Beacon Lesson Plan Library

You Are What You Eat (Primary Grades)

Michaél Dunnivant


Students self-assess their personal snack habits and design a healthy snack to share with others.


The student knows and practices good personal health habits.

The student recognizes that decisions about personal behavior may be healthy or unhealthy (eg., obeying pedestrian rules).

The student knows various ways to share health information (eg., talking to peers about healthy snacks).


-Joff, Laura. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, New York: Harper Collins Children's Books, 1987.
-Paper plates
-Magazine/newspaper pictures or pre-selected free pictures of food from the Internet


1. Prepare stations with all necessary materials.
2. Gather paper plates and magazine and newspapers appropriate to snack foods.
3. Pre-select pictures of food to use in the lesson.
4. Make charts.


1. In whole group, read the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. Talk about the value of a cookie as a snack.

2. Present two charts to the class. One should have the title 'Healthy Snacks' and the other one should have the title 'Not-So-Healthy Snacks.'

3. Discuss what types of food might be found in each category and why. Pre-select pictures of food and model with the class how you would categorize each picture on the charts. Ask students to justify their placement of the snacks in each category. Write the name of each snack next to it as a label.

4. Ask students about their snack habits. Do they eat healthy snacks or unhealthy snacks? Students share their health information with others in small groups or with a friend.

For small group station work,

STATION 1. Students design a healthy snack and a not-so-healthy snack. Provide magazine/newspapers for students to search for foods in each category and to glue on their paper plates. The plates should each be labeled with the appropriate category.

STATION 2. Students self-assess their personal snack habits by recording in their journal a picture and description of the snacks they have eaten over the past couple of days. Each day the students record the snack foods they eat. At the end of the week, have students respond to the question -Are your snacking habits healthy or not-so-healthy?- Students should respond and use their journal recordings to justify their assessment. Students should share their information with the other group members and set goals for eating healthy snacks.

STATION 3. Students use the class charts and pictures or models of food to create two lists of snack food, healthy snacks and not-so-healthy snacks. Students share their lists with the people in their group and talk about how they can share this information with the other class members. Students may decide to share their information by talking with others, modeling for others, making signs and posters, etc., on ways to eat healthy.

Station work takes approximately three one-hour time periods over the course of three days to complete.


Formatively assess student work, self assessment, and conversations for these criteria:
-Knows and practices good health habits
-Recognizes that decisions about personal behavior may be healthy or unhealthy
-Knows ways to share health information


Students who need more support to complete tasks should be paired with buddies and be given more time. Work could be modified to require developmentally appropriate writing/spelling and illustrations to communicate ideas. Interviews could also glean the same information.
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