Nutrition Education Resources

Arianna's Nutrition Expedition: Activity 2 - Arianna Bones and the 'Great-Mysteries-of-Nutrition' Pavilion

Arianna Bones and the 'Great-Mysteries-of-Nutrition' Pavilion

Grade Level: 4th Grade/Upper Elementary
Estimated Time: 45 minutes

Materials and Advance Prep

Suggested Instructional Strategy

1. Begin by reviewing the Five Food Groups and the foods within each group. Use Arianna's Nutrition Expedition™ mini-poster:
  • Show me with your fingers how many food groups there are. Five
  • Working silently, put down a finger for each food group you can name.
  • What food group contains milk, cheese and yogurt? Milk Group
  • What other foods are in the Milk Group? Answers may include pudding, frozen yogurt, flavored milk, American cheese, string cheese.
  • What is your favorite Milk Group food? Accept all reasonable answers.
  • What food group contains meat, chicken and fish? Meat Group
  • What other foods are in the Meat Group? Answers may include steak, pork, turkey, shrimp, peanut butter, dried beans and peas, nuts, eggs.
  • What is your favorite Meat Group food? Accept all reasonable answers.
  • What food group contains potatoes, squash and carrots? Vegetable Group
  • What other foods are in the Vegetable Group? Answers may include corn, peas, lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
  • What is your favorite Vegetable Group food? Accept all reasonable answers.
  • What food group contains strawberries, apples and watermelon? Fruit Group
  • What other foods are in the Fruit Group? Answers may include oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, grapes, mangoes, kiwifruit.
  • What is your favorite Fruit Group food? Accept all reasonable answers.
  • What food group contains bread, rice and cereal? Grain Group
  • What other foods are in the Grain Group? Answers may include pasta, rolls, bagels, waffles, crackers.
  • What is your favorite Grain Group food? Accept all reasonable answers.

2. Continue, asking:

  • How do you think nutritionists came up with the Five Food Groups? How do you suppose they decided what the food groups would be and which foods would go in each group? Accept all reasonable answers.

Explain:

  • Each food group contains similar foods. For example, all the foods in the Milk Group - milk, cheese, yogurt, pudding, frozen yogurt - are made from milk. The Grain Group contains foods made from any type of grain - wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, or rye.
  • In addition, foods in each food group have something else in common. Most foods in each group are a good source of a particular nutrient. That nutrient helps the body stay healthy in a special way.
  • For example, foods from the Milk Group, like milk, cheese and yogurt, all are a good source of calcium. Calcium helps the body build strong bones and teeth. None of the other food groups gives you this particular health benefit.
  • Foods in the Meat Group, on the other hand, are a good source of protein. Protein has a different health benefit than calcium. Protein helps build strong muscles. Some Meat Group foods, such as beef, pork, chicken, fish, and eggs, come from animals. Other Meat Group foods, such as nuts, seeds, and dried peas and beans, come from plants. But all Meat Group foods provide the same health benefit.
  • Each food group is a good source of a different nutrient. Each nutrient helps the body stay healthy in a different way. So each food group has a different health benefit.
  • That's why you need to eat a variety of foods from ALL Five Food Groups every day for your body to get all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

3. Distribute the Arianna Bones and the "Great-Mysteries-of-Nutrition" Pavilion story. Explain that in this adventure, Arianna and Marcus learn how to get and stay healthy. Ask students to circle information about each food group's health benefits.

4. Have students take turns reading this story aloud. There are five poems within the story. If possible, have the class read the poems in unison.

5. When the class is done, ask them to identify the health benefit of each food group and the key nutrient responsible for that health benefit.

Milk Group (poem on page 2 of story):

  • Health benefit: Builds healthy bones and teeth
  • Key nutrient: Calcium

Meat Group (poem on page 2 of story):

  • Health benefit: Builds strong muscles
  • Key nutrient: Protein

Vegetable Group (poem on page 3 of story):

  • Health benefit: Improves night vision
  • Key nutrient: Vitamin A

Fruit Group (poem on page 4 of story):

  • Health benefit: Heals cuts and bruises
  • Key nutrient: Vitamin C

Grain Group (poem on page 5 of story):

  • Health benefit: Provides energy
  • Key nutrient: Carbohydrate

Ask:
What do you think is the story's main idea? You need to eat foods from all Five Food Groups because each food group helps you stay healthy in a different way.

6. Explore the concept of nutrients:

  • What do you think a nutrient is? Accept all reasonable answers.
  • What other words do you know that have a similar root to "nutrient"? Answers may include nutritious, nutrition, nutritional.
  • Nutrients are substances in foods that provide specific health benefits. For example:
    • How does calcium in Milk Group foods help us stay healthy? Builds strong bones and teeth
    • How does the vitamin C in Fruit Group foods help us stay healthy? Heals cuts and bruises
  • Most foods provide the body with many nutrients. We are only focusing on the key nutrients in each food group.
  • Why are the nutrients in food important? It's the nutrients in food that provide the health benefits.

Discuss why these specific health benefits are important for fourth-graders. Ask:

  • What do you think your life might be like if you didn't have (fill in the health benefit)?
  • Did you ever think of (fill in the health benefit) as something important before today?

7. Distribute the Pavilion Ride worksheet. Ask students to fill in the map. Students should:

  • Label the Pavilion's food group sections.
  • Draw and identify each food group's health benefit.
  • Identify each food group's key nutrient.

When students are done, have them share their drawings with someone next to them.

8. Have students place their story handout, worksheet and mini-poster in their folder and save them for Activity 8.

Check for Understanding

9. Have students signal their responses to True-False questions using easy-to-understand signals, such as Thumbs Up (true) and Thumbs Down (false).


Possible questions include:
  • Milk Group foods help build strong bones and teeth. (True)
  • Vegetable Group foods help you see in the dark. (True)
  • Meat Group foods give you energy. (False)
  • Grain Group foods provide carbohydrate. (True)
  • Fruit Group foods build strong muscles. (False)
  • Milk Group foods provide calcium. (True)
  • Meat Group foods provide vitamin C. (False)
  • Vegetable Group foods provide vitamin A. (True)
  • Grain Group foods help cuts and bruises to heal. (False)
  • Meat Group foods help cuts and bruises to heal. (False)
  • Fruit Group foods help cuts and bruises to heal. (True)

10. Ask students to take out their Nutrition Journals. Give them about 5 minutes to write an entry. Consider these suggestions:

  • Answer: What is one health benefit we learned that you especially value? Why?
  • Copy one of the nutrient poems from the "Great-Mysteries-of-Nutrition" Pavilion story.
  • Complete a nutrition entry of their choice.

11. Allow students to continue playing Quintricious!™ to reinforce the concepts in Activity 2.

All of Arianna's games are found on NutritionExplorations.org in Games.

Going Further


Health Benefit Speedball
Review the food groups and their health benefits in a class "speedball" game. The "thrower" passes the ball and names a food group. The "catcher" states a health benefit, nutrient or food within that group. Then the "catcher" becomes the "thrower" and names a new food group. Repeats are allowed, but not right in a row.

Health Benefits Collage
Have students search magazines and newspapers for drawings or photos that illustrate the Five Food Groups' health benefits. Create a class or individual Health Benefits Collage. Include food group names near the pictures of the appropriate health benefits.

Nutrition Expedition Programs © 2005