Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge The Fabulous Five Food Groups - Section 3: Guided Practice

 

At the kindergarten level, a simple sort is a wonderful way to build upon prior knowledge and to help students develop a conceptual understanding of a topic.  Sorting is also an important scientific skill as it scaffolds classification.  

At the beginning of the year, the sorts we have our students do are quite simple.  We sort by color or shape.  The sort in this lesson is really rather complex when you think about it.  The students are being asked to sort foods by some fairly loose attributes.  The protein group is not just meats, but also other foods that are high in protein.  The fruit group and the vegetable group are really quite similar.  The students may not be 100% accurate when they are sorting and they may need some guidance, but what is really important is the attributes that they are sorting through and applying to each item.  This makes a simple activity (sorting) quite challenging cognitively. 

Whenever I do a sort, I have the students give the rationale behind their sorting.  Sometimes the sorting is quite straightforward:  a steak is meat.  Other times, the students have to express more to support their sort:  ice cream is made out of milk, milk is in the dairy group so ice cream must be too.  This rationalization is foundational for scientific discourse. 

I encourage teachers to think of ways to incorporate sorting into their lessons at a higher level.  Giving the students a familiar structure to apply knowledge in will help build their cognitive skills.

  Sorting
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Sorting
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The Fabulous Five Food Groups

Unit 3: Exploring Nutrition
Lesson 5 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to classify foods according to group by completing a sort.

Big Idea: Identifying and classifying foods is an important foundational concept for understanding good nutrition. The students will practice their classification skills in this interactive lesson.

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Science, Nutrition, food, bone
  45 minutes
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