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Climate Change


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences


60 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

How Does Food Production Affect the Planet? (Climate Change, Food Production, and Food Security #2)

Created By Teachers:
Last Updated:
Apr 17, 2024
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This lesson teaches students about the different steps in food production and how each step contributes to climate change.


Step 1 - Inquire: Students think about the steps involved in the production of a single food.


Step 2 - Investigate: Students investigate specific foods to see how different stages of the supply chain contribute to a food’s carbon footprint.


Step 3 - Inspire: Students review their Food Trackers to identify which of the foods they consumed had the largest carbon footprint.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students are able to connect climate change to their everyday life by thinking about what foods they eat and how they may impact the planet.

  • Students are able to analyze complex data in a way that is highly scaffolded and supported.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 2 of 6 in our 6th-8th grade Climate Change, Food Production, and Food Security unit.

  • Students should be able to read a bar graph that has a key.


  • Teachers can assign the Teacher Slideshow on Google Classroom and students can submit their work independently.

  • For the Data Explorer section, teachers can use an open-ended version that has broad questions or a guided version that has more specific questions to help students identify trends.

  • Teachers can eliminate options in the guided research section if the options are overwhelming.

  • Teachers can review the Teacher Slideshow as a class and answer the questions as a whole group assignment.

Scientist Notes

The lesson has students analyze carbon footprint from different sources of food. From production, packaging, transportation, consumption, and disposal, all these activities increase carbon footprint and cause harm to the environment. This lesson inspires students to take urgent action to reduce individual carbon footprint from the food system. All materials are well-sourced and were thoroughly fact-checked to ascertain their credibility. Thus, this lesson is recommended for teaching.


Primary Standards

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.

Supporting Standard

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Climate Change, Food Production, and Food Security Unit Lesson Plans


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