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Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt: Researching Nutrition to Advertise for Health
|Grades||6 – 8|
|Lesson Plan Type||Unit|
|Estimated Time||Seven 50-minute sessions|
This hands-on research project is designed to make students aware of what they eat and how food companies use the media to market their products. Students begin by going on a scavenger hunt to learn what is in their favorite foods. From there, they learn about nutrition terminology through a Web-based research assignment. Equipped with information about the foods they eat, students analyze the food advertisements they see to learn how companies market their products to specific audiences. In the final section of this lesson, students choose healthful foods and work in cooperative groups to create advertisements for them.
Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt: This printable sheet guides students in an inquiry activity searching for nutrition information in a grocery store.
Advertisement Analysis: Students can use this printable sheet to analyze a food advertisement.
Multidisciplinary inquiry projects have the potential to engage and empower students in significant ways. As Jerome Harste notes in his Voices from the Middle article "What Do We Mean by Literacy Now?" the notion of distinct disciplines is important, "but only in relationship to the inquiry questions of learners" (11). As student inquiry moves outside the traditional bounds of a literacy and literature curriculum, so moves the range of texts being studied and produced in the classroom.
Harste advocates that "'everyday texts' be an integral part of our language arts program as this is where literacy is occurring in the lives of students" (10). Making these kinds of texts, such as Websites and advertisements, part of the classroom allows students "to learn to examine the literacies that operate on them outside of school and how they might position and reposition themselves differently in the outside world" (10). This lesson heeds Harste's call by engaging students in learning about a personal, real-world issue: nutrition. Students build on information they already have about their favorite foods in order to create something new (an advertisement for a healthful food), while pursuing their own questions and analyzing various types of informational and persuasive media.