Activity 1: School survey

What kind of food does our school eat?

The students will survey their school about nutrition. This will give them an opportunity to practice the interviewing skills that they learn in Day Two while learning about collecting data and understanding what that data means.

Step 1: With the help of the students, design a survey that they can use to interview other students, teachers, and workers in the school. Here are some suggested survey questions that you can use, or you can design your own:

  • What is your favorite food?

  • What is your least favorite food?
  • What is your favorite vegetable?
  • What is your favorite fruit?

Step 2: Tell the students to find at least 6 people in the school to ask these questions. This can be done during recess, lunch, or after-school activities and they should write down the answers. Alternatively, the  students can do the activity in pairs, and have one of them ask the questions and the other one record the answers.

Step 3: Back in the classroom, ask the students to show their data in the form of bar graphs, one for each question:

  • For the “favorite food” question: Have them sort the answers into “nutritious” and “not nutritious” and make a column for each category.

  • For the “least favorite food” question: Have them sort the answers into “nutritious” and “not nutritious” and make a column for each category.

  • For the “favorite vegetable” question: they will sort all the different answers and make a bar for each kind of vegetable and the amount of people that said it is their favorite.

  • Foe the “favorite fruit” question: they will sort all the different answers and make a bar for each kind of vegetable and the amount of people that said it is their favorite.

Step 4: On the board, make a graph that compiles the results from the entire class. Add the amount of people whose favorite food is healthy or not healthy and make a graph bar. Ask students to list the most common fruit or vegetable in their results and write them down on the board.

Step 5: Ask analytical questions about the data, such as:

  • Do people like nutritious foods or non nutritious foods more? Why do you think that is?

  • What vegetable does our school like the best?

  • What fruit does our school like the best?

  • What differences or similarities do you see between yours and your classes’ graphs?

Scaffolding: Share what you learned about your school or class with your parents! Are they surprised? How does this mirror what you eat at home?

Enrichment: Make more analytical questions in step 5, such as;Why do you think people prefer not-nutritious foods to nutritious foods? What are some ways that we can make people like nutritious foods more? Did you know about all these different vegetables and fruits, or did you learn about some new ones?

Helpful links: Need help making a bar graph?

Activity 2: Plant Poetry Slam

What do we know about nutritious foods?

Step 1: Come up with a list of nutritious foods. Some types to consider are: different vegetables, different fruit, healthy proteins (such as eggs, soy, milk, salmon, yogurt, beans), and whole grains.

Step 2: Distribute individual items from this list to each student (or they can work in pairs).

Step 3: Instruct the students that they are to come up with poems that describe their nutritious food item, but without saying the name of that food. Then, their classmates will guess what food they are describing. You can find an example below:

I’m orange and brown
I grow beneath the ground
The potato is my cousin
You can buy me by the dozen
I’m full of fiber and vitamin A,
So mash me up today!

(answer: Sweet Potato)

Step 4: After the students have finished their food poems, each group will take a turn reading their poem. Alternatively, you can collect the poems and compile them into a single worksheet to be distributed another day. You can choose whether or not to give a word bank.

Step 5: Students will guess which food the poem is describing.

Scaffolding: Have your students add pictures and color to the drawing, without revealing what the food is. If you are having trouble rhyming you can make an Haiku!

Enrichment: Make your poems as long as you can! If you partner can guess without you finishing your poem, that means your poem was a success!

Helpful links: 

If you want an additional challenge, teach your students how to make a Haiku !

Activity 3: Creative Food Advertising

How can we make nutritious food as appetizing as non-nutritious food in an advertisement?

Step 1: Look at advertisements in magazines and newspapers and even commercials from TV for food that is not nutritious. Ask questions such as the following and write down answers on the board:

Do these advertisements make you want to eat the food?
What about the advertisements makes them look yummy?
Why do you think the goal of the advertisements are?

Step 2: After compiling your list of successful advertising, split students into groups. Ask them to design an advertisement for a nutritious food. You can leave this open ended, or assign each group a nutritious food (suggestions: different fruits, different vegetables, eggs, beans).

Step 3: Groups create nutritious food advertisements (if possible, distribute a large piece of paper, approximately poster sized, to each group so they can draw their advertisements). When they are finished, they will present their advertisements.

Scaffolding: Ask your students to ask their parents to bring some food advertisements from their favorite magazines. Does the food look yummy? How does it look different from what you get in real life?

Enrichment: Show them a successful advertisement that is also for a nutritious food – a great example is the Got Milk advertisements, which often feature celebrities. Why is this advertisement a good one? How is it different from the advertisements for not nutritious foods?

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