Subject: Before Your Field Trip
Topics: Waste reduction, reusing, recycling, nutrition
Duration: 1-2 days
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Eco-Healthy Lunch | Print |  E-mail

 

Before Your Trip
  • Choose lessons from Parts I and II.
  • Inform Hidden Villa staff that you have been learning about Eco-healthy lunches.

During Your Trip

  • Encourage your students to bring an Eco-healthy lunch to Hidden Villa.

After Your Trip

  • You may want to follow up your Eco-healthy lunch lessons with a nutrition unit (see Science).

California State
Content Standards

Grade 2
LS 4.c, 6.b, 6.c, 6.g, 6.e
HE 1.4N, 1.5N
Grade 3
LS 6.c, d, e
HE 7.3P
Grade 4
LS 6.a, b, c, e, f
HE 7.3N
Grade 5
LS 6.f, g, h
HE 1.6N, 1.9N

We do not yet have specific state standards that require all students to understand their impact on our fragile environment and demonstrate proficiency in basic environmentally-friendly practices. Our state standards do set forth teaching guidelines for nutrition and health that include the ability to recognize, choose and prepare healthy meals. Ultimately, though, it seems that the health of our students and of our environment will be the final test of these skills that our students will face.

 

Summary 

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It is clear that childhood obesity is a growing problem. As a classroom teacher, I celebrate the opportunity to guide my students in learning to make healthier food choices. My class's Hidden Villa field trip provides wonderful motivation to have them examine what they eat and what garbage their food choices produce. Hidden Villa  This is a natural lesson to follow-up with after the field trip. You may want to have special "Eco-Healthy Lunch Days" during the month when your students challenge themselves to see how little waste they can produce. Or, you may want to extend this lesson into a deeper look at healthy eating for the body with a unit on nutrition (see Science Projects).

In this unit, students analyze their own lunches and discover the enormous amount of waste produced by the typical school lunch. Then they generate ideas about how to pack an Eco-Healthy Lunch for their Hidden Villa field trip. strongly requests that students bring Eco-Healthy Lunches on their field trips. This is a simple and developmentally-appropriate way for children to learn to be responsible for their own health and their impact on the environment.

Part I: Garbage Collectors

For this part of the lesson, students will save ALL of their waste from their lunch. Depending on your school design and where your students eat lunch, it may be easiest to have your students bring their lunch to the classroom and eat at their desks. In this way you can monitor their behavior and make sure they don't accidentally throw away their trash. I would suggest that you either have students eat early so that you can finish the lesson and still have recess time OR have your students eat lunch, leave their waste "neatly" at their desks to continue the lesson directly after the lunch recess. I prefer not to "warn" my students the day before the special lunch lesson because I don't want to influence what my students might bring for lunch. I want to be sure that my class gets an "unbiased" look at their lunches.

Lesson 1: Students save the garbage from their lunches

Lesson 2: Analyzing lunch garbage

 

Part II: Eco-Healthy Lunch

I emphasize that students need to bring WATER on the field trip. They don't need a fancy bottle, they can certainly refill a reusable container. All students will get thirsty because of the physical activity involved in the field trip, and will need water. I explain that juice and other drinks are not the same as water. I allow my students to bring 100% juice drinks packaged in reusable containers on their field trip only if they also bring another bottle of water. However, I know of other teachers who prefer to focus their students on drinking water and eating healthy and therefore do not permit any drinks other than water in their students' Eco-Healthy Lunches.

Lesson 1: What is an eco-healthy lunch?

Lesson 2: Lesson extensions

 

 


Lesson Plansgo_top


 

Part I: Garbage Collectors


Lesson 1: Students save the garbage from their lunches

Lesson 1: Students save the garbage from their lunches

Duration  

60-90 minutes

Objectives

  • Students will see the amount of trash that accumulates from one meal and understand that they can contribute to waste reduction.

Materials

  • Eco-healthy lunch for teacher
  • Students' lunches

For teachers: Bring your own eco-healthy lunch as an example for your students. Re-used containers are preferable to specialized plastic containers, being more economical choices for some of your students.

Orientation: Before lunch, explain that they will be analyzing the garbage that their lunches produce. Make sure they understand that they are not to throw out any waste at all until the end of the lesson.

Student Instructions:

  1. Eat your lunch calmly at your own desk.
  2. Do not throw away any waste until the very end of the lesson.
  3. After class discussion, work together to sort all of the waste at your table group.
  4. Count how many items you have in each category.
  5. Send one representative to add your numbers to the class tally table.

Discussion: After students finish eating their lunches, guide a class discussion about the different types of garbage they notice their lunches have left behind. How could we sort our garbage? What should the categories be?

Model: Select a few items of trash and guide the class in deciding in which category each belongs. (Some categories can be tricky. For example, many things that seem like they are paper actually can't be recycled because they are coated in metal or plastic.)

 

 

 

 

 

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Lesson 2: Analyzing lunch garbage

Lesson 2: Analyzing lunch garbage

Duration  

20-40 minutes

Objectives

  • Students will understand the journey of trash and recycling as it moves through the waste stream.

Materials

  • Eco-healthy lunch for teacher
  • Students' lunch garbage

After your class has filled in the class tally table, lead a discussion about their findings. In what category did they produce the most garbage? Why do they think this is so? What will happen to each type of waste? Where will it go? Can it be recycled? After your students share their background knowledge, share with them facts about waste.

Extension: Older students could use this opportunity to practice converting the data into a bar graph. They could also use classroom balances to weigh the different categories of waste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Part II: Eco-Healthy Lunch


Lesson 1: What is an eco-healthy lunch?

Lesson 1: What is an eco-healthy lunch?

Duration  

20-40 minutes

Objectives

  • Students will understand ways to reduce their lunch waste.

Materials

  • Examples of reusable containers (i.e. yogurt containers, jars etc.)
  • Examples of reusable lunch bags

Class Discussion: "What can we do to not produce so much waste with our lunches?" Some students will probably come up with the idea of reusable containers. Point out that these don't have to be expensive. in fact, it is more ecological to reuse the plastic containers in which so much of the food we buy is packaged. You might also want to guide your students to consider the size of the food packages they buy - individually wrapped items produce a lot more waste than bulk foods.

Explain: "Hidden Villa wants all students to bring an Eco-Healthy Lunch on the field trip. This means that they want you to pack a lunch that is good for the earth by not producing waste and good for your body by giving you all the nutrients you'll need to have a good time on your field trip."

Brainstorm: Ask your students what some main dishes are they think would be good to pack for their Eco-Healthy Lunch. Remind them to think of things that they can pack in reusable bags or containers and that will give them nutritious energy. What are some side dishes? What would be good for a mid-morning snack? How will you pack all of this food?

Individual: Each student plans his or her own eco-healthy lunch, either in class or for homework.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lesson 2: Lesson extensions

Lesson 2: Lesson extensions

Duration  

1-2 hours

Objectives

  • Students make their own eco-healthy lunch bag to bring to Hidden Villa.

Materials

  • Fabric scraps, newspaper or any lunch bag material
  • Sewing supplies, tape for making newspaper bags, etc.

Students' Eco-Healthy Lunches can be simply packed in a reused plastic shopping bag. However, making their own reusable lunch bag can be a fun project that emphasizes the preferable habit of using longer-lasting and more durable bags. Students could bring in any left-over cloth material that they can find, or you can ask at sewing stores for scraps. You could then teach them to sew a rectangular piece into a their very own lunch sack. Or, you could teach your students to fold a small stack of reused newspapers and a bit of tape into a sturdy bag (just like wrapping a present, but only on one side).