Food Labels

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We see them everyday on the packaging for our food, and this lesson explains what the labels mean. This lesson discussed what a food label is and its uses for the consumer.  Many students will ignore or disregard information on a food label.  It could be they simply are not interested, or they might become interested if they knew what the numbers and other information means for them.  The lesson does not include sources of vitamins, minerals, etc.  Using actual food labels of products students frequently eat is helpful for the lesson.

Food Labels Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Food Labels
  • Hands-on homework activities giving students practice on identifying and using Food Labels
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

We see them everyday on the packaging for our food, and this lesson explains what the labels mean. This lesson discussed what a food label is and its uses for the consumer.  Many students will ignore or disregard information on a food label.  It could be they simply are not interested, or they might become interested if they knew what the numbers and other information means for them.  The lesson does not include sources of vitamins, minerals, etc.  Using actual food labels of products students frequently eat is helpful for the lesson.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction

  1. Display 10 popular food items and their calorie counts.  Ask students:  What do the calorie counts on a food package mean?  Do you notice the calorie counts of food packages you eat from or purchase?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion.  Introduce food/nutrition labels to the students.   
  3. Distribute Food Labels content pages.  Read and review the information with the students.  Save final questions for lesson closing.  You may choose to distribute a second food label copy for students to review during the content reading.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  4. Distribute Activity pages.  Read and review the instructions.  Students will need Internet access or a dictionary.  Pair students and randomly distribute the four food packages to each pair of students.  Tell students to work together to find the correct numbers, etc.
  5. Give students sufficient time to complete the activity and write why the food may be healthy or unhealthy.  Tell them to think like a company trying to sell the product to help with why it might be healthy, and a competing company of why a product might be unhealthy.
  6. Once all students have completed, allow each pair of students a few minutes to share some of their activity responses and comments about the product.
  7. The activity responses will vary depending on the food packages they receive.
  8. Distribute Practice page.  Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page.  The next day, check and review the students’ responses.  Allow students to share information about bread comparisons.
  10. In closing, ask:  What is your favorite food and why?  Do you think it is a healthy or unhealthy food choice?

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.7 , CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7

Class Sessions (45 minutes): 2 – 3 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Want more science resources? Check out our other Science Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Science