Archive | June 2013

Science Unit Plan 1: The Food Pyramid

NOTE:  I am posting the first half of this tonight, June 26.  I will get the other half up tomorrow.  Typing time has been a mite scarce!

Please note that this is a first grade lesson.  If I forgot to mention this earlier, Bugaboo and Beanie will both be in first grade this year; Beanie did all of the kindergarten work with Bugaboo this past year, and actually scored higher than Bugaboo on the end of year testing, so we decided it would be a special kind of cruelty to, essentially, make her repeat kindergarten.  A bored Beanie is a defiant and destructive Beanie.  We tend not to cause her to experience ennui unnecessarily as a result.

And without further ado . . .

Science Unit Plan:  Food Pyramid


Name the six food groups.
Explain how many daily servings should be consumed from each food group.
Classify at least a week’s worth of food intake using a blank food pyramid.
Identify which food groups in our family diet should be increased or decreased.
Compare the prices of healthy foods to the prices of snack foods and luxury items.
Create a lapbook incorporating information about the food pyramid, food production, and food budgets.
Grow at least one kind of vegetable.
Learn to catch fish as a source of protein.
Prepare 3-5 healthy snacks.
Identify ways to use food to perform acts of mercy.

Time needed:  10 x 30 minute lessons, not counting field trip time.

Texts needed:

Seton, Science 1 for Young Catholics
Hello Kitty Hello USA
The 50 States
Rand McNally Children’s Atlas of the United States
Children’s Bibles

Materials needed:

Plain paper, construction paper, pencils, markers, grocery ads, department store ads, scrapbook paper, scissors, glue, crayons, seeds, fishing tackle, pail and shovel, blackline US maps with state outlines, car, notebooks.

Field trips:

Grocery store
Dairy farm
Food bank
Motts Run Reservoir or Fredericksburg City Dock (fishing)


food guide pyramid

Scripture verses:

1 Cor 10:31 “So whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Gen 9:3 “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.  And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”


Lesson 1

Read Scripture verses.  Make foldables for lapbook to write verses, then glue into lapbook.   Introduce vocabulary/spelling words; make foldouts for lapbook.  Read pp 1-7 in Science 1 for Young Catholics.  Make 7-10 food pyramids on white paper and hang on the wall un the upstairs hallway (use textbook for shape/division reference).  Discuss favorite foods and where each one fits into the food pyramid.  Discuss why we pray graces before meals, and introduce the grace after meals.  Make foldables for lapbook with the graces.

Lesson 2

Read Scripture verses aloud.  Girls quiz each other on vocabulary definitions and spellings.  Let little boys identify the letters in the words, too.  Enter previous day’s food intake on one food pyramid chart.  Cut out pictures of things our family enjoys eating from grocery store ads.  Sort pictures into piles of healthy foods and not so healthy foods.  Make a chart of healthy foods and their prices, and a chart of less healthy foods and their prices.  Discuss which healthy foods would make good snacks.  Calculate how much it would cost to buy enough ingredients to make enough healthy snacks for our family for a week.  Go to the grocery store and purchase ingredients.  Make a snack from those ingredients.

Lesson 3

Read Scripture verses.  Review food groups and enter previous day’s food intake into a food pyramid chart.  Sort yesterday’s cut out food pictures into the six food groups, and identify those foods which might fit into more than one group.  Use the grocery ads and food pyramid reference to calculate how much it would cost to purchase healthy food for a family of six for one day.  Make a circle book or accordion foldable with this information for the lapbook.  Get food from our pantry that would provide a day’s food for a family the size of ours, and explain that it pleases God when we share our best instead of our leftovers.  Have girls call the food bank and ask how to donate they food they’ve gathered.  Take food to donation site.  At home, repeat 1 Cor 10:31 and pray for a blessing upon the food and the family (families) that receive it.

Lesson 4

Read Scripture verses; try to repeat from memory.  Review and practice vocabulary.  Re-read page 5 in S1FYC. Discuss what fruits and vegetables we like to eat.  Read instructions on a packet of spinach seeds and follow instructions to plant in a box garden.  Enter previous day’s food intake into a food pyramid.  Visit an orchard or a berry farm.  En route, discuss the Garden of Eden and explain what is meant by the term “forbidden fruit.”  Harvest some fruit and ask if we can take water to any workers who are tending the orchard.  Have girls ask whether the orchard or berry farm donates produce to charity, and if so, what and how.  On the way home, try to name a fruit and a vegetable beginning with each letter of the alphabet, and sing the “Apples and Bananas” song.  At home, have some fruit for a snack, remembering to say grace.

Lesson 5

Review Scripture verses and try to repeat from memory.  Review and practice vocabulary and spelling words.  Enter previous day’s food intake into a food pyramid.  Use The 50 States, Hello Kitty Hello USA, and Rand McNally Children’s Atlas of the United States to find food items that come from each state.  Make a lapbook foldable for each state (label blackline US map with state names, Mom cuts out the states, kids glue state cutouts onto foldable containing what produce comes from each state – lists can be words, pictures, or both).  Group the states into food groups and put the groups into cover “folders” to go into the lapbook.  Sing the first verse of “America the Beautiful” and explain that “amber waves of grain” refers to grain used to make bread.  Prepare a snack using bread, and discuss what states produce foods that are good to eat with bread.  Remember to say grace.

They blinded me with science

Here’s the song reference.

I could relate a thousand pieces of news about the recent adventures of our little tribe, but for now, let me assure all of you that they are all well and happy.  Beanie turns five tomorrow, which should not surprise me nearly as much as it does, and Baby Guy will be two on Saturday.  For obvious reasons, life is a little hectic right now.

My husband and I recently made the momentous (for us) decision to forego the boxed curriculum approach to homeschooling for the upcoming school year.  Because of this, I am busily engaged in lesson and unit planning.  For the next couple of weeks, at the request of a couple of friends (one of whom is not a homeschooler but is intensely curious about exactly what it is that we do), I’ll be posting those lesson and unit plans.  Comments and suggestions are, as always, welcomed; there is great love in pointing our error before it becomes disastrous!

At the enthusiastic request of Bugaboo and Beanie, I started my unit planning with science.  Both girls (and Mr. Man, for that matter) are possessed of an intense and joyful curiosity about the world around them, how things work, and why things are.  It is my great privilege to provide them with enough answers that they know how to ask more probing questions, and to look for their own answers both in books and in experimentation, the latter where appropriate for their ages.  In our family, we instruct always in the context of fostering a sense of awe and wonder at the boundlessness of the Lord’s creation, and with an eye towards Christian stewardship of that creation, including stewardship of our own bodies.  Please pray for us as we create the structure within which we will train up our children!

Today’s prayer:  Lord, You have favored us with a bounty of blessings, including four who are flatly refusing to sleep at the moment because they are too excited about tomorrow’s birthday celebration.  Please grant us the grace and wisdom to regard even the smallest moments as miracles, worthy of joy, and deserving of a prayer of thanksgiving to You.  As we plan for a new school year, Lord, with new knowledge and experiences, please help us keep love for You foremost in our hearts, and grant that we may teach Your blessings truly always and in all things.