I teach the Wonders reading curriculum in my classroom. We just finished Unit 3, Week 5 and the essential question was “How do we get our food?”
Make sure to scroll down to the bottom for a fun freebie!
The stories focused on how milk gets from the cow to our morning cereal bowls and how foods we eat everyday are made. The interactive read aloud is the Little Red Hen (except they say she’s collecting corn – not sure why they changed it from the traditional story of wheat). The paired selection focuses on nutrition and the food groups.
During my science block this week, I tied in more nutrition lessons to help students understand the concept. We focused on this health standard from our Hawaii Content and Performance Standards: HE.1.3 Describe the benefits associated with a healthy diet
I love using OCDE Project GLAD (R) strategies in my classroom, so I started our learning with songs and chants. I wrote a Bugaloo chant and taught it to my students. I write mine on chart paper and alternate the color of marker I use. The title is one color, the chorus another, stanza 1 another color, and stanza 2 is the last color. This helps students see the structure of the poem. Older students don’t need this color coding anymore. I teach the poem line by line, then we go through and identify “clunkers”. Those are words students either cannot read or do not know what they mean. I highlight the clunkers right on the chart paper and then teach the word by giving a definition, break it into chunks and show how to read it, and either draw a little sketch next to it, or create a little motion students can do the next time we read the poem that will remind them of the meaning. On the student copy, they draw sketches in the box of what they learned from the chant. It helps them process the new information.
The next thing we did was a Healthy/Unhealthy photo sort. I passed out the photos to the students and had them turn to a neighbor to read the word and discuss if they had a healthy or unhealthy food. Then, one at a time, students came up to the chart and taped their food under the corresponding heading. A few of the foods were tricky (on purpose), like the fruit juice. Students thought it should be listed under healthy since it’s made from fruit. But then I told them how most commercial fruit juice from the store contains too much sugar, therefore making it unhealthy.
We ended the lesson with an exit slip (called a Learning Log in the OCDE Project GLAD (R) model). On the left side, students wrote and sketched one of the unhealthy foods and wrote why it’s considered unhealthy. On the right side, students wrote and sketched one of the healthy foods that they like and why they like it. Some of the sentence frames I had the kids use were:
________ is an unhealthy food because it has too much ___________.
A healthy food I like to eat is ________. It is healthy because ___________.
We also did an individual food sort freebie from True Life I’m a Teacher.
Next, we watched the Brain POP Jr. video on the Food Groups. Using a plain paper plate, students drew a line down the middle, to divide the plate in half. They then drew lines to make the larger vegetable and grains sections and smaller fruits and proteins section. After we watched about each food group in the video, I paused and they drew foods on their plates. Susan Jones’ nutrition unit on TpT has a worksheet that would work well for this activity, too.
The last thing we did was to make our own food! I asked parents to send in 1 quart of heavy cream (a 1/2 cup each for 4 groups of 5 kids), oranges, and whole grain crackers. From home, I brought my KitchenAid mixer with the citrus juicer attachment and 4 mason jars with lids.
First we made butter. I poured a 1/2 cup of heavy cream into each mason jar, filling the jar up halfway. I screwed on the lids. Students got into groups of five and sat in a circle. I set a timer for 1 minute and one student in each group shook the jar. When the timer went off, they handed it to the person to the left of them (reinforcing “clockwise”), who then shook the jar for a minute. Each group went around the circle twice, continuously shaking the jar.
After their butter turned, I dumped out the buttermilk (my baker mother-in-law would be horrified!), then gave the kids a plate of crackers and a plastic knife for spreading their butter. We talked about how hard it was to shake up their butter, but also how this was healthier since we didn’t add any salt or sugar that is unhealthy for us.
Next we made fresh squeezed orange juice. I cut the oranges in half and the students got to press half of an orange onto the citrus juicer as it spun around. This is definitely easier to use than a hand press or handheld juicer. They each got about a 1/4 cup of juice, since we talked about how even though we didn’t add any sugar to our juice, that fruit juice has natural sugars and we don’t want to drink too much; this is only a treat. The kids had fun using the juicer.
The last thing we did was a lesson idea from my colleague Mel. We read the story Gregory the Terrible Eater. Then students wrote on writing paper what are healthy foods and what are unhealthy foods. You could have them write a five sentence paragraph (maybe using the 4-Square method to plan it out). Then I gave them cut outs of fruits and veggie clipart from EduClips and they glued torn paper on top to create a collage. They came out beautiful!
I know that this will be one of the more memorable weeks for the kids due to all the fun extra lessons I added into our core curriculum. Grab my freebie with the Healthy Foods Sort, exit slip, and Nutrition Bugaloo!
How do you teach about nutrition in your classroom?