Course 1: Food Production, Nutrition and Health Project: Food for Thought Essential Question



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Course 1: Food Production, Nutrition and Health

Project: Food for Thought
Essential Question: How should we monitor our eating to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Engagement Scenario:
Malnutrition occurs in people who are either undernourished or over-nourished. Approximately 30% of children in the United States are obese while 1% are undernourished. Many people have no idea what they actually eat in a given day and whether they are making good food decisions. Your CTSO (FFA, FCCLA, HOSA, etc.) has asked you – as a member of the organization’s healthy lifestyle committee – to write a food diary for high school students and develop the tools students would need to use the diary. They will use the food diary the class develops for a healthy lifestyle program they are conducting. The goal is to help students become more aware of the foods they consume and the impact those foods could have on overall health.
Your team will research healthy eating and determine guidelines for adolescents to follow. Based on the guidelines, your team will develop a food diary that allows you to track food and calorie consumption. You will use the food diary you develop and test it among your peers for usability. You will compare your eating habits and the habits of your peers to those suggested by your research using pie charts. You will calculate the necessary caloric intake for an individual based on Resting Metabolic Rate and activity levels and use this caloric intake recommendation in the guide for your food diary.
After reading informational texts on nutrition and participating in enabling learning activities intended to assist you in researching, conducting, and analyzing an approach to monitoring proper nutrition, write a report in which you analyze the effectiveness of your food diary, providing examples to illustrate and clarify your analysis.
You will present your food diary, eating data, and usability results to a nutrition expert and leaders in the student organization and apply their feedback and the usability feedback you receive from your peers to revise your food diary. As a class, you will choose a food diary to use for the remainder of the course.

Project Overview


Day

Concept/Description

1

Students compare personal eating habits to standard American diets. Students explain the impact of historical events on personal eating habits. Students discuss the cultural significance of food.

2

Students describe the purpose of the project. Students list the tasks and products related to the project. Students describe the project in one sentence.

3

4


Students list the recommendations for healthy diets. Students compare recommendations from different sources. Students examine careers in the field of nutrition. Students determine if sources of information are reliable.

5

Students define fruits, grains, dairy, vegetables, and proteins. Students assign foods to the categories used in USDA MyPlate.

6

Students create pie or circle charts based on given data. Students compare personal eating habits to those suggested by the USDA.

7

Students measure servings of foods from each MyPlate category. Students compare serving sizes of foods commonly served.

8

Students calculate calorie requirements for a variety of people in order to maintain energy balance. Students describe how different factors impact energy balance.

9

10


Students compare systems for tracking eating. Students develop a system to track food consumption.

11

Students create a pie chart representing eating habits. Students compare pie charts of their eating to the MyPlate pie chart.

12

Students identify necessary information for someone to follow their guide. Students develop a one page explanation of the diary and how to classify foods.

13

Students explain the structure of a presentation. Students describe the kinds of evidence that sway audiences.

14

Students calculate mean. Students explain why one uses mean responses. (Optional day depending on how students perform on pre-test)

15

16


Students analyze the results of their food tracking system survey. Students describe the benefits and drawbacks of their food tracking system. Students develop a presentation to the class and nutrition expert that explains their system and how it was received by the participants.

17

18


Students compare food tracking systems. Students demonstrate effective presentation skills.

19 20

Students write a research report based on survey results and feedback from presentations.

Day One

Key Question of the Day: What role does food play in your everyday life?

(Each day the key question should be prominently displayed and used to open the lesson.)


Bell-Work (Each day the Bell-Work question should be prominently displayed and used to open the lesson)

  • Provide students with the weekly Bell-Work sheet (Appendix 1)

  • “What role does food play in your everyday life?”

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:



  • Compare personal eating habits to standard American diets.

  • Explain the impact of historical events on personal eating habits.

  • Discuss the cultural significance of food.

Required Materials for Daily Lesson

  • Weekly Bell-Work journal – Appendix 1 – One per student

  • Daily Exit Slip – Appendix 2 – One per student

  • Research journals (blank notebooks or binders with lined paper. Binders work well so handouts can be added easily)

  • Internet

  • Flip chart

  • Markers

  • Computers (iPads will work too, or any device with access to the Internet)

Estimated Instructional Time: One 50-minute class period

Opening – (Designed to prepare students for learning. Students are prepared for learning by activating an overview of the upcoming learning experience, their prior knowledge, and the necessary vocabulary.)

  • Read the Bell-Work question and solicit responses from the students.

  • Possible answers may include:

    • Provide energy

    • Sustain life

    • Celebrations (e.g., birthdays, holidays, etc.)

    • Social events

  • Write the responses on a flipchart or somewhere visible in the room.

  • Ask the class, “How do these different roles affect the choices you make about the foods you eat?” and briefly discuss their responses.

  • Explain that even though food has a cultural and social significance, we ultimately need food to survive. But, it’s the foods that we eat and the choices we make that have more serious impacts, such as impacts on our health.

Middle - (Designed to provide a structure for learning that actively promotes the comprehension and retention of knowledge through the use of engaging strategies that acknowledge the brain's limitations of capacity and processing.)

  • Distribute students’ research journals. Explain that they will use these for the remainder of the course to keep track of the research that they do and write reflections. Provide students with a format for research journal entries.

    • Teacher TIP! If there is a specific format you or your school uses for taking notes, feel free to use that with the research journal. Use a format that works best for you.

  • Ask the class if they have ever seen an infographic. Explain that infographics are a fun, visual way to present information.

    • Teacher TIP! Have an example of an infographic ready to show in case the response for having seen one is low.

  • Explain that to create their infographics, each team will have to do a bit of research to compile supporting facts for the questions they are responding to.

  • Ask the class, “How do you know if a resource is reliable?”

    • Have a discussion about reliable sources and explain:

      • When it comes to websites, .edu and .gov are the best because they are sources that come from schools/universities and the government. Some .org websites are trustworthy, but not all.

      • The first few websites listed at the top of the Google search are usually the most reliable.

      • Consider the author. Is it a blogger? Is it a college professor? Is it a doctor? What is their background and purpose for writing the article?

  • Remind students that whenever they conduct research they must cite their sources. There are many formats for citing sources but for this course, we will use the APA (American Psychological Association) Format.

    • Teacher TIP! As students work through all of the projects, they can refer to the Purdue Online Writing Lab (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/05/ ) for appropriate formats for different sources.

    • The following format should be used for web resources:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved from http://Web address

  • Divide the class into four teams. Each team will be assigned one of the following questions:

    • What did you eat today (or this week/last week)?

    • What impacts how you eat?

    • How do most Americans eat?

    • How have the eating habits of Americans changed over time?

  • Give each team a flip chart (or allow them to have as many sheets of paper as they will need) and markers.

  • Students will be responsible for answering the question posed to the team by creating an infographic. The infographic can include a combination of numbers, words, and/or images.

  • Citations for references should be documented at the bottom of the page.

  • When they are finished, each team should hang their papers somewhere in the room.

  • Have a gallery walk giving each team one minute to visit and review each infographic.

Closing - (Designed to promote the retention of knowledge through the use of engaging strategies designed to rehearse and practice skills for the purpose of moving knowledge into long-term memory.)

  • Provide each student with the weekly Exit Slip handout (Appendix 2)

  • Students will turn in their Exit Slip for that day. They will respond to the following prompt:

“What similarities or differences did you notice between what we ate today and Americas eating habits?”


Day Two

Key Question of the Day: (Project Roll-out) Do you understand our project?

Bell-Work (Each day the Bell-Work question should be prominently displayed and used to open the lesson)



  • Provide students with the weekly Bell-Work sheet (Appendix 1)

  • “Based upon what you learned yesterday, what do you think is wrong with the American diet?”

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:



  • Describe the purpose of the project.

  • List the tasks and products related to the project.

  • Describe the project in one sentence.

Required Materials for Daily Lesson

  • Project Scenario and Essential Question – Appendix 3 – One per student

  • All rubrics – Appendix 17, 18, 19, 22, 23 – One per student

Estimated Instructional Time: One 50-minute class period

Opening – 10 minutes

  • Read the Bell-Work question and solicit responses from the students.

  • Debrief the infographic activity by revisiting each question and summarizing the key information about each. Lead into a discussion about the Bell-Work responses and the connection to what they learned the previous day.

  • Explain that, “Today, we will develop an understanding of the project.”

  • Using their notes from the previous class, each student will create a concept map (in research journals) that represents what he or she already knows about the American diet and eating habits, causes and consequences of poor eating habits, and the tools an individual can use to improve his or her eating habits.

    • Teacher TIP! A concept map is a graphic organizer or diagram that shows the relationship between different ideas or concepts. This can take on any form. If there are specific concept maps you are encouraged to use within your school, this would be a great opportunity to integrate them.

  • Students will swap concept maps with a classmate and each student will write a 3-4 sentence summary of what he or she knows about the poor eating habits from viewing his/her classmate’s concept map. Students should write these summaries on the back of the page that holds the map.

Middle – 35 minutes

  • Teacher TIP! Students will create a portfolio at the end of the project (on the last day) where they will compile the bodies of evidence they have created throughout the project. Remind students to save important artifacts as they complete different tasks throughout the project. Feel free to determine the best way for students to create their portfolios based upon your particular situation (e.g., if your school/district has any specific requirements, etc.).

  • Provide students with copies of the essential question and project scenario (Appendix 3).

  • Provide students with copies of all rubrics.

  • Instruct each student to use an INSERT strategy as they read the scenario. Place an “!” behind each sentence that surprises you; a “?” behind each sentence that you have questions about; an “*” behind each sentence you disagree with; and a line under each word you do not understand. (Add to or delete INSERTS as desired.)

  • Next, have students pair together and share their INSERT marks. Provide time for discussion.

  • Lead a discussion of the project as each group shares its questions, surprises, disagreements and needed definitions.

  • Key discussion points should be summarized on the board or projected.

  • Assign teams that the students will work in for the duration of the project.

  • Have each team design a logo/graphic that represents the project as they understand it. Segments of the graphic/logo should include – tasks (which they believe should be accomplished), products, learning activities needed, etc., and any other segments the group might use.

  • Teams should determine a name to go with their logo.

  • Teams should share their logo and post them in the room. (This could be a gallery walk.)

  • Teacher TIP! An option is to have teams initiate a management log at this time. They simply predict (anticipate) all of the activities and research they believe should occur in order to complete the project. This is reviewed and discussed as a class. The log provides the teacher with insight to the students’ understanding of the project and can help the teacher make adjustments to the instruction. This log should be maintained in conjunction with the research notebook and updated from time to time. At some point early in the project, the teacher should actually provide the students with a calendar of activities so the teams can “check off” completed tasks and plan for up-coming events. At the same time, teams should maintain and adjust original management log. Students should make adjustments without erasing their original plan so that they can track how their ideas about the project have changed.

Closing – 5 minutes

  • Students will turn in their Exit Slip for that day. They will respond to the following prompt:

“Write one sentence that could be used to describe the project to a friend.”

  • Collect the Exit Slip for the day as students leave the classroom.


Day Three
Key Question of the Day: What do experts say about how we should eat?

Bell-Work (Each day the Bell-Work question should be prominently displayed and used to open the lesson)



  • Provide students with the weekly Bell-Work sheet (Appendix 1)

  • “Based upon what you learned over the past few days, what do you think is wrong with the American diet?”

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:



  • List recommendations for healthy diets.

  • Compare recommendations from different sources.

  • Examine careers in the field of nutrition.

  • Determine if sources of information are reliable.

Required Materials for Daily Lesson

  • Computers

  • Projector

  • Journal articles about nutrition

  • Internet access

  • Nutrition texts (books, magazines, etc.)

  • Research Notes – Appendix 4 (make additional copies as needed) – One per student

  • Project Management Log – Appendix 5 – One per student

  • Flip chart

  • Markers

Estimated Instructional Time: One 50-minute period

Opening – 5 minutes

  • Read the Bell-Work question and solicit responses from the students.

  • As students share their thoughts, compile a master list on a sheet of flip chart paper.

  • Have a brief discussion about their responses and ask why they felt the things they listed are a problem with the American diet.

  • Explain that, “Many people have opinions about what and how we should eat. We’re going to learn more about that today.”

Middle – 40 minutes

  • Pose the questions for the class, “Who are the nutrition experts? What do the experts say about what and how you should eat?”

  • Students will work with their teams to research the advice they can find from nutrition experts.

    • Have a brief discussion about nutrition careers and explain why students should pay attention to this information when researching recommendations from experts. Careers include nutritionist, registered dietician, doctor, etc.

    • Teacher TIP! It’s important to highlight that a nutrition blogger may not be a reliable person to make nutrition recommendations if they are just a person with a blog. A nutrition blogger who is an actual registered dietician would have more credibility. So, the source of the information is key because anyone can make a recommendation, and we have to be able to determine what information is valid and credible versus what isn’t.

    • Each team will delegate members to conduct research in different ways (e.g., Internet, articles/books in your school library, textbooks in classroom, etc.).

    • Students should note these assignments on the Project Management Log Team Tasks (Appendix 5).

  • Each student will complete a Research Notes (Appendix 4) page for each source to be included in the team’s research journal. They should also fill out each section of the Research Notes form.

  • Each team will brainstorm a list of search terms that they can use. Remind them that they can use these terms to for the index of a book, the library catalog, and an internet search engine. Circulate among the teams and allow each to begin their search when they have a good list of search terms.

  • Give students about 10 minutes to do an initial search.

  • When time is up, have a brief discussion, “What is a trustworthy source? How do we decide?” Talk about the agenda of the publishing agency, explain the peer review publication process (a group of scientists in a field read/review research before it can be published in a peer reviewed journal and decide if the research was done properly, adds to the field, and has merit), then have students re-evaluate their sources.

  • Teams should go through their Research Notes and highlight the sources they believe are trustworthy.

Closing – 5 minutes

  • Students will turn in their Exit Slip for that day. They will respond to the following prompt:

“List two characteristics of a good source of information.”

  • Collect the Exit Slip for the day as students leave the classroom

Day Four
Key Question of the Day: (Continuation of Day Three) What do experts say about how we should eat?

Bell-Work (Each day the Bell-Work question should be prominently displayed and used to open the lesson)



  • Provide students with the weekly Bell-Work sheet (Appendix 1)

  • “What questions do you have about the work we started yesterday?”

Learning Objectives:

Students will:



  • List recommendations for healthy diets.

  • Compare recommendations from different sources.

  • Examine careers in the field of nutrition.

  • Determine if sources of information are reliable.
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