Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Choice Not Chance

Rosa Banks


Fact or fiction: Do the foods we choose affect our health? The student researches diets in a country other than the USA, and compares it to the Food Guide Pyramid analyzing the affect it has on an individual's health.


The student identifies aspects in one's own culture and in the cultures of others that may have an impact on health and the use of health services.


-Personal Food Journal
-Blank Food Guide Pyramid (use for day 1 and day 2
-Choice not Chance assessment
-Reference books on a variety of countries
-Computer reference material such as Encarta and Grolierís (optional)
-Sharpie Marker
-Dry Erase Board and Markers
-Paper towel to erase transparency


1. Gather materials for activity.
2. Make transparency of Food Choices.
3. Make 2 copies of the Food Guide Pyramid chart for students.
4. Make copies of Choice not Chance Assessment for each student.
5. Gather reference books on different countries.
6. Schedule computers that have computer reference program, such as Encarta or Grolierís. Remember to follow school guidelines concerning internet access and student use of internet


Day 1
1. Using the Food Guide Pyramid transparency (See associated file.), students practice categorizing food choices into the correct food group. For the food choices, use a school based menu for breakfast and lunch, and a student example for the previous eveningís meal.

2. Add up the total servings in each food group and compare to recommended servings. Key: Use = for correct number of servings in groups, + for needs more servings of foods in group, and Ė for fewer servings needed. Discuss some examples of how food choices impact diet.
Ex. Milk and milk products help build and maintain strong bones.
Dark green leafy vegetables aids night vision, keeps skin healthy
Excessive servings in fats and sweets and animal based foods result in possible heart disease.

3. Assign homework: Distribute Food Guide Pyramid. Students record on the Pyramid the food and drink consumed in a 24 hour period(see associated file).

Day 2
(Students need computer access with web links available)

1. Teacher places students in groups of 4 to 5 assign each one of the following cultures: Vegetarian, Asian, Mediterranean, Spanish,

2. Hand out Choice Not Chance Food Pyramid (see associated file) to each student. Indicate to students that the handout is identical to the transparency. Students use the Internet to research the diet of their assigned culture (See Web Link). On the Choice Not Chance Food Pyramid, students record typical daily food choices.

3. Circulate and observe students completing chart and give feedback as needed.

4. Students evaluate the diet comparing the recommended servings on the U.S. Food Guide Pyramid with the food choices of their country. Studentís use teacher provided Key for comparison (see Day 1).

5. Using the U. S. Food Guide Recommended Servings, students summarize the health impact that diet has on a personís health.

6. Collect the completed charts and give feedback as needed.

Day 3

1. Review Food Guide Pyramid servings for the food groups and their impact on health from previous lesson.

2. Distribute Blank Choice Not Chance Assessment (see associated file).

3. Students independently complete assessment until mastery is complete. Give feedback and remediate as needed.


Students identify on a Food Guide Pyramid (See Associated File) foods of a typical diet other than the USA. The students complete each food group with correct placement and servings. Students research and analyze the affect the diet has on an individualsí health. Students complete Choice Not Chance Assessment until skills are mastered.


Extension: (Optional)
Accomodations for ESE or ESOL: Student correctly identifies pictures in each food group and attaches to pyramid worksheet.

Web Links

The students use this website to research the diet of other cultures.
Food and Nutrition Information Center

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