Spring rolls

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Lesson Summary: 

Steps for making spring rolls in the garden.  This lesson is connected to the Tasting Tour activity, and it can lead into either a community focused theme or an ecosystem focused theme depending on follow-up lessons.  


  • Explain thier connection to the natural and cultural worlds through food
  • Make connections between food choices and stewardship
  • Embrace adventure trying new foods and exploring the garden
  • Identify the source of matter and energy for the different organisms in a system


  • Discussion among students while eating
  • Student level of risk taking with trying new foods

Age:  Any

Venue: Garden

Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 tray per person
  • 2 pans of warm water (1 per end of table)
  • 1 pitcher of hot water in center
  • spring roll sauce (optional)
  • 3 pairs of tongs—(1 per pan and pitcher)
  • rice wrappers   
  • mung bean noodles

Lesson Plan

Introduce the garden:

  • Gather your students in a circle and introduce yourself with your name and favorite vegetable. Have your students introduce themselves in the same way. ( this helps you to know what type of eaters you have!)
  • Introduce the garden and the garden rules. First ask why we have garden rules? Answer is to keep them and our plants safe. Here are the rules: 1. Only eat what you are told you can eat by either your instructor or the garden educator. 2. Keep your feet on the garden paths.
  • Demonstrate the 2-handed harvest. This is fun to demonstrate by asking for a student to be a “plant volunteer”. Once you have your volunteer. Have them plant their feet firmly into the ground. Now you are the student who is hoping to take a “taste” of this new garden plant named, “plant ____ (name of student)”. Grab the arm of the “plant” and pull playfully. Ask, what has just happened to Plant ___? Ans. You have pulled them out of the ground, and possibly broken their branch. How can you harvest this plant safely? Answer, by using the 2-handed harvest. Gently hold your plant with one hand, then harvest a small “piece” (finger, ear, etc.) using the other.
  • Lead students on aTasting Tour to familiarize them to the garden

Bring your students over to the table you (or a gardener) have prepared for spring rolls. This table will have:

  • 1 tray/person arranged around the table
  • 2 pans of warm water—one on each end of table
  • 1 pitcher of hot water in center
  • spring roll sauce (optional)
  • 3 pairs of tongs—one for each pan and one for pitcher
  • rice wrappers   
  • mung bean noodles

Make the Spring Rolls:

  • Start by putting 2-3 rolls of dried noodles into the pitcher of hot water. Explain that the water is really hot!
  • Have everyone hold out their hand, palm up, slightly cupped. Tell them this is now their harvest basket! Explain that we will go into the garden and do some tasting, and as we taste, if they like something, they should harvest a little more for their spring roll into their “harvest basket”. 
  • Take the students on a tasting tour of the garden, harvesting as you go. If the tasting tour was done at the intro, students can be sent back out into the garden to harvest what they liked in their hand.
  • Once each student has a good amount of food, come back to the table and have them put their food on their tray
  • Ask an adult volunteer to slice up any community harvest such as an apple, cucumber, carrot or beet
  • Show the students how to get their rice wrapper ready by submerging it into the warm water for 5 seconds. Count to five to demonstrate.
  • Then lay the still somewhat stiff wrapper on your tray and lay out your ingredients in a row down the middle of the wrapper, adding some veggies from the community harvest tray.
  • Show the students the sauce, explain how it is made especially for them by our IW chefs. Demonstrate how to put a drop on their trays, use their finger to taste it. If they like it, they can add it to their spring rolls too!
  • Next pull the short edges of the wrapper onto the veggies, creating a long section.
  • Roll the spring roll up, carefully tucking in the veggies to create a roll.
  • Finally, eat your delicious spring roll—enjoy!

Debrief Ideas:

  • What are foods that are eaten in your home regularly? During celebrations? 
  • How did you embrace adventure in the garden today?
  • How can food bring people together?
  • How did this food get here? How does it provide us with energy?

Garden lessons to incorporate into your Spring Roll activity:


Decomposers and Compost

Food Cycle or Nutrient Cycle

The Story of Food