Nutrition Unit

by Matthew Anderson and Amy Hale


 

This nutrition unit is based around Mitchell Sharmat's book, Gregory, the Terrible Eater. Gregory is a goat who loves human food! Instead of wishing for tin cans and tires, Gregory craves orange juice, cereal and scrambled eggs! We developed our unit around this book and were able to include the subjects of Math, Science, Art, writing, reading, and of course, Social Studies! At the conclusion of this unit, the students will be able to understand the four basic food groups, which foods are included in them, as well as the importance of a well-balanced meal. This 'taking care of oneself' is an important part of the core curriculum for first and second graders. We developed this unit, with the help and ideas of Bill Peck (**1-2 grade teacher at Edith Bowen Lab School) to help students better understand Nutrition and a healthy diet.

** We had the opportunity to teach a 1-2 split class at Edith Bowen Lab School. It was both challenging and fun to adapt each lesson to the levels and needs of both first and second grade students.


Lesson #1 Gregory the Terrible Eater, Introduction

Objectives:

  • Students will be introduced to the four basic food groups while listening to the story, Gregory the Terrible Eater.
  • Students will select 12 &endash; 15 vocabulary words from the story to learn and work with during out unit.
  • Student will gain comprehension skills by retelling the story in their own words just by looking at the pictures.

Materials:

Gregory the Terrible Eater, by Mitchell Sharmat

 

Introduction:

Students are invited to comment on the cover of the book. Ask what they know about goats and what goats eat. Talk about why Gregory would be a terrible eater and ask what they think will happen in the story. Students can discuss the things that we would eat if we were "terrible eaters."

Modeling:

Read the book to the students. Ask questions such as; "What is this a picture of?", or "What is so terrible about what Gregory wants to eat?" to assess comprehension.

Practice:

Following the story continue to ask questions about the book to determine what the children have learned about the content of the book. Questions may include; "What happens to you when you over eat?" "Do goats really eat tires and cars?"

Conclusion:

Explain to the children that the following day, we will be choosing some vocabulary words from the story that the children will learn and gain "ownership" of.

 Source: Bill Peck, adapted from Tom Wolpert 


Lesson #2 Vocabulary and Writing

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to repeat the content of the story and retell the story, Gregory the Terrible Eater just by looking at the pictures.
  • Students will choose their own vocabulary words from the story. About 12-15 words will be chosen. The words should be nouns.
  • Students will use chosen vocabulary word to create a new story of their own.

Materials:

Gregory the Terrible Eater, by Mitchell Sharmat.

Introduction:

Review the content of the story with comprehension questions such as; "Who can tell me what book were are working with?" "Can you give me a brief summary of what our story is about?"

Modeling:

Have the students retell the story by looking at the pictures of the book. Cover the text with a piece of paper to help the students use their comprehension skill instead of their reading skills. Help the children to remember key text in the book that may contain appropriate vocabulary words that the students will choose following the retelling activity.

Practice:

Have the students choose words from the story that may be somewhat familiar to them or words that they may not be familiar with at all. It is important that the students choose the words. This helps them to achieve the "ownership" of the words that we are choosing. Suggestions may have to be given to help the children to pick nouns from the text. Nouns are easier for children to define and understand at a younger age.

Application:

Students will use our list of vocabulary words to create a new story with their own imagination. The list was given to second grade students to create a story on their own and the first graders did the story together with the help of a teacher. After the story was written, the vocabulary words were highlighted and the students reviewed the words by reading them together as a group. This helped the younger students to become familiar with the words. The definitions of the words were given to the students. The definitions of the words were reviewed to assess comprehension.

 Source: Bill Peck, adapted from Tom Wolpert 


Lesson #3 Review of Vocabulary Words

Objectives:

  • Students will become more familiar with vocabulary words chosen form the story, Gregory the Terrible Eater, by Mitchell Sharmat.
  • Students will obtain "ownership" of vocabulary words chosen from the story by practicing the definition and usage of the word in their everyday vocabulary.

Materials :

  • Various colors of construction paper that can be cut into the shape of a Gregory's head (a ram head).
  • Card Stock paper cut into strips big enough to write vocabulary word on.
  • Students: preferably the ones that you read the story to.

Modeling:

Copy the vocabulary words onto the cards. Then place the cards on the nose of Gregory. These help to remind the children about the story and to context that the words were used in.

Practice:

Review the vocabulary by having a child read the word from the card and then the rest of the students repeat the word. After saying the words, have the children give their own definition of the words. Continue to review the words until the majority of the students understand the word and the words become "sight" words to each child.

Conclusion:

Ask students discuss why it is important to learn vocabulary words and how they can use them.

 

Source: Bill Peck, adapted from Tom Wolpert 


Literature

Lesson # 4 Bread and Jam for Frances


Objective:

  • Students will be able to identify and label the four basic food groups.
  • Students will be able to group food into its appropriate food group.
  • Students will be able to verbalize the importance of eating a balanced meal.

Materials:

  • Book: Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
  • Large chart divided into four quadrants.
  • Marker
  • Sample pictures of food, or real food.

Introduction:

Ask students if they remember the kinds of things that Gregory the Goat (See Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat) liked to eat. "Today, I am going to read you a story about a little girl named Frances." Have students predict what Frances likes to eat, what she may discover in eating only that. Discuss the jacket of the book, author, illustrator, illustrations, etc.

Modeling:

Show the large chart paper and discuss each food group in detail (meat, dairy, fruits/vegetables, breads and cereals). Label the quadrants with a magic marker. Have students give examples of foods they eat and which group they are included in. Use the lunch menu as and example of a well-balanced meal. Which groups do they belong in? Show the food pyramid and discuss briefly the daily servings for each food group.

Practice:

Have students each select a food and place it into the category on the chart. ** This may be verbal or you may want pictures of foods to tape onto the chart. Check for understanding.

Application/Conclusion:

Ask students to pay particular attention today at lunch to be sure that Chef Jed has used all four food groups. Have students also pay attention to what they eat for snack and dinner -- Which group do thier foods fall under? Discuss the negative aspects of eating only one thing, or only eating from ONE food group.


 Art/Writing

Lesson # 5 My Food Plate


Objective:

  • Students will be able to select healthy foods from magazines and ads.
  • Students will practice creating collages, and labeling their plates, while experiencing a group activity.
  • Students will be able to categorize their foods into the four food groups.

Materials:

  • Large 11X17 sheet of paper with paper plates stapled in middle (23)
  • Food magazines/ads
  • Scissors (23)
  • Glue (23)
  • Pencil (23)

Introduction:

(Objects) Review lesson on four food groups. Show various items of foods clipped from magazines and ads. Have students place them in the four food groups. Bring to students attention that everything we eat (all of our favorite foods go into the food groups).

 

Modeling:

(Activity Method) Explain to students that you have looked through some of your food magazines and you decided that everything looked so good that you cut and pasted some of your favorite foods onto a paper plate. (show plate). Ask students to tell you what some foods are that they see. Have them group them into the correct food group. Tell students that today they will have a chance to create their own delicious and nutritious plate!

 

Practice:

Show pile of magazines. Walk students through the steps of picking up an 11X17 piece of paper, putting your name on it, selecting a magazine, cutting it out, using a small amount of glue to paste it on and labeling the food with the correct food group. Do a few examples. Remind them of sharing rules. Allow students to go create on thier own. Check for understanding by holding up good examples.

 

Application/Conclusion:

Ask students why it is important to have a balanced diet? Why can't I just have sweets and candy for every meal? Why can't I just have Bread and Jam like Frances in Bread and Jam for Frances? Explain that in order to enjoy health and strength, we must be sure to have a balanced diet of all the four food groups. Have students go home tonight and check their plate at dinner for the 4-food groups.


Math

Lesson # 6 The Food Group Graph


Objectives:

  • Students will be able to gather information and represent that information (food group/food selections) on a graph.
  • Students will be able to read and understand the graph and what it symbolizes.
  • Students will be able to compare and add columns to determine which group has the most, least, equal amounts, etc.
  • Students will be able to verbalize possible changes to make the graph more of a "balanced " diet.

Materials:

  • Paper plate projects from Lesson # 5.
  • Large Chart paper, divided into (Fruits and Vegetables, Dairy, Meat, Breads/Cereals) in a graph form.
  • Stickers to track graphing (4 colors, one for each reading group).

 

Introduction:

(Surprise Challenge) Explain that Chef Jed (cafeteria cook) heard about us planning our own meal yesterday from magazines. He is VERY interested to find out just HOW balanced it was. He has asked us to send him the group results of what we selected. Ask students what would be the best way to do this. Get ideas and then introduce the graph. Explain that a graph is used to quickly and easily represent a large amount of data.

 

Modeling:

Use your plate as an example. Have students point to each item on plate and then indicate how many stickers (markers) will represent MY plate on the graph. Be sure that students understand that each sticker represents an item of food. Check for understanding. Let students divide into reading groups (7 in each) to total up the food groups they used and how many items in each food group. Ask for ideas for the most efficient way to do that.

 

Practice:

Let students practice. Stop periodically to check for understanding. Call students back to the rug with the results. Use a different colored dot for each group. Allow spokesman for each group come up to place stickers on poster. Have students waiting check spokesman for accuracy. When the graph is completed have first graders count indiviual columns. Have second graders rank them in order (most to least). Ask students how many would be needed in column 'X' to equal out column 'Y'? Ask students which group we had the most in/least in. Which could we use more selections in? What foods could we choose?

 

Application/Conclusion:

Ask students how we may use graphs in other situations? (?) Ask them what Chef Jed will think of our board? Ask again why it is important to have a balanced diet?

 

 


Science/History/Sociology

Lesson # 7 Shake, Shake, Shake!


Objectives:

  • Students will understand the method of butter-making in the past (before electricity!)
  • Students will participate in the making of butter the old-fashioned way.
  • Students will be able to explain what happens to the cream to make butter.
  • Students will be able to label which food group butter/cream are in.

Materials:

  • 4-1/2 pint containers of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 4 Mason Jars with lids
  • Table Salt (to taste)
  • CD of KC and the Sunshine Band ("Shake, Shake, Shake")

Introduction:

Explain to students that in the days of the Pilgrims or Pioneers, they didn't have grocery stores like we do today. Ask what they would have to do to make (BUTTER) for example. (You will get some fun answers!) Show a picture of a butter churn and ask what it was used for.

 

Procedure/Exploration:

(Learning Center)Explain to students that we are going to try an experiment with cream to see what happens.

  • Pour one 1/2 pint of cream into a mason jar and salt to taste.
  • Pass the jar to a member of the group and ask them to shake it up for a few minutes. Have students make predictions of what will happen. May use music from above mentioned CD.
  • While waiting, talk about what whipped cream is made out of? How is it made? What happens when you whip it too long?

** The cream will begin to separate into a chunky ball and the milk.

  • Have students make OBSERVATIONS. What do they see? Colors? Smells? Tastes?

** Ask the students what they think the hard ball consists of? (Milk fat). What is the liquid? (Milk). What should we do with the milk? How do we know when it is done?

 

Conclusion:

Have students taste the butter for their Thanksgiving Feast on bread, pretzels, muffins, etc. Let them share their opinions and feelings about what they think it would have been like to live then. Would they like it? Why/Why not?

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