Wednesday 23 September 2015

Thematic Unit: Food (Senior Classes)

For the past two weeks I have been teaching lessons based around the theme of 'Food' with my 4th and 5th class. If you have considered covering this topic with your senior class, you may find some of the following lesson ideas useful.
Science: The Food Pyramid

Begin the lesson with a short quiz on food and nutrition. I used one in the children's S.E.S.E. books, but something like this may also suit. Then, having printed and laminated these cards, have the class play a food pyramid matching game. They can either do this in pairs or as a class (by giving each child a few cards to add to the class pyramid as each food group is called out). If you do this as a class, discuss whether they agree with the choices their classmates have made e.g. should butter/ice cream be in the dairy category? Would it also fit anywhere else? Discuss how many portions of each food group they should be having each day and what nutrients each contain (in pairs and as a class). Finally, have the children complete a quiz here. They could also complete this Irish soccer team related worksheet (in pairs) as an extension or follow up activity.

SPHE: Healthy Lunches/Making Decisions

Discuss with their partner an item of their lunch which they felt was healthy and one which was unhealthy. Discuss which food group each belongs to.
Have the class work in pairs to sort food cards (which can be found on pages 24-29 in this document) into three groups: 'Healthy', 'Unhealthy' and 'Unsure'. Discuss these cards as a class following the activity, naming their food group, why they are unhealthy or why they may be both healthy and unhealthy. Following this activity, they must create a 5 day lunch menu including an item from the fruit/vegetable group, a protein, a carbohydrate, a dairy food and a healthy drink each day. Put images of some lunch items (see pages 30-32 in this document) on the board to give them some new ideas. Share ideas with the class and have them self assess their menus by ticking off each nutrient they have included.

Gaeilge: Bia

Along with covering the verbs 'ith' and 'ól', whatever scéal they have in their textbook on the topic of 'Bia' and covering vocabulary associated with the topic (using games such as biongó, cluiche mím, cluiche kim, etc.), the children can take part in a comhrá beirte:

  • Céard a d’ith tú ag am lóin?
  • An raibh sé blasta?
  • Céard a d’ith do chara inniú?
  • Céard ba mhaith leat don lón amárach?
  • Cén bia is fearr leat?
  • Cén bia is fuath leat?
  • An ndearna tú dearmad ar do lón riamh?

Once they have practiced these phrases for a few days, they can then write their own 'food story'. 

Art: Pears with Perspective

I have taught this lesson a few times and the end results are always amazing! I found this wonderful lesson idea on angelaandersonart. When I teach this lesson, I begin by putting up some pictures of pears on the interactive board so that we can discuss the shapes, outline, light, shadows and colours of the fruit. Then I give them some real pears to draw on their sheet of card. After this, they paint the entire picture in red paint to add depth to the painting. They can then paint the pear using yellow as a base colour and adding brown and green as blending colours (they are encouraged and taught how to blend on the page). They then add light using white paint. Paints for the background are only lightly mixed to add to the texture and colour of the painting.   

English: Procedural Writing (Recipes)

You can find a link here to a post I wrote this time last year on recipe/procedural writing in 5th class. It contains a step by step guide, along with every resource and template you could require to teach a block of creative writing lessons based on this theme.

If you are looking for more ideas for thematic units to use with your senior class this year, check out my posts on the following topics: MyselfItalySpace and the Aztec Empire.

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