Overview: In this lesson, the children learn about the food pyramid, identify foods from each of the five food groups, and distinguish between healthy and unhealthy foods.
Booklink: Gregory, the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat, Scholastic Inc., 1980. ISBN 0-590-43350-4
Science Activity Link: Children look through magazines, find and cut out foods from one of the five food groups and classify foods by putting them into the proper sections of the food pyramid.
Objective: Children will identify and describe the parts of the food pyramid.
Science Processes and Content: Processes-classifying, predicting, observing, inferring, communicating. Content-The food pyramid serves as a guide for healthy eating. The food pyramid is divided into the following five sections: grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat. To be healthy, people need the proper number of servings from each food group. Some foods have no nutritional value.
National Science Education Standards: Unifying Concepts and Processes, (3) Life Science, (6) Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Materials: the book Gregory, the Terrible Eater, magazines, an outline of the food pyramid, a poster of the food pyramid, scissors, glue, 4 x 6 index cards
1. Begin the activity by reading the story Gregory, the Terrible Eater to the class.
2. Discuss how the goats' eating habits differ from people's eating habits. Have the children brainstorm and list healthy foods people should eat.
3. Show the food pyramid poster to the class. Explain how it is divided into five parts to help ensure that people eat a well-balanced diet and get the proper nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and minerals. Mention that the top of the food pyramid shows sugars and fats, and that foods containing these substances should be eaten sparingly.
4. Return to the story Gregory, the Terrible Eater, and have the children identify where the healthy foods that Gregory ate would go on the food pyramid.
5. Split the class into five groups, one group for each part of the food pyramid. Working together, the children brainstorm foods that are in their food group. Each group looks through the magazines, cuts out 5 to 10 pictures of foods from their group and glues one picture onto each index card.
6. After the groups finish, have them share their work with the class.
7. To conclude the lesson, lay the blank food pyramid on the floor. Collect the food cards the children made. Shuffle them up, and have the children take turns putting the cards in the proper spaces of the food pyramid.
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert, Scholastic Inc., 1987. ISBN 0-590-45030-1
Bread Bread Bread by Ann Morris, Scholastic Inc., 1989. ISBN 0-590-46036-6
Staying Healthy by Barrie Knowles, Wayland, 1992. ISBN 0-7502-0434-6
The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola, Scholastic Inc., 1978. ISBN 0-590-40264-1
The Big Block of Chocolate by Janet Slater Redhead, Ashton Scholastic, 1984. ISBN 0-908643-756