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Life Science

Health and Society

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Loren Nomura Loren Nomura 4055 Points

I just completed the food science and safety SciPack and tried the nutrition one as well. As I do not teach a health class, I don't have any activities or resources on something where I could do a short lesson on how our food choices impact our everyday lives and even society (with the health care system and all). Does anyone have any ideas on an activity such as maybe 'making healthy lifestyle changes' or 'being proactive' etc? Short units that can be done in a week or less would be appreciated. It would be a great way to tie in science, technology, and society. Thank you

Stephanie Taira Stephanie Taira 720 Points

One way to teach nutrition through life science is to teach how the nutritional choices affect the body systems. By making healthy nutrition and exercise choices, your organs function properly. (less stress on the heart, kidney, etc.) The students can do a mini-research project and present their findings.

Lori Towata Lori Towata 2825 Points

Loren, Not sure what grade level you teach, but I'm also thinking that you could approach nutrition and food safety through a data approach in science. You could look at graphing data based on studies that scientists have collected on weight loss and health associations (if you're high school), and make it more personal for the students (if you're middle or elementary school). I've had students (in grade 3) do everything from collect data on their activities at recess, afterschool (walking home, sports, etc.), and weekend, to keeping a food log. We've even extended our discussions to how eating snacks (before recess) contribute to having more energy while they're playing, and even being more attentive during classtime. It's a valid enough argument that I allow my students to eat healthy "fuel" during class. I notice a better focus during instruction. I'm sorry if it's not more concrete, but hope my suggestions got you thinking about how it might work in your classroom.

Alicia Mochizuki Alicia Mochizuki 1470 Points

Hi Loren, My friend is a dental hygienist and she will be coming to our class soon to teach us about our teeth. I know it's not dental month (Feb) but I believe students need to know about their teeth and the importance of keeping their teeth clean. Especially, if their is correlations to healthy teeth/gums and healthy bodies. After she does her demonstrations I want to do this science experiment with my students on this blog: I think it can be used for students of all ages. I also think you can use this activity as a nutrition activity by adding another egg in water then comparing and contrasting the egg in water to the egg in cola. You could pose questions like: 1. What does the egg in water look like, feel like, ect. 2. What does the egg in cola look like and feel like, ect. 3. If eggs are like our teeth which drink has less side effect. You could talk about (e.g., nutritionally, cola has more sugar and can stain our teeth by the demonstration. As an extension activity or another activity, you could also measure the amount of sugar is in a can of soda and create another interesting nutrition activity. Alicia

Robin Fujioka Robin 1390 Points

Loren: I'm not sure what grade you teach, however, I'm currently teaching my 10th graders about the Cycle of Matter and the Energy Pyramid....with the 10% Energy Flow Rule. We also discussed how it would be more energy efficient if we ate lower on the energy pyramid. We just talked about a recent article in Popular Science about biofuel versus eating meat and the amount of energy needed to process them. Having students create food chains and webs and incorporating the energy pyramid will show students the cycle of matter and how much energy is transferred from the producers to the consurmers. I hope this helps, a little. :-)

Juliet Kim Juliet Kim 2340 Points

My school had a health and fitness day and I was in charge of teaching the students how to eat healthy. At that time, I went to and was able to order packets of worksheets and activities that I could use with my class. I just checked again and the web site URL has been changed to: Unfortunately, they do not send out free materials anymore but the site is FILLED with ideas for activities related to healthy eating and even has an link for educators to check out. I think you will find this web site very useful! Good luck!

Janice Eala Janice Eala 1565 Points

Adding to Alicia's suggestion on using eggs and coke you could also try an experiment with coke and pennies. I have read that it's a myth that they will dissolve however, it does make a dirty penny clean.

Rochelle Tamiya Rochelle Tamiya 4095 Points

Hi Loren..I wondered the same thing but upon reading just the first couple of pages of the nutrition scipack, I immediately saw a connection to Life Science as I made it connected to the Cycle of Matter and Energy. I used the elements (circle graph) interactive as an opening and had students try to guess what elements in what percentages were found in our bodies. They really thought that was an interesting opening, especially since they (like myself) were a somewhat surprised that we had trace elements of arsenic in our bodies. I then had them wonder about how these elements get into our bodies? We had a group discussion about this for a brief 30 seconds as they all said "food!" This led to the "What is food" question and then the activity where students had to record their food and snack intake in the last 24 hours. We then looked at the "MyPyramid" model to decipher which foods were in which categories. After the personal consumption activity where students could now see whether they were eating "healthy" and balanced enough to sustain their energy needs (I forgot to mention that they had to list all of the activities they did as well in the last 24 hours), we culminated with the "plan your meals" exercise, where students had to plan their meals and snacks for a 24 hour period. I forgot to mention that each category was discussed and students had to predict which foods could be found in which categories (they had fun with this part as well as they were actively engaged in brainstorming which types of foods could be considered oils, meats (beans are in this category), etc.. We also discussed good and not so good food choices prior to them planning their healthier meals. It ended up to be well connected to the cycle of matter and energy unit in Life Science as well as students were interested as it provided for real world connections for them. Many of them could recall a time when they felt tired and low on energy and could tie it with the soda and candy bar they had before practice that day.

Callie Rodgers Callie Rodgers 1795 Points

Loren, I recently just completed a workshop unit on Food and Nutrition which was geared towards 4th or 5th grade. My colleagues and I presented a variety of activities that dealt with the new "My Food Plate" and teaching students to read food labels. Some activities included in the worksheet were: having students create their own "My Food Plate" with the foods they eat each day. Students will be able to see what foods the eat more of and what foods they eat less of. It is a great way for students to see just how balanced or unbalanced their diet really is. For a fun activity with the food labels, an activity was created in which students had to guess what type of food item each food label pertained too. They were given a list of food items/restaurants and had to choose which food label best suited each item. I hope this helps! -Callie

Jared Kilmer Jared Kilmer 970 Points

Loren, I was in Callie's cohort and another activity that you might want to try involves food intake vs. caloric output. Online there are many resources and charts that explain how many calories certain kinds of activity burn over a certain amount of time. You could use those types of facts, then go to popular restaurants (or go online)and get a variety of nutrition labels for the kinds of food that most kids like to eat. You could then have the students make a meal or pick out which foods that they like to eat and how often they eat them. After that, introduce the nutrition label info with the exercise charts to illustrate how unhealthy some foods actually are and how much exercise is needed to burn those calories off. This activity could actually incorporate physical activity into the classroom. Jared

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