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5th Graders campaign here to prevent obesity and promote healthy school meal choices


P.E. & Health  



Title – Nutrition Project
By – Veronica Baca
Primary Subject – Health / Physical Education
Grade Level – 5th Grade





        • Symbols will play an important role while studying the nutritional value of foods that are provided in school lunch meals.
        • Students will develop skills in the use of symbols while analyzing advertising of food products, food label advertisements, and statistical analysis.



        • Students will use people and advertisements on food products, food labels, the internet and TV as forms of discourse.


        Cognitive processes:

        • Students will examine data from statistics, food labels, advertisements, and media sources and then draw conclusions.
        • This will allow students to be able to realize how media and personal choices can affect their health and nutritional well being.




        Authentic Problem:

        • According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention (CDC) and Health Promotion – Division of Adolescent and School Health (2008), the obesity rate among children aged 6 to 11 has more than doubled in the past 20 years. Based on the CDC’s report, young children are becoming obese due to unhealthy lifestyle habits, lack of physical activity, and the increase in calories that they are taking in.
        • Educators, parents, and students need to seek a solution to this epidemic to prevent the diseases that can occur such as heart disease, psychological problems, diabetes, stroke, and a risk of bone and joint problems.
        • Elementary students can make a difference by participating in a campaign to prevent obesity and by learning more about healthy meal choices in their school. Students in the 5th grade can take part in a campaign to inform students about making wise choices in their foods and about what they should and should not eat.



        1. Students will begin first by gathering data from important sources within their schools such as the Cafeteria Manager, School Nurse, Physical/Health Educator, and a member of the School District’s Health Committee.
          1. Students will gather lunch menus from the cafeteria manager.
          2. Students will gather data about strategies the school nurse and health educator are implementing throughout the school to combat obesity.
          3. Students will gather data from the School District’s Health Committee on their school-wide plan for decreasing obesity and structuring the school lunch menus.
        2. Students will become knowledgeable about nutritional education through online research.
          1. Students will view an online local educational resource to gain knowledge about nutritional information on food labels and nutritional value concepts.
          2. Students will view an online educational video within the local resource to view how to use the facts learned on food labels and nutrient concepts.
        3. Questions will be developed among the students by researching information on healthy choices and food items within the internet.
          1. Students will come up with at least ten questions to ask from the data provided by school personnel and fron online resources.


        Based on the interview data, students will then begin to organize their campaign for promoting and informing their student population within their school on the types of foods they can eat and should have in their lunch meals.


        1. Students will organize their campaign similar to an election where students will have an opportunity to voice their opinions and provide an argument on why they should have a say on what types of foods they should eat.
          1. Students will view an online example of a campaign on nutrition created by students as a guide.
          2. Students will create posters on the food items (with nutritional data) they have selected as a group and post them throughout the school for student input.
          3. Students will then set up voting booths for students to vote on their food item during their lunch hour.
        2. Once all students have voted for their food item, all votes will be counted and a final decision will be made.
        3. Students will then announce the winning food item and present data to the school principal and student body in order to have the item added to the lunch menu.




        Disciplinary Structure:

        • Students are becoming more interested in what they are putting into their bodies and what effect food has on their health.
        • Students will learn their nutritional needs, healthy eating habits, and how they can make a difference in their school by educating their peers about healthy eating.


        Disciplinary process:

        • 5th grade students will use a KWL Chart throughout the project to log their current knowledge on nutritional foods, what they need to know about the value of nutrients in foods and what’s healthy to eat, and what they have learned by the interviews and research they will perform throughout the project.
        • Students will conduct online research on obesity factors for elementary students and create a graph illustrating the data.
        • Students will also form groups to begin a campaign informing their student body about the importance of eating healthy and also the results of their vote for the new food selection (conducted during their lunch hour).


        Disciplinary Discourse:

        • Students in the 5th grade will become health activists by gathering and processing information, drawing conclusions, recommending solutions to combat obesity and by selecting foods that will lead to healthy eating habits among elementary students.


      Using Information:


        Searching for Information:

        • Students will use the internet to search for data and statistics on obesity among elementary students and on nutrition. Students will concentrate on gathering data that relates to obesity among elementary students to compile the most accurate data.
        • Students will use the Region One School Health Section website to view a lesson on “Nutritional Labels and Food Facts”. The lesson will provide students with information about how to read food labels and about nutritional concepts such as carbohydrates, fat, and protein calories.
        • Students will also view a video on how to apply the information to their real life grocery shopping
        • Students will evaluate example student campaigns online to create their own school nutritional campaign at:


        Sorting and Judging Information:

        • Students will interview individuals that have experience developing the lunch menus and deciding the nutritional foods that are required for elementary students in the school. Individuals will consist of the school nurse, cafeteria manager, and a health committee member.
        • Students will compare media tactics and advertisements with the online elementary student obesity and nutritional habits data to help them select material for their school campaign.


        Creating and Communicating:

        • Students will create a graph illustrating their statistical data on the obesity rate among elementary students and their nutritional habits.
        • Students will also develop a campaign promoting their knowledge of proper food choices based on their interviews and online research.
        • Students will create a final PowerPoint presentation to present to their principal for final evaluation and decision on selecting a new food item to include in the lunch menu.


      Community – Activities:


        Authentic Activities:

        1. Obesity & Healthy Eating Campaign: Students will form groups to interview the individuals involved in selecting lunch meals for students, such as the cafeteria manager, school nurse, and the director of the health committee.
        2. Students will research online data on the obesity rate among elementary students and create a graph illustrating the data.
        3. Students will develop strategies based on the interviews on how to combat the obesity and unhealthy eating habits of elementary students.
        4. Students will begin a campaign project to voice their opinion and thoughts on healthy eating and food choices.
        5. Students will collaborate with the school principal on the campaign and vote for a food item of their choice to be provided one day of the week.


        Background Building Activities:

        1. Students will perform online research on the obesity rate among elementary children and healthy eating options.
        2. Students will use the KWL chart during their project to log what they know about nutrition, what they need to know about strategies to lower the obesity rate among elementary students, and how to implement a healthy eating program within their lunch program.
        3. Students will work in groups to interview and inform the student body on healthy eating. They will begin a campaign to voice their opinion and thoughts on the proper foods to eat and they will vote on a new school lunch menu item to be included on one day of the week.


        Constructing Activities:

        1. 5th Grade students will begin their Healthy Eating Campaign by researching the data on the obesity rate among elementary students and by creating a graph illustrating the numbers.
        2. Students will form groups of five. They will begin researching data useful in creating interview questions.
        3. Each group will interview an individual that works closely in the development of lunch meals, for example cafeteria manager, school nurse, and the head of the health committee.
        4. Students will meet as a team to present their data to their school principal to begin a Healthy Eating Campaign within their school.
        5. Students will create campaign signs to post throughout the school, voicing their thoughts and strategies to combat obesity. The groups will also post signs promoting their selection of a food item to include in the lunch menu.
        6. Students will vote on the food selections.


      Sharing Activities:

      1. Students will create graphs to illustrate the obesity rate among children and inform their student body by posting these graphs throughout their school
      2. Students will create posters to promote and illustrate healthy food items and their nutritional facts and post these throughout their school
      3. Students will create a PowerPoint presentation to share with their interviewees about their gathered data on student obesity and their method for solving the problem.


      b. Knowledge and skills.


      1. Health information: The student knows ways to enhance and maintain personal health throughout the life span. The student is expected to:
        1. examine and analyze food labels and menus for nutritional content;
        2. apply information from the food guide pyramid to making healthy food choices;
        3. identify foods that are sources of one or more of the six major nutrients;
        4. calculate the relationship between caloric intake and energy expenditure;
        5. differentiate between health-related and skill-related physical activities; and
        6. analyze the components of a personal health maintenance plan for individuals and families such as stress management and personal safety.


    1. Influencing factors: The student knows how various factors influence individual, family, and community health throughout the life span. The student is expected to:
      1. (explain the importance of communication skills as a major influence on the social and emotional health of the individual and family;
      2. describe daily and weekly activities that promote the health of a family;
      3. describe how a safe school environment relates to a healthy community; and
      4. identify environmental protection programs that promote community health such as recycling, waste disposal, or safe food packaging.

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