Marin Country Day School

Food Systems; Factory, Global, Organic, Sustainable and Local

Marin Country Day School

Our goal

To work with a group of teachers at MCDS to develop teaching curriculum on sustainability. I wanted to do something with global, local, and sustainable food systems.

How we are doing it

We worked over the summer and then into the year creating curriculum for each of our classes. Working with Jaime Cloud from the Cloud Institute I wrote curriculum for an 9 week course for 6th graders titled Food Systems. We looked at where our food comes from and the positives and negatives of each food system we studied. Then we visited 5 different family farms in West Marin and gained knowledge about each farm and the methods they used to produce the products that they took to market. For the final activity each group of 4 or 5 students created and produced a 3-5 minute documentary film using imovie around the theme of 'Why Eat Local'? Photos and videos were taken while visiting the farms, dialog was written from class notes and activities, and at times, original music was recorded in these movies. There were no tests or quizzes because the movies were used for assessment. You can view all 16 short movies at;

What we are learning

After visiting the farms in West Marin, I have maintained a friendly and professional relationship with a couple of the farms and farmers. It has catapulted me into learning first hand about the local food system, growing my own food, and volunteering with organizations such as Marin Organic ( and Transitions Towns (

The most difficult part of the project for me was technology issues. I was running a steep personal learning curve learning to teach iMovie while dealing with editing issues, frozen computers, and lost images. Overall, I was pleased with the movies for a 6th grade level and pleased with what the students learned. I'm planning on expanding the project this year with getting the students into the school garden, experimenting with compost and composting, and producing organic food for the school kitchen and community.

School Information

School: Marin Country Day School
Grade level: K-5 6-8
Number of students in your project: 75
Subjects: Science
Number of students in your school: 520
Project initiator: Teacher

Contact Information

Bob  Densmore, Science Teacher/Outdoor Ed. Coordinator
5221 Paradise Dr.  Corte Madera,  CA  94925

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