Classroom Comparison of Fat Intake
- Grade level: Lower elementary, Upper elementary
- Subject Area: Math
Students bring in their fat diaries and work in pairs to calculate their average fat intake per day during the week of data collection. Following this activity, the whole class gathers to calculate their total fat intake and average fat intake per student per week and per day. Each student can compare their average and total fat intake with that of other students in the class, and this can lead to a discussion of different eating habits and possible changes to food intake.
- Compare fat intake among students.
- Consider what might constitute healthy eating habits.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: None.
- Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: None.
- Classroom materials: Calculators.
Students work in pairs or small groups to calculate their total fat intake for the week, as well as their average fat intake per day. The whole class can total their fat intake for the week and calculate a class average for fat intake per day.
- Students are organized into pairs or small groups to calculate their total fat intake for the week. By adding up the daily fat intake they can arrive at this total. Then, by dividing the total by seven (7), they can calculate the average fat intake per day. Use of calculators is encouraged in this activity, as the concept of average is more critical than each student successfully arriving at the correct amount.
- Have the students help each other as they calculate the totals and averages to check the results. Students can discuss their eating habits and share their total and average fat intake per day in these small groups.
- As a whole class, ask each student to report on his/her total fat intake for the week and average fat intake per day and tally these up on the chalkboard. Calculate the total fat intake for the entire class for the week and the average fat intake per day for the entire class. Discuss with students how some students average more fat intake per day than the class average, while others average less.
- Students should be encouraged to discuss their eating habits and talk about ways of curbing their fat intake individually and as a group. Ask them to consider and talk about how they might change their eating habits to reduce their overall and average fat intake. Ask them which foods they believe account for "most" of their fat intake every day.
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