Thursday, October 24, 2013

Food, Farms, and Picture Books - Teaching Agricultural Literacy

Join us for a special talk on bringing agricultural literacy into the elementary school classroom - November 2nd, 11:00 am in the Children's Room at Bear Pond Books.

Exploring agriculture can be a hands-on way for students to learn about history, culture, nature, science, health, math, art. . . almost anything. In November, Agricultural Literacy Week encourages educators around the state to participate in activities that help students learn from agriculture.

As the Vermont organizers write "Agricultural Literacy Week is designed to educate Vermont citizens about the depth of our connection to agriculture in the landscape, environment and our personal health. People young and old will have the opportunity to rediscover the beauty of our state and the powerful role that farms play in its economy, energy resources, sustainability efforts and resiliency."

Vermont's Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross says "Ag Literacy is essential for Vermonters to understand and reconnect to Vermont farms and farmers."

On November 2nd, Abbie Nelson from NOFA-VT will talk about resources available in Vermont for teachers, librarians and community members who want to include agriculture in the elementary school classroom. She will share successful projects other Vermont teachers have tried, and we invite you to share your own stories, too. NOFA-VT is one of the partners in the statewide farm-to-school organization VT Food Education Every Day (VT-FEED).

Abbie will be joined by Vermont picture book author Gail Gibbons. Gail has written about farm-related topics from Apples to Veterinarians in the countryside (that's as close as we could get to "z"). She'll talk about young readers' responses to her books, her classroom experiences, and how teachers have incorporated this material into standards-based lesson plans.

There will be some great local snacks, using recipes from the New School Cuisine farm-to-school cookbook. Learn more about the New School Cuisine cookbook from this story on the VPR Cafe

We've put together a Pinterest Board of farm-related picture books - which is only a starting point. What would you add? Let us know by e-mailing helen.labun.jordan at

The Shelburne Farms learning barn gave us a starting point for our picture book list. The Shelburne Farms website offers more information about farm-based education, including upcoming events.

This event is free and open to the public. Please join us at 11:00 am on Saturday November 2nd. 

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