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Author(s): Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, and Barbara Z. Tharp, MS.

Photo © Shvadchak Vasyl.

Physical Science, Life Science, Environment, and Health

Students investigate food sources, food webs and food chains, healthy eating and food groups, food safety, and overall nutrition. Student sheets are provided in English and in Spanish.

The Science of Food Teacher’s Guide contains lessons, including assessments, that enable students to explore soil and plant growth, photosynthesis, edible plant parts, food webs, digestion, why pollutants become concentrated in some foods, bacteria, food labels, and food safety. This guide provides the following inquiry-based activities:

  1. What’s That Food? Pre-assessment

  2. What Is Soil Made Of? What is in soil and how does it contribute to plant growth?

  3. Do Plants Need Light? How do plants produce food through photosynthesis?

  4. Plant Parts You Eat: Where do everyday vegetables and fruits come from?

  5. Food Webs: What happens to energy and nutrients in ecosystems?

  6. Digestion: How does the body get nutrients from food?

  7. Bio Build-Up: Why do pollutants become concentrated in some foods?

  8. They’re Everywhere: Bacteria: Where do bacteria grow?

  9. Using Food Labels: How can we use the information on food labels?

  10. Safe Food Preparation: How can we reduce the risk of food contamination?

  11. Healthy Snacks: Post-assessment

The guide is also designed to be used with integrated components of the Food unit: The Mysterious Marching Vegetables (storybook), Food: Explorations (student magazine), and two supplements: The Reading Link and The Math Link (language arts and mathematics activities related to the storybook).

Although the activities are most appropriate for use with students in grades 3–5, the lessons are easily adaptable for other grade levels. The guide is also available in print format.

Download: The Science of Food Teacher's Guide

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Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Filling the Gaps: K-6 Science/Health Education
Grant Number: 5R25RR013454