Unit: Food and nutrition.
Level: 5th grade. Escola El Rodonell (Corçà, Catalonia, Spain)

The first step to plan a unit is have your mind clear on what you want to teach and how you want to teach it.
So I've build a mind map.

external image mindmap.jpg

Each group is going to have a page in the wiki to complete the tasks. We will always have the activities on paper just in case internet doesn't work.

Activity 1 : What do you know about nutrition, what do you want to know
We will do this activity with the whole class and the teacher is going to write what students say in the table (on line) or on the blackboard. This will help us to have always on mind what they want to know.

Activity 2: Students know a lot of food vocabulary so what they need is remember it. To help them remind it we will use this activity.
They will work in small groups. Each group is going to have a lab top and a secretary (one of the group) who is going to write all the vocabulary they remember and specially the one they can see in the pictures. They can use the on-line dictionary if they need it.

Activity 3 My pyramid mind map.
This is going to be a manipulating activity and it's a group work. It''s a good one to start a session. We will give to our students little pieces of paper with the names of food, the food groups and the nutrients they provide (The nutrients are there just to make students discuss about what the correct place for them is. It's an introduction. It's also a way to test their knowledge). They will also need a big piece of paper and glue. We will ask them to draw and paste a mind map.

Can you draw a mind map using these words?
First students will discuss about different ways to classify food and they will make their own classification:
From animals and from plants
According to the colour
Fruit, vegetables and others

When they'll finish will hang all the mind maps on the wall.

Activity 4. Then we will watch together a video to find out the food groups dietitians do. They will probably be the same as they did before.

Now it's time to present the food pyramid and analyse it and talk about it.

This is an American food pyramid and it's different from the one they've seen before.
What are the children doing?
Why some of the triangles are bigger than others?
Where is the pyramid coming from? Why?
What does "Make half your grains whole" mean?
Let's find out Nutrition Tips.
There's also a game they can play to learn more about the different food groups.
My pyramid blast off game.

Activity 5. Time for a little bit of theory. Food and Nutrients. (from Essential Science 5. page 19. Santillana Richmond). So It can be a listening and reading activity or just a reading activity.
Children will learn about nutrients.
There's also a multiple choice activity about the'ye just read. As it is an on-line activity it can be done as a homework. Children love homework on-line. Next session could start checking their answers.

Activity 6. Nutrients sentences game. Pair work. Assessment activity.
Order the definitions of the nutrients. We will give our students little pieces of paper with the sentences and they have to make groups to complete the definitions of the nutrients and other nutritive substances.

Activity 7. Fill in the grid. Pair work. Assessment activity.

What do you know about food groups and nutrients? Students should fill in the grid about food, food groups and nutrients.

There's also a very useful tool My food-a-pedia where they can find the food groups and the amount of Kcal we get when we eat any kind of food. It's very useful to compare food. we will use it again in the future.

FOUR IN A ROW. Assessment Activity.

Time for a game. We will divide the class in two groups and we are going to play four in a row. Each group decides where they want to start. If it's a picture they have to say as much as they can about the food they can see and the nutrients it provides. If it's a word, they have to define it, say examples, ... The winner group is the one that gets four in a row.

My menu. Now students should know a little bit about nutrients and food groups. It's time to practice what they've just learnt. We are going to talk about prepared food.
Spaghetti with meat balls: we can find grains, meat and beans, and vegetables. So they give us carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins.
Fish and chips. It gives us carbohydrates and proteins but it's not really healthy. There are too much fats.

Then, in pairs, students will create a menu for a whole day. It should be a healthy and complete menu. They will write it on a table. They will also write the food groups and the nutrients. Our menus
After that they will exchange their menus and they will analyse other classmates menus to see if they are healthy and complete or not.

Activity 8. What's on the label?

Step 1: Watch a video about food labels. It's quite a long video but very clear to make people understand how to read the food labels. It's important that children have the worksheet 8a at the same time in order to understand better the explanation.
Step 2. Play the game.
Step 3: Worksheets.
Step 4: It's also a good activity to compare this food labels with the Spanish food labels.

Activity 9. Mission Nutrition. Vitamin and mineral match.

In pairs, children have to find out the answers of the activity. They need a computer and internet. (Some useful links are provided). After completing the activity they will know which are the most important vitamins and minerals our body need and the jobs they do to keep our body healthy.


In small groups, children will write the lyrics for a song. The song should be about healthy food, what food provides, nutrients, ..., and advising the listeners how to be healthy. We will record them with the computer. They can invent the music or they can use a famous song and change the lyrics. Our songs.


We've been working a lot on nutrients and nutritive substances. To practice all they have known it could be a good idea to create a salad in pairs. It should be creative, balanced and complete. This means that all the food groups and all the nutrients must be there. Students should choose the ingredients they like because they are going to prepare it and eat it. It's a good activity to record to, later on, watch and discuss about it. Assessment activity.


To finish the unit, as usual, students will have to do a test. They will be asked to answer all type of different questions (fill in the blanks, choose the right answer, true or false, classify...) about nutrition. Assessment activity.


This is the last activity in the unit. The main objective is chech what our students have learnt about nutrition. We will compare what they knew before and what they know now. It can be done with the whole class, in small groups or individually as an assessment activity.