I believe that it is important for my students to reflect upon what they have learned during our unit on nutrition. To help my students acknowledge the great learning that has taken place, I start by having them complete a T-Chart. One side of the T-Chart says "Healthy". The other side says "Unhealthy". I like to put this on chart paper so we can display it in our classroom for a period of time so the students have the opportunity to see and revisit it.
I say to the students, We have learned a lot in this unit. We have talked about living and non-living things and what living things need to stay alive. We all know that we need food and we learned that that some foods help to keep us healthy and strong and other choices do not. We can use what we have learned to make good food choices. Now it's time for us to show what we know. Let' see if we can name some foods that are healthy foods and good choices for us to eat.
The students share examples of healthy foods and I record their responses on the T-Chart. I then say, Now, letL see
I record the students responses on the T-Chart. I then say, Now, l want you to think about what are some choices of foods that are not healthy. I want you to tell me what some of those choices are and I will record them on our chart.
I record their responses and I then say, Now I want you to think about the foods that we listed here. We will be using this list to help us with a special project that we are going to be doing next.
The students then move back to their seats for our activity.
For the activity, you will need food for the students to use to create three healthy meals and two snacks. If you have lots of "play" food, great! Just make sure that you have examples of things that are healthy and unhealthy, so the students can make choices. If you do not have play food, you can use supermarket fliers or print copies of the foods I have included with this lesson (Food for Performance Assessment). I print them with a color printer and laminate them so I can use them again. I divide my students into four groups for this activity, so I print out four sets of food.
You will also need three large plates (paper plates are fine) and two small plates for each group. Label the plates: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack (2). I place the food in bins on each table that groups will be working at, along with a set of plates. I then say to the students, Most of the time, it is your parents that plan the meals at home. They decide what you will eat. Today, you get an opportunity to plan the meals. You are going to decide what to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will also choose what you will have for two snack. It will be important that you pick foods that make a balanced meal. Remember, we want to make sure that we are eating foods from all of the different food groups. We also want to make healthy choices, so we want our foods to below low in added sugars and fats.
It will be important that you work as a team. Maybe you want to go around the table and have different people add different things to the plates. Make sure everyone gets a chance to contribute to the planning. I am going to be watching to see how you work as a team. I will also be checking your plates to see if you made good food choices.
The students begin working and I circulate around the room. I have a checklist with my students names and I mark off contributions made by students (i.e.-We can't have that. It has too much sugar.). If I have not observed a student making a contribution, I ask the students specific questions...(Why do you think this is a good choice? Does this plate need anything else?). I really want to see if my students are able to apply their knowledge of nutrition to the activity.
When the students are done and to bring closure to the activity, I have them move around the room and look at the other groups choices (Click here to see an example of completed plates). They give feedback about whether they think something needs to be changed. We then disassemble the plates, saving the materials for future years.