"Banquet For the Bunch!"
By Kortni Nelson

Objectives:
The students will become familiar with the food guide pyramid.
The students will demonstrate a proper use of scissors and handling of glue materials.
The students will explore the importance of eating healthy foods.

Purpose:
Encourage student interest and excitement of the unit.

Materials:
Family oriented magazines, food guide pyramid, scissors, glue, paper plates,
Book: The Edible Pyramid: Good Eating Everyday by Loreen Leedy

Introduction:
The teacher will read the story The Edible Pyramid: Good Eating Everyday by Loreen Leedy. The story will capture the kid's attention through the silly plot about animals ordering at a restaurant. The story introduces the food guide pyramid and servings. Talk about what kinds of food the animals order and how it applies to the food pyramid.

Exploration:

Give each of the student a piece of paper. Instruct them to draw what they had for breakfast that morning. You could do this activity during centers or a separate part of the day. When the children are finished bring the group, with their pictures, back to the rug. Invite a few children to share what they drew and talk about the things that are in common with the pictures. Ask leading questions for example, what type of meat did you have, did you have any fruits or vegetables, (this is assuming the children are familiar with fruits and vegetables), etc. Lead the discussion into the food guide pyramid. Introduce the items in the food pyramid and discuss servings.
 

Modeling:
The teacher will show a stack of magazines to the children. Model how to pick out pictures that represent nutritious foods that we should eat. Relate this activity back to the book and tell the kids to pretend they are ordering at a fancy restaurant. Talk about the food pyramid and how it relates to the pictures that you are cutting out. For example say to the kids, "I am going to cut out a picture of this turkey sandwich because it will give me meat, bread, a dairy product (the cheese), and two vegetables (lettuce and tomato). Then model how to cut out the food and glue it on the paper plate. Instruct the kids to go to their desks or a spot in the room and work on their own dinner plate.

Practice:
The students will be given time to look at the magazines and make choices about what types of food they would eat. When the children are done, save their paper plates for a discussion and sharing time the next day.
 

Application:
After all of the students have completed their dinner plates, gather the class for a discussion on what they have learned. Go over the definitions of nutrition, food pyramid, diet, servings, etc. Have a few volunteers share what is on their paper plate and lead the class through a discussion on how each food relates to the food pyramid. Make sure to point out the differences or sameness in food choices.
 

Assessment:
While the students are working on their dinner plates, circulate among the students. Observe what types of food they are cutting out and listen to their conversations to note any new vocabulary they have learned. Also as the students are working, conference individually with the children to find out their level of understanding and ask leading questions to prompt a deeper meaning of the activity. When the children leave their dinner plates overnight, examine them to see which students have grasped the concept of nutrition and diet. During the class discussion, observe and listen to see what students are commenting and sharing their knowledge of the concept.
 
 



More Ideas for Initiation Activities






Do a KWL.

This would be an interesting activity to see what type of things the students already know about nutrition.
 

Read a different story.

Another suggestion is The Vegetable Show by Laurie Krasney Brown.
 

Send a homework sheet home.

Have the students record what they eat during the weekend so you are ready to discuss types of food on Monday. This would help so the kids would have this concept on their mind ready to talk about it.
 

Set up a dramatic play area a week before you begin the unit.

Ideas could be a grocery store, kitchen, restaurant, pizza parlor, or McDonald's. This is a fun way for the kids to begin thinking about food and cooking.
 

Go on a field trip.

Take the children to a farm, grocery store, or restaurant. This will generate excitement and questions concerning the new concepts.