It's A Balancing Act-Exploring MyPlate

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Students will demonstrate knowledge of a balanced menu by creating a MyPlate menu.

Big Idea

During this lesson, students will learn how MyPlate is a simple way to create a balanced meal.


5 minutes

To begin our lesson and review concepts from the previous day, we watch and sing with this short video from YouTube, Food Groups Are Rocking Tonight. 



We then move over to the Smartboard for direct instruction.

Direct Instruction

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SmartBoard.  If you have a SmartBoard, the file MyPlate can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  Click here to download. There is also a PDF of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson.  Click here to access them: My Plate PDF of Smartboard Slides.

I gather my students in front of the Smartboard.  I have cards with each student's name printed on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the Smartboard.

I open the first slide (SmartBoard Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques (Click here to learn more about SIOP). I read these objectives aloud for my students.

Content Objective
I can create a balanced meal by using MyPlate.

Language Objective
I can tell a friend what is needed to create a balanced meal.  

Slide 2:  I really like hot dogs, but I know that it isn't good to eat just one kind of food.  If I want to stay healthy, I need to eat all kinds of foods. 

Slide 3:  My plate can help us eat a balanced meal.  We look at each section of the plate to help us decide what to eat.  The vegetable and grain sections are the biggest.  That means we should eat more of those than the other food groups.

Slide 4:  Let's make a balanced meal using My Plate. I invite students to come up to the board and move the food into the appropriate spaces on the plate.  

Slide 5: Can you tell what is missing from this meal?  I ask the students to tell me what is missing from the meal.  When they come up with "fruit", I ask them what are some things that we could add to this meal to make sure that fruit is included.  

Slide 6: It is now Turn and Talk Time.  Turn and Talk allows my students to practice their academic language and develop their expressive English vocabulary.  The students have assigned Turn and Talk partners.  I ask them to hold hands with their partners and lift them in the air so I know that everyone has a partner.  I then say to them, What is wrong with this meal?  How could it be fixed?  I give them time to talk to their partner and when it is obvious that they have completed their discussion, I call on a student to share their discussion  I then engage the class in a discussion about how the meal could be fixed. 

We then move to our seats for our activity.


20 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the This Is My Plate! included as a PDF with this lesson.  You will also need magazines that have pictures of food, or you can grab colored fliers from local grocery stores.

I tell the students, You are going to be making your own MyPlate.  You are going to cut out pictures of different foods.  You are going to put them on your MyPlate.  You need to make sure that you are making good choices and including all the food groups shown on your plate.  When you think you have a balanced meal put together, raise your hand and I will come and check it. 

The students begin working (see Video) and I move around the room to observe their progress.  I ask them questions about their choices and check to make sure they have all of the food groups represented.  When the students are done, we come together as a group and they share their plate with a partner.  I then have them switch and share their choices with another student.  We do this several times so the students have a chance to get several "snapshots" of what a balanced plate looks like.  I take the plates and laminate them.  I send them home for the students to use as a placemat to remind them of what a balanced meal should look like.