Identifying, Harvesting, and Cooking with Wild Edible Plants

Published October 4, 2013 | Updated November 1, 2015
Subject: Culinary, Science
Season: Fall
Place of Learning: Garden, Kitchen, Academic Classroom
Resource Type: Lessons
Grade Level: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6
Uploaded by:
Katie Culpepper

In this lesson, students learn the difference between edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants. Students will take a walk in the schoolyard to identify and harvest wild edible plants. Students will record observations about the look and taste of each wild edible and will draw a colored picture of each as well. Students will harvest spruce and fir needles for a tea and lamb's quarter, wood sorrel, sheep sorrel, clover, purslane, and dandelion greens to use as toppings for pizzas. 


 Students will:

  • Brainstorm and discuss the meaning of edible, medicinal, and poisonous.
  • Observe, taste, and forage for local edible wild plants.
  • Prepare tea and pizza with local edible wild plants.
  • Mini-dry erase boards
  • Dry erase markers
  • Chart paper
  • Describing and Tasting Wild Edible Plants Worksheet (included below)
  • Clipboards
  • Ziplock bags for collecting wild edibles
  • Cookie sheets
  • Pizza dough or Pitas
  • Cheese
  • Olive oil

Anticipatory Set:

Divide students into partner pairs and distribute a mini-dry erase board and marker to each. Instruct students to brainstorm ideas for the following questions:

  • What does edible, medicinal, and poisonous mean?
  • What are some examples of edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants?

Share and chart students’ brainstorm on chart paper.

Instructional Procedure(s):

Identify and harvest local wild edible plants.

Distribute, explain, and facilitate the worksheet - Describing and Tasting Wild Edible Plants.

Prepare edible wild tea and pizza buffet style.

Reflect about the following questions:

  • What wild edible toppings went well together? 
  • Which didn't go well together?
  • Why is it helpful to be able to identify wild edible plants?


  • Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places by Steve Brill and Evelyn Dean
  • Acorn Pancakes, Dandelion Salad, and 38 Other Wild Recipes by Jean Craighead George


  • Harvesting a Wild Tea (attached below)
  • Harvesting a Weed Salad (attached below)


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