Beacon Lesson Plan Library

What's on Your Plate?

Wendy Wood


Students create mock dinner plates. On these plates, they include magazine cutouts of foods from each of the groups in the food guide pyramid.


The student classifies food and food combinations according to the Food Guide Pyramid.


-Dry erase markers/chalk (depending on board type)
-Construction paper
-Computer workstations, clipart ready
-Computer printer
-Old magazines


1. Review food guide pyramid and how/why it was developed.
2. On each sheet of construction paper, draw a large circle (plate size) with a black marker.
3. Prepare board space for categorizing foods.
4. Collecting magazines that contain food picture (ie. Bon Appetite, Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, etc)
5. Prepare worktable with magazines, glue, scissors, and construction paper.
6. If student computers and printer are availble, prepare computer work stations for access to clip art.


Vocational Standards for this lesson: (Teen Challenges) 7.01 Classify foods using the food guide pyramid.

1. Give an introduction of the food guide pyramid. Provide reasons why the pyramid was created and how dieticians use it. Explain how the food is broken into groups and how some prepared foods can be categorized into more than one food group.

2. Next, have students write down their favorite foods. Make a list of them on the board.

3. Point out the different varieties of foods. As a class, categorize each food into the appropriate food group.

4. After reviewing and providing several examples, assign “What’s on Your Plate?”

5. For this activity, students will cut out one dinner plate.

6. Using magazines, students should find and cut out at least one food from each of the food groups. If using clipart, students should print the food item(s) and cut them out.

7. Glue the foods onto the plate.

8. Once the plates have been completed, review as many as possible as a class to check for each of the food groups on the plates.

9. This can be a prompt to discuss meal preparation (texture, color, and variety of foods).


As a formative assessment, students will be observed categorizing different foods into the appropriate food groups and discussing the differences between each group. Using the food guide pyramid as the criteria, a summative grade can be given to the students following the completion of the activity, What's on your plate. Teacher will have to review plates to see if all food groups have been included.


Using the completed activities (What’s on Your Plate?), you could further discussion food preparation (color, texture, and variety of foods). Students who are non-readers can complete this lesson using pictures and verbal cues.

Web Links

Web supplement for What's on Your Plate?
The National Agricultural Library

Web supplement for What's on Your Plate?
Food and Nutrition Information Center

Web supplement for What's on Your Plate?
Federal Consumer Information Center

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