To begin the lesson, I ask students to work with their team to define what makes a food healthy and to list healthy foods that they eat on a regular basis. This activity allows students to make personal connections to their learning and begins the process of critical thought about food choices for each child. A video of one student team brainstorming healthy foods can be found here.
After each time has had time to collaborate, I ask students to share their thinking with the class, I record a list of student definitions of healthy foods and list foods that the students feel are healthy on the whiteboard. A student generated list of healthy foods can be found here.
Since almost all students agree that fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet, I ask students to think about the fruits and vegetables that they have previously eaten. To facilitate this process, I provide each student with a copy of the fruit and vegetable checklist. I display the checklist on the whiteboard and guide students through the list by reading each item aloud. I ask the students to check the box next to any fruit or vegetable they have eaten. I stop to provide clarification as needed. Once I have read all the items to the students, I ask students if they have any fruits or vegetables to add to the list. This increases student ownership of the task.
Next, I ask students to review their list and highlight any fruits or vegetables on the list that they would like to try. I ask students to sign up to bring a fruit or vegetable in to class for our upcoming try something new party.
To conclude the days lesson, I ask students to think about some of the less healthy foods that are a part of their diet. I distribute a copy of the article on nutrition in packaged foods to each student. I ask students to read the text with their partner and to highlight or mark any passages which contain information on nutrition. After all students have had a chance to read the article, I ask them to share the text-evidence that they marked with the class. We collaborate to write a whole-group summary of the article. Doing this helps the students to find and cite details from the text and to highlight the importance of the key ideas in the text.