: Completing and performing own compositions

Having reviewed their compositions children will try to write down their tunes using a variety of symbols. Following some quick rehearsals, children will perform their compositions for the class.