The Grain Chain

Archive for August, 2010 – not just for food technology teachers

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Ready made, curriculum referenced lesson plans covering not only food technology but also science, ICT, Geography, PSHE and technology!

The Grain Chain isn’t just a resource for Food Technology or Home Economics teachers. We have lesson plans suitable for KS3 and KS4 science teachers, technology teachers, PSHE teachers, geography teachers and ICT teachers!

Furthermore, all of our secondary school lesson plans are curriculum AND skill referenced, so you can be sure that you are teaching your class the right topics whilst improving their key abilities.

And it doesn’t stop there. Primary school teachers can also get in on the action, with drama and art based activities, fun to make recipes and easy science projects.

We’ve highlighted one of our lesson plans per age group below. All you need to do is click on the link, print out the materials and put your feet up and enjoy the bank holiday. Remember – you can find loads more lesson plans by clicking on whichever note section is relevant to the age group of your class.

KS1 lesson plan suggestion

Growing wheat seeds

This will give children a basic understanding of what seeds need in order to grow. It will also make them aware that grain produces flour which can be made into everyday foods such as bread and breakfast cereals.

Children get a chance to be a farmer and plant their own seeds. Discuss where the seeds should be kept in the classroom and explain that they will need to watch them grow over a few days. Ask them for their ideas on what might happen to the seeds. What will they need to remember to do each day?

This can then be followed up a week later with our second growing wheat seeds lesson plan, which will encourage your class to think about what has happened to their seeds and why.

KS2 lesson plan suggestion

A healthy, balanced diet

eat well plateAt the end of this lesson, children should be able to name all of the five food groups. They should be aware that different nutrients have different functions which help to maintain a healthy body.

Using the printable resources, run through the Eat Well plate, explaining about the different food groups and what our bodies need them for. Ask pupils to draw and label a diagram of their own creation that illustrates how much of each food group should be eaten daily to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Bring the class back together and share some of their work, recapping the main points.

KS3 lesson plan suggestion

Making and Baking: Technology

This lesson plan will enable students to understand and be able to describe the steps involved in baking bread on an industrial scale. It will also help them develop their survey skills and knowledge of procedures.

Work through the “technology of baking” worksheet and get students to draw a flow chart of the industrial process of baking bread. Students could also look at labels from wrapped bread. Do the labels meet the requirements of information to be given to customers? Do they give any other information? Is this extra information useful? Students could then carry out a survey in the class of the types of bread eaten and preferred. Results of the survey could be presented graphically.

KS4 lesson plan suggestion

ICT in the flour and grain industry

This lesson plan should enable students to develop an understanding of the overall picture of ICT in the flour and grain industry. It will also build on their presentation skills.

Organise the class into groups, so that each group contains four students. Each student should research one of the following topics:

  • ICT in farming and storage;
  • ICT in milling;
  • ICT in baking;
  • ICT in retailing and marketing (process controls).

Students should then report their findings back to their groups. Each group will then prepare a presentation or report to share with the class. A class discussion on the use of ICT in the industry should then take place.

Don’t forget that we have lots more ready-made lesson plans in the teachers section of the website.

Support your classroom based food work with a visit to the PRINTSHOP exhibition

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Tractor with wheat has found a fantastic new art exhibition which visually highlights the complex processes involved in growing, harvesting, milling, baking and grinding wheat into breadcrumbs. Food technology or home economics teachers may find that this is an interesting and different opportunity to support their classroom based food work. Art teachers and their classes might also find the exhibition interesting and thought provoking.

Against a backdrop of murals showing industrial wheat processing, artist Belle Benfield’s exhibition, PRINTSHOP includes over 200 handmade printing stamps. Students have the opportunity to get involved by printing shopping lists and supermarket signs. They can familiarise themselves with the processes and machines that go into making breadcrumbs. This exhibition will enable students to reflect on the lengthy processes that go into the production of supermarket foods as we all hunt for the lowest prices.

The exhibition is open every day from 10am to 5pm at The HUB, Navigation Wharf, Carre Street, Sleaford, NG34 7TW until 3 October 2010.

Get ahead and get organised for the new school year with our useful tips

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

stressed teacherDifferent people look forward to different things as September approaches. Parents breathe a sigh of relief as calm reins over the household once more. Children look forward to putting on their shiny new shoes and seeing their friends again. Teachers on the other hand can look forward to early starts, getting the classroom ready, planning next year’s lessons and learning 30 new names.

But going back to school doesn’t have to be stressful. We’ve put together some tips for teachers to help the new school year start as smoothly as possible.

If you have a limited budget, plan how you are going to spend it at the start of the new school year. Healthy yet cheap recipes include bread rolls with a seed based topping and vegetable soups which are perfect to make when the chilly winter weather sets in. We have lots of recipes on our website, including one for bread rolls –, so you don’t have to trawl through cook books.

Use your practical lessons to help teach your students about food safety. We’ve got some useful tips on A key point to explain, especially to younger children is to use a clean spoon when tasting food, and always wash it after every use rather than place it back into the bowl.

Want to inspire your class but not sure where to start? Why not take a look at our Inspire! winner’s ideas at They’ve got loads of great ideas from fairground themed schemes of work to growing your own corn and wheat to visits to windmills, modern mills and bakeries.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter to keep up to date with the latest news and to receive even more ideas and tips. Just search for GrainChain to find us. We’re also on facebook, where you can tell us your thoughts about the website and what you want to see more of.

To find out about exhibitions where you can meet the Grain Chain team and competitions that we are running, sign up online to receive the Grain Chain newsletter at