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Green Light Eating

Summary

This activity will help students learn to make healthy food choices.


Materials

Additional Resources

Books

  • Eat Healthy, Feel Great, by William Sears, M.D., Martha Sears, R.N., and Christie Watts Kelly; ISBN 0-316-78708-6
  • Good Enough To Eat, A Kid's Guide To Food and Nutrition, by Lizzy Rockwell; ISBN 13:978- 0-06-027434-4
  • How to Teach Nutrition to Kids Third Edition, by Connie Liakos Evers, MS, RD; ISBN 0- 9647970-1-1
  • Eating the Alphabet Fruits and Vegetables From A to Z, by Lois Ehlert; ISBN 0-15-224436-0

Media


Background for Teachers

Before teaching this lesson, the teacher should read the book Eat Healthy, Feel Great by William Sears, M.D., Martha Sears, R.N., and Christie Watts Kelly. Before teaching this lesson assess students to make sure they understand the function of a traffic stop light and how it relates to our safety.


Intended Learning Outcomes

1. Develop physical skills and personal hygiene.


Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn

Give each student a big sticky note and have the student draw a picture of their favorite food to eat. Have the students place their picture on a T-chart. The heading on the T-chart is healthy foods and unhealthy foods.

Instructional Procedures

Part 1

  1. Anticipation Guide -- This guide is used to get the students thinking about what nutritious food is and is not. Every child has to make a choice. Record the number of students who are for the statement (true) and those who are against the statement (false). Do this for each statement. After the activity is complete, tell the students the correct answer and discuss why or why not the statement is true or false. Have students show thumbs up if the following statements are true and thumbs down if they are false. (All parts of the statement need to be correct in order for the statement to be true.)
    • Pizza, ice cream and green beans are nutritious foods. (false)
    • Nutritious foods give you energy and help you grow. (true)
    • All foods are nutritious. (false)
  2. Tell students that nutritious foods are foods that help us grow, stay healthy and give us energy. Less nutritious foods feed you, but they don't build healthy bodies.
  3. Say to the students, "we are going to learn how to make good choices in the foods we eat." Put an enlarged stoplight on the board. Review what each color of the light means to a driver. Green means go, yellow means caution or to slow down and red means to stop. Compare and contrast various types of food using the symbol of the stoplight. Explain that we can sort our foods into three categories. Green light foods are foods that are a "go" to eat. We can eat as many of these as we want. Yellow light foods are "slow down" foods. When eating these foods we need to limit the amount we eat. Red light foods are "stop" foods. These are foods we should avoid most of the time. (Explain that there can be some exceptions such as birthdays, holidays, traditions etc.)
  4. Show pages six and seven in Eat Healthy, Feel Great by William Sears, M.D., Martha Sears, R.N., and Christie Watts Kelly. Have the students name foods that they see around the border of the book.
  5. Discuss with the students that the foods identified are "green light" foods. Discuss why they are beneficial in building healthy bodies. These are foods you can eat as much as you want. They make you feel great and help you "go."
  6. Have the students draw and label three to five foods that belong on the "green light" journal page.

Part 2

  1. Show pages eight and nine in Eat Healthy, Feel Great. Have the students name foods that they see around the border of the book.
  2. Discuss with the students that the foods identified are "yellow light" foods. Discuss why we need to be cautious when eating these foods. These foods are okay to eat occasionally. However they do not promote healthy bodies. If you eat too many of these foods, they can "slow you down". Some examples of "yellow light" foods are pies, cookies, donuts, soda, pop etc.
  3. Have the students draw and label three to five foods that belong on the "yellow light" journal page.

Part 3

  1. Show pages 10-11 in Eat Healthy, Feel Great. Have the students name food they see around the border of the book.
  2. Discuss with the students that these foods identified are "red light" foods. Discuss why these foods do not help your body. You should "stop" eating them. Some examples of red light foods are cotton candy, fries, chips, and marshmallows.
  3. Discuss food allergies. If a child is allergic to certain foods, then that food would also be a "red light" food.
  4. Have the students draw and label three to five foods that belong on the "red light" journal page.

Part 4

(Before you begin this part of the lesson, have the picture food cards cut out, colored and placed in a grocery sack.)

  1. Put the enlarged stoplight on the board.
  2. Review the meaning of each light's color and how it relates to the foods we eat.
  3. Tell the students they are going to do a food sort.
  4. Begin sorting picture food cards.
  5. Monitor the sort, correct when necessary.
  6. Give each child a copy of the picture food cards.
  7. Have them color them and cut them out.
  8. Place in an envelope and collect for the next day's activities.

Part 5

  1. Pass out students' journals and envelopes containing picture food cards.
  2. Remind students of the sorting activity from the previous day.
  3. Tell the students that they are going to do their own sorting activity.
  4. Model the sort using the student journal pages and student picture cards
  5. Have students begin sort.
  6. Monitor your students and assess their knowledge of "green light," "yellow light," and "red light" foods.


Extensions

  • Have students create a meal by cutting out pictures of food from magazines and gluing them onto a paper plate using only green light foods.
  • Give students picture food cards and have them sort the cards onto a stoplight sorting sheet.
  • Have student journal what they eat for three days and then color code the foods according to the three categories.
  • Have students create an alphabet book using green light foods.

Family Connections

  • Plan a dinner for the family using "green light" foods. Help cook the dinner if appropriate.
  • Go to the market and buy a new "green light" food to try.
  • Share Healthy Eating Journal with family.


Assessment Plan

  • Observe which foods the students draw during the invitation to learn and see under which category they put them.
  • For assessment, check the student journals to see if they are drawing correct foods for each category.
  • Observe if students can sort foods into the correct categories using picture cards and a stop light as their sorting sheet.
  • Have students "think-pair-share" three foods in each category. "Think-pair-share" is an activity where an individual student thinks about a topic--or questions--given by the teacher. The teacher then pairs up two students and they share information with each other.
  • Using a "graffiti wall strategy" the students will draw a food that fits each classification. "Graffiti wall" is a strategy where you hang a large blank piece of paper on a wall. The students write on the paper according to the instructions at the top of the paper.


Bibliography

Research Basis

Hopkins, G. (1999). Journal Writing Every Day: Teachers Say It Really Works! Education World. Retrieved January, 28, 2007 from http://educationworld.com

One of the best things about daily journal writing is that it can take so many forms. Teachers can use journal writing to meet specific goals, or the purpose can be wide open.

Suleiman, M. F., (March 23, 2000) The Process and Product of Printing: Implications for Elementary School Teachers. (ED442299). Retrieved January 28, 2007 from http:// www.eric.ed.gov

Given its intricate relationship to other avenues of language especially reading, writing cannot be separated from other linguistic and meta-cognitive processes. Like reading, writing "is viewed as a tool of thinking and a vehicle for sorting out and clarifying thought".


Created: 06/28/2007
Updated: 02/03/2018
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