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Seed to Table, Growing Food and Scientists at Northeast Elementary

Students work on tablet
Students examine potted plants
Students work together

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School(s): Northeast Elementary
Grade(s): Fifth Grade
Subject(s): Science, Reading, Writing, Art

Essential Questions

How does energy move through living and nonliving systems?
What are environmental variables that impact plant growth in our area?  H
ow do plants adapt to our climate/environment?

Case Study At A Glance

Students begin this study by analyzing the food they typically consume, and build understanding of where what they eat comes from. This is the launch into an inquiry about food systems, the flow of energy in ecosystems, and the discovery of our role as active researchers and scientists to understand our local climate and landscape, to understand variables that contribute to growth, and to ultimately successfully grow food that we can eat.

Standards Addressed/Long Term Learning Targets


  • Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital
  • Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food was once energy from the sun.
  • Plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.
  • Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
  • Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.


Tompkins Cortland Community College
Cornell University


Northeast Greenhouse
Parent donations
IPEI Red and Gold Grant

Anchor texts

Plant Life, by Peter D. Riley
The Story of George Washington Carver, by Eva Moore, illustrated by Alexander Anderson