Name/Title: Gardening and Nutrition

Purpose of Event: The first essential standard is to apply tools (MyPlate, Food Facts Label) to plan healthy nutrition and fitness. The clarifying objectives are: to use MyPlate to eat a nutritious breakfast each morning. Check the Food Facts Label to determine foods that are low in sugar and high in calcium. Plan activities for fitness and recreation during out of school hours. The second essential standard is to understand the importance of consuming a variety of nutrient dense foods and beverages in moderation. The clarifying objectives are to identify the sources of a variety of foods. Categorize beverages that are more nutrient dense. Recognize appropriate portion sizes of foods for most Americans. We will also touch base on understanding the benefits of nutrition and fitness to disease prevention.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-8

Materials Needed: Gardening tools, soil, seeds, area for gardening, paper plates, and colored pencils. You may also need shoe boxes.

Description of Idea

Part I: Opening
(5-10 minutes, Focus/Review and Primary ES for the lesson)

Description of Idea/content: The teacher will lecture on healthy eating habits. I will lay the ground rules for Myplate. It is better to eat natural, healthy products as opposed to processed packaged foods. The serving size also needs to me monitored. Fruits and vegetables can be readily enjoyed. Meat should be about the size of your fist. Sugary, fatty, processed foods should be consumed in moderation. It is important to have a nutritious breakfast each morning. When picking out your foods, be sure to read nutrition labels. If there are a lot of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, you probably shouldn’t eat it. When shopping with your parents try to encourage them to choose fruits and vegetables, opt for organic if possible. The absence of chemicals is important. Try to avoid calorie dense beverages. Sodas and energy drinks are full of sugar. Water, milk, 100% juice beverages are better choices.
“Can you give me examples of a healthy or unhealthy food, and why?”
“As well as having a healthy diet, it is important to stay physically active. Can you name some activities that you enjoy doing that are also a good form of exercise?”
Both exercise and nutrition are important to living a disease free, healthy, and happy lifestyle.

Teaching Hint(s)/Tips: Get the students involved. The more they participate the more they will enjoy it and understand the information. Allow them to give examples of healthy and unhealthy foods. Also, ask for examples of physical activities they like to participate in.

Adaptations for Students with Special Needs: Depending on the needs of the child I will adjust the lecture. I will allow 1:1 if needed.

Part II: Middle
(10-15 minutes or more, Teacher Input and Guided Practice)

Description of Idea/content: The students will now get hands on experience with gardening. Tell the students
“Okay, we are going to plant, and grow our own healthy, organic, vegetables. This will be very time consuming and lots of hard work and teamwork will be needed. This will be very rewarding. After we grow all of our vegetables we will bring them in, wash them, and eat them!”
This is going to be a process but allow 20-30 minutes daily maintaining the garden. The first day allow students to take turns planting the seeds, digging the soil, and removing rocks. After the garden is made and the seeds are planted let the students take turn weeding, watering, and taking care of the garden.

Teaching Hint(s)/Tips: Students will be able to choose what we plant in the garden. Make sure they are aware it is their responsibility to maintain the garden and keep it healthy.
Also, make sure the teacher is aware of what is appropriate to plant at the specific time. For example, which seasons allow the best environment for specific seeds? In the summer time, tomatoes are typically planted, fall is better for broccoli, and snow peas, etc.

Adaptations for Students with Special Needs: I will change the lesson plans for a child with special needs. If the student needs 1:1 I will plan for that. Also, if the student(s) are in wheelchairs I can give them a shoe box with soil that they can place on a table top.
Part III: Closing:
(10-15 minutes or more, Independent Practice and Closure)

Description of Idea/content: After the vegetables are done growing we will pick them, wash them, cook them up if needed, and eat them. We will need access to the kitchen so arrangements will need to be made.
The class will plan a meal using the guidelines from MyPlate. The students will draw/color on their paper plates a breakfast plate, a lunch plate, and a dinner plate. One day they will make breakfast, one day will be lunch, and one day will be dinner. They should try to draw according to size if possible.

Teaching Hint(s)/Tips: The students can work together if they want. They should draw appropriate sizes on the paper plate. They should be able to explain their reason for choosing certain foods.
Also, in the hands on preparing of the vegetables, we will take into consideration how many vegetables we grown, the kinds, etc. If the vegetables don’t need to be cooked the class can prepare a salad. If the vegetables do need to be cooked, extreme caution will be used in the kitchen. The teacher will do the hands on cutting, and cooking, but the students can assist when able.

Adaptations for Students with Special Needs: I will make adjustments for students with special needs. 1:1 will be provided if needed and any other requests.

Assessment Ideas:

Assessment for Part I: This is important for laying the ground rules for the entire lesson. Make sure the students have a good understanding and get them excited for the hands on portion.
Assessment for Part II: This is the most actively involved part of the lesson plan. It will take place over an extended period of time. It is very time consuming and requires hard work. Make sure to allow sufficient time each day to take care of the garden. This allows for daily physical exercise, team work, and skill. The children will really enjoy it. I think it will really get them interested in healthy eating and exercise. Also, it fits into the unpacking standard. While gardening isn’t a sport, it requires physical activity and the use of small and large muscle groups.
Assessment for Part III: The children will take all of the knowledge they have learned throughout the lesson plan and apply it to real life. If they are able to do it in the classroom, hopefully they can apply it at home as well.
The lesson plan takes place for 40ish minutes a day. You can spread it out over a few days by having them make a breakfast plate one day, lunch another, and dinner another. This way they aren’t overloaded with too much information or work and it allows time for the information to sink in.

Submitted by Laura Cruikshank who teaches at UNCW in Wilmington, NC. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 10/24/2013.
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