Congratulations on your new subscription! We are glad to have you as one of our Edible Learning Lab partners.
We take our partnerships seriously. Modern Steader is here to help you create the most successful Edible Education program we can. Take a few minutes to walk through this Quick Start Guide and get your bearings. Then jump in and explore the curriculum. If you have questions about the curriculum lessons, need help working through your initial lesson plans, or just need a little advice to get things started, feel free to reach out to us.
Where Do I Start?
Before you do anything, drop in on the Edible Learning Lab Teacher’s Lounge and join. The Teacher’s Lounge is a private group for Edible Learning Lab educators to share their experiences, tips, tricks, successes, failures, and help support each other’s labs. Ask questions, share your discoveries, promote your program and, most of all, let’s celebrate the students.
We know you’re excited to get started, so are we!
Our curriculum is based on 8 interconnected Stations (discussed below). To make navigation of the nearly 300 individual lessons more manageable we’ve created Station Hubs in the main navigation at the top of the page.
Just click on the link to a Station to see the full list of lessons and additional resources for that Station with links to each one. Want to jump to another Station? All of the Station Hubs are always listed below the main navigation, no matter where you are. Super easy, right?
If you get stuck, there is a link at the top of each Station Hub Page to a Detailed Search Platform that will allow you to filter your search by Station, Level, Format, Rating, Lesson Number or Keyword.
Ready to check it out? Pick a Station Hub and start exploring!
You can always come back here for more guidance.
About the Stations
The Edible Learning Lab is designed to showcase the life cycle of our food. Not just the path from farm to table, that’s only part of the story. The entire life cycle starts with soil and ends with soil.
Our complete Station Collection in the Edible Learning Lab allows us to take the Students from establishing healthy soil and exploring what that means, all the way to waste management and composting to recapture and feed nutrients back to the soil. Understanding how the cycle completes itself is an important part of food awareness.
Using the Lessons
These lessons were designed to deliver relevant information, science, instructions and answers to the ever-present “why?” for the process of growing, cultivating and preparing foods in the Edible Learning Lab. However, there is no rigid formula for how, or when, to teach each lesson.
The Beginner Level lessons were designed to guide a student through various processes and foundational tasks in order to learn and practice the essentials. This approach works great for younger students who are learning many of these principals for the first time. They’ll build on successes as they go and gain confidence in their skills.
Many of the Beginner Lessons build on each other. So even though there is no hard and fast rule about the sequence, they are built on the idea of progression.
Dig Deeper Approach
Older, or more advanced students may master the Beginner Lessons fairly quickly and would benefit from a more in-depth look at the subject. Our Intermediate and Advanced lessons do just that. The Beginner Level introduces a new concept and allows for hands-on application and practice. At the Intermediate Level students explore the concept further often proving its validity through observation, experimentation, and testing. At the Advanced Level, we ask students to work more independently and push the envelope. They will get to build on the concepts and lessons from the Beginner and Intermediate Levels, be creative, and extrapolate what they’ve learned into something tangible.
We recommend that students work through the levels in order. The progression from concept, to proof, to independent application is important.
Preparing For Each Lesson
We would encourage you to look a week or two ahead when planning lessons. You will find that many days offer an opportunity to segue from one lesson to another. Because that can happen often, it’s a good practice to have an understanding of where that next lesson is going.
Understand the Goals and Outcomes
Think of the Goals and Outcomes as your lesson roadmap. The Goals are the activity targets for the lesson but should only be considered a minimum threshold. The Outcomes can be seen as the one sentence description that you hope your Students will use to explain to their parents what they did in the Lab that day.
Use the Teaching Primer
We designed this entire curriculum based on the premise that we wanted to Teach the Teacher as much as possible. Building your confidence as the instructor is just as important as what you will teach your Students. This starts with the Teaching Primer. Each primer is written to be a summary for you and often they contain
nuggets of information that you can use in your Lesson Introduction.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Visualize the suggested activity before you are with your class, adjust it to fit your style of teaching and your group’s preferences. Some lessons include flashcards, worksheets, or handouts that may need to be printed in advance. A few of the lessons require preparation several days in advance.
A good practice is to look at the lessons you plan to teach that week and then go a lesson or two deeper for each Station. This will help you avoid the surprises.
The activities and discussions outlined in the Lessons are designed to deliver relevant information in an active, hands-on environment where the Students are encouraged to be creative and use their imagination. For the most part, we have included ideas for modifying the activity to extend the lesson or change it up a little.
As the person working directly with your group, we hope that you would get to know your Students and how they respond and learn the best in a given activity. Your experience and creativity are a useful tool in modifying the lesson delivery to meet your unique group’s needs. Many of the generic activities such as germinating seeds or testing soil pH have plenty of room for a unique creative touch. Review the Goals and Outcomes and make sure your activity addresses the lesson outline. Otherwise, have fun and be creative.
Many of the generic activities such as germinating seeds or testing soil pH have plenty of room for a unique creative touch. Review the Goals and Outcomes and make sure your activity addresses the lesson outline. Otherwise, have fun and be creative.
Need More Help?
We know it’s a lot! Take your time and get to know the curriculum.
If you still feel overwhelmed and would like some help, there are a few ways to find it. Your first stop should be our Knowledge Base. It’s our FAQ-style self-help page that we will continue to develop as the community grows. You can get here any time by clicking at the bottom right of your screen.
If you can’t find answers there, feel free to contact us via email or on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) with questions. We’ll work to get back to you as quickly as we can to make sure you’re confident moving forward.
If all else fails and you just need a one-on-one to connect the dots, you can always call us. We’ll walk you through whatever stumbling blocks come up.
For a more in-depth look at how the curriculum works, the motivations behind it and how the lessons were developed you can check out the full Edible Learning Lab Curriculum Guide.