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Food Distribution

Main Core Tie

Science - Biology
Standard 1 Objective 1

Time Frame

1 class periods of 60 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups


Utah LessonPlans


This activity provides a visual example of the distribution of the world's food and wealth as well as the human energy needed to produce food.



  • Candies or popcorn or other easily divided food items (small pretzels, crackers, cereal) 3 medium-sized kitchen bowls:
    • High-income bowl has roughly 6 pieces of higher quality food per student.
    • Middle-income bowl has 4-5 pieces per student
    • Low income has 3 low-quality pieces per student.
  • student page (attached)

Instructional Procedures


  1. Divide the participants into three groups, as indicated below, to represent high-income countries, middle-income countries, and low-income countries. The following table shows the number of students in each group depending on the class size:

  2. Ask each group to perform the "work" needed by the average individual to grow their food. The type of activity may vary with your space but running in place or jumping jacks will allow student to get the idea. The low- income groups should work longer and harder than the middle or high. These countries frequently have less machinery and more human power used in farming. High- and Middle-income people spend time earning the money to buy food but expend less personal energy to gather it.
  3. Announce that it is meal time and the students will receive an average food ration for their country. Distribute the bowls of food and allow students to share them.
  4. Allow the students time to finish their "meal" and sit down. Ask them how they felt in their group.
  5. Handout the student sheet and read the introduction. Give students time to read the information and create a graph.
  6. Discuss the questions before allowing students to finish.
  7. An excellent site to have a class discussion with is: Human Conditions (website)


Lesson Design by Jordan School District Teachers and Staff.

Created: 11/12/2014
Updated: 02/04/2018