|Grade span:||9 to 12|
|Duration:||6-8 weeks for this lesson (45-60 minutes weekly); length variable if extensions used.|
- Practice the problem solving process, including crafting and considering questions and key factors, making observations, recording data, analyzing data, communicating results, and planning further investigations.
- Measure using tools such as scales, tape measures and calipers.
- Keep journals and/or log records of scientific investigations.
- Apply mathematical weight concepts.
- Compare results and draw conclusions.
- USDA Food Pyramid (PDF) (PDF)
- My Pyramid Data sheet (PDF) (PDF)
- PBL Planning Form (PDF) (PDF)
- Data/statistics about health and weight for local area
- Weighted scales
- Measuring Cups
- Clear rulers and/or plastic tape measurers (centimeter)
- Journals or learning logs
In this lesson students will consider the problem of adolescent obesity. Here are specific steps to take as you plan this activity:
- As preparation, the instructor should familiarize herself or himself with the issue, as well as inform School Cafeteria Staff and/or school/district nutritionist of planned actives.
- Research the topic by obtaining current scholarly and popular press articles about nutrition, the impact of food intake on health and weight, and foods/ingredients recommended for health (reasons provided should vary).
- Organize materials in team folders (one for each team), rulers, tape measure, pencils or pens, learning logs, calculators, scales metric conversion charts.
- Create a plan for storing all materials for the duration of the project.
- As this is a topic that is relevant to the larger community, elements of this activity can be used with as part of a community or family science night.
Students should be reminded that this research and findings created by it should not be used for judgment or criticism of peers. This subject is being examined as a scientific, not a personal topic.
What to Do:
Engage Introduce the topic to students by providing them with local and national statistics on adolescent obesity and its negative health impact. Assign groups in which students work to determine the key elements of the problem that they will investigate.
Explore Have each group work through the steps below in problem solving/project based learning. Tell each group that one person should be the Reporter, who will be responsible for generating the final report, based on the group's findings. The reporter will also facilitate the group presentation.
Each group's tasks:
- Learn about the problem through research: prepare a list of questions or issues related to adolescent obesity that need to be researched and develop a research action plan for the group.
- Develop and administer surveys. The group should do this work, generating questions, testing them, and administering them a population within the school (for instance, their grade or or a given class). The survey should assess students' eating habits.
- Identify the food and food types most frequently consumed by students as determined by the survey results.
- Conduct analysis of the nutritional value of the top ranking foods by checking the nutrition facts on the foods or other means.
- Decide which information collected by the surveys is useful in helping to solve the problem.
- Propose a solution and prepare a presentation of the solution, why it might work, and how the data gathered supports it.
Explain Students should complete data charts based on their research, and these charts should relate directly to the questions they identified at the start of the project. After these are complete, each team will report their results, with these charts. The reporter should take the lead.
Extension Activities:There are many ideas for extensions for this activity.
- Extend the project to include analysis and writing. Students could analyze the results and develop a written report or newsletter to be distributed to all students, proposing solutions.
- Expand the research component by having students obtain popular diets to determine if such diets would aid in creating a solution for the problem.
- Students could look at obesity figures for other age groups, (for instance, younger students, adults of various ages) as well as obesity figures for other countries.
Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):
- Students complete their journals or learning logs correctly with accurate data tables and charts.
- Students are engaged in the problem solving process. Students are using appropriate steps to develop and test hypotheses.
- Students are collecting date objectively and accurately.
- Students are recording data with the proper units (for instance, ounces, serving size)?
- Students are they comparing and contrasting their data appropriately and presenting it clearly in chart or other formats.
- Students are working responsibility and appropriately in their groups.
Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.
Learn More:Learn more about the 5Es.