K6-2 Greens Over Grains

Published July 25, 2016 | Updated October 6, 2017
Place of Learning: Kitchen
Resource Type: Lessons
Grade Level: Grade 6
Uploaded by:
Kyle Cornforth
Program Affiliations:

In this sixth-grade humanities lesson, students complete the seed to table cycle by preparing sautéed greens and serving them over grains that have been grown in the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley garden.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify steps within the seed to table cycle
  • Practice basic knife skills while demonstrating proper knife safety and care
  • Articulate the importance of the domestication of plants

During this lesson, students will:

  • Explain how the seed to table cycle relates to the kitchen, the garden, and the environment.
  • Properly mince or slice ingredients as directed
  • Describe the process of domesticating plants 

For the Chef Meeting


  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Barley

For the Sautéed Greens

  • Assorted greens (Dinosaur kale, bok choi, rainbow chard)
  • Olive oil
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Soy sauce
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Rice vinegar


  • Cast iron skillet
  • Garlic peeler
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chefs’ knives
  • Paring knives
  • Cutting boards
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons


  • Stove


Before You Begin
  • Collect all the tools and ingredients, and then distribute them to the tables
  • Gather supplies for the Chef Meeting
  • Create the Visual Aid
  • Copy the Sautéed Greens Recipe to hand out
  • Copy the Millet & Quinoa Recipe to hand out
  • Cook the millet
  • Cook the quinoa
  • Cook the barley

Timeline Overview

Total Duration: 90 minutes

  1. Invitation* (5 minutes)
  2. Concept Invention* (10 minutes)
  3. Application* (60 minutes)
  4. Reflection* (15 minutes)

At the Chef Meeting

1. Invitation*: (5 minutes)

  1. Welcome students to the kitchen and introduce the Greens over Grains lesson as a chance to prepare greens from the garden while learning basic knife skills, safety, and care.

2. Concept Invention*: (10 minutes)

Students review the seed to table cycle and discuss domestication.

  1. Introduce the Greens Over Grains lesson as the completion of the seed to table cycle.
    • Ask students to explain the seed to table cycle from the garden in their own words.
    • Review the seed to table lesson.
  2. Ask students to recall the name of the era in which people were hunters and gatherers (Paleolithic).
  3. Ask students to recall the name of the era in which people began to domesticate animals and crops (Neolithic).
  4. Ask students what it means to domesticate grains.
  5. Remind students that the crops people domesticated thousands of years ago still determine what we eat every day.
  6. Ask students to identify the greens by name.

At the Table

Students prepare the recipe, eat, and clean up.

3. Application*: (60 minutes)

  1. Meet with the table groups to review the recipe, check in, and assign jobs.
  2. Describe each step of the recipe, as well as the tools necessary to complete each job.
  3. Demonstrate mincing, chopping, and slicing, and encourage students to cut with intention.
  4. Prepare the recipe.
  5. Set the table; eat; clean up.

At the Closing Circle

4. Reflection*: (15 minutes)

  1. Ask each student to name one new skill or fact that they learned in the class today.
Connections to Edible Education Framework

Communication is strengthened by collaborating to prepare a meal, set the table, have conversation while eating and then cleanup. Sustainability is highlighted by cooking with greens and grains grown in the Edible Schoolyard garden, which represents the final stage of the seed to table cycle. Nourishment is acquired by cooking and eating a simple recipe for greens and whole grains that is made from scratch. Life Skills are sharpened as students learn basic knife techniques of mincing, chopping and slicing, and learn how to peel fresh ginger with a spoon.

Academics fulfill History-Social Science Standards for California Public Schools for describing hunter-gatherer societies; discussing the climatic changes and human modifications of the physical environment that gave rise to the domestication of plants and animals; Common Core State Standards in ELA for integrating information presented in different media; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; interpreting information presented in diverse media; presenting claims and findings; adapting speech to a variety of contexts and tasks; demonstrating command of standard English grammar; using knowledge of language and its conventions; and acquiring words and phrases. See Connections to Academic Standards below for details. 

Connections to Academic Standards

History-Social Science Standards for California Public Schools, Grade 6

  • 6.1 Students describe what is known through archaeological studies of the early physical and cultural development of humankind from the Paleolithic era to the agricultural revolution.
    • 6.1.1 Describe the hunter-gatherer societies, including the development of tools and the use of fire.
    • 6.1.3 Discuss the climatic changes and human modifications of the physical environment that gave rise to the domestication of plants and animals and new sources of clothing and shelter.

Common Core State Standards, English Language Arts and Literacy, Grade 6

  • RH.6.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
  • RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
  • RST.6.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.  
  • RST.6.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
  • SL.6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher- led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • SL.6.1.b Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
    • SL.6.1.c Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.
    • SL.6.1.d Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.
  • SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • SL.6.4 Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • SL.6.5 Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.
  • SL.6.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 6 Language standards 1 and 3 on page 53 for specific expectations.)
  • L.6.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • L.6.1.a Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
    • L.6.1.b Use all pronouns, including intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves) correctly.
    • L.6.1.c Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
    • L.6.1.d Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
  • L.6.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
    • L.6.3.a Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/ listener interest, and style.
    • L.6.3.b Maintain consistency in style and tone.
  • L.6.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Connections to Edible Schoolyard Standards

Edible Schoolyard 3.0 

In the Edible Schoolyard Program

  • 1.0: Students work with each other and teachers to develop community and personal stewardship, along with skills that will help them navigate different situations throughout their lives.
  • 1.1.1 – 1.3.12: This lesson fulfills all Edible Schoolyard Program standards, numbers 1.1 through 3.12. See The Edible Schoolyard Berkeley Standards for details.

In the Kitchen Classroom, 6th grade

  • Tools 2.1.3: Identify different knives from the ESY Toolbox and demonstrate basic knife skills, safety, and care with guidance.
  • Techniques 2.2.4: Identify ingredients by name, and discuss them using descriptive words in conversation.
  • Techniques 2.2.5: Use basic techniques as instructed, and refer to them by name in conversation.

All lessons at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley are developed in collaboration with the teachers and staff of the Edible Schoolyard and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.

Learning Cycle and Think-Pair-Share discussion routine © The Regents of the University of California. All materials created by BEETLES™ at The Lawrence Hall of Science.

This lesson follows the BEETLES Project’s Learning Cycle (Invitation-> Exploration -> Concept Invention -> Application -> Reflection) and uses their Discussion Routines (Think-Pair-Share, Whip-Around). All are highlighted * with an asterisk for easy identification. See the documents BEETLES Discussion Routines and BEETLES Learning Cycle included in Resources below for more information.

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