Breakfast in the Classroom provides an excellent opportunity to fuse breakfast and learning. Below are some ideas for integrating Breakfast in the Classroom with instruction.

Teacher Kids 3

The activities below are organized by grade level to show how academic standards for multiple content areas can be addressed through the usage of instructional activities during Breakfast in the Classroom. They can be easily adapted or expanded for any grade level. All activities are can be conducted in a 10-15 minute timeframe.

Kindergarten

Activity: Sort-A-Race

Description: Make a colorful recording chart with a row for each food group and post in the front of the classroom. Every day for a week during breakfast, list the foods students are eating during breakfast onto index cards. Discuss, as a class, which group the foods belong to and post the card onto the correct row on your recording chart. Watch as the race unfolds throughout the week. Which food group will have the most food cards by Friday?

Another helping: Have students color a five-band rainbow picture and label each band as a food group. Students can write the name of a food from each group on each band.

Subjects supported: Health, English Language Arts, and Visual Arts

Key nutrition/health message(s): Eat a variety of foods from the five food groups.

Books to read over breakfast connection: MMM…Let’s Eat! by Libby Koponen

1st Grade

Activity: Alphabet Scrambled Eggs

Description: Place a pile of alphabet cards in the center of each table group. Have students flip over the top card in their pile and agree on a healthy breakfast food that begins with that letter. Once the team agrees on the food, they must decide which food group they think it belongs to. (Example: Y is for Yogurt; yogurt is a healthy breakfast choice, yogurt is in the Dairy Food Group).

Another helping: The next day, turn the list of healthy foods from the day before into a class alphabet book – assign each student a page to publish, while eating breakfast they can work on their illustration.

Subjects supported: Health, English Language Arts, and Social Skills

Key nutrition/health message(s): Eat a variety of foods from the five food groups.

Books to read over breakfast connection: The Victory Garden Vegetable Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta and Bob Thomson

2nd Grade

Activity: Water Ways

Description: Bring in several clear glasses and a pitcher of water. Discuss how much water students think they should drink every day and record the students’ predictions. Demonstrate the right amount and teach students how to estimate that they are drinking enough water. Discuss the benefits of drinking water.

Another helping: Have students write poems about water. Collect the poems and publish them as a class book. Periodically read the book aloud to students as another activity to carry out at breakfast throughout the school year.

Subjects supported: English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Health

Key nutrition/health message(s): Water is a necessary daily beverage choice; our bodies need water to be healthy.

Books to read over breakfast connection: Never Take a Pig to Lunch and Other Poems about the Fun of Eating Selected and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

3rd Grade

Activity: Eye See It

Description: Give students a copy of a MyPlate handout, or post a list of fruits and vegetables on the board. Pick a fruit or vegetable and give the students clues (such as appearance or nutrient content) to guess which one you have picked.

Another helping: Have students make their own hidden foods pictures by cutting out pictures of fruits and vegetables from old magazines. Have students use the ChooseMyPlate website and other Internet sources to create clue cards for the foods pictured on their collages. They can exchange collages with a partner and take turns giving one another clues and guessing the fruits and vegetables. Repeat the activity with the other food groups.

Subjects supported: English Language Arts, Technology, and Health

Key nutrition/health message(s): Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

Books to read over breakfast connection: Frannie’s Fruits by Leslie Kimmelman

4th Grade

Activity: What Is Our Class’s Favorite Physical Activity?

Description: Have students brainstorm and name their favorite ways to be physically active. Then use the information to create a class graph.

Another helping: Have students survey, collect data, and create a graph of physical activity for the whole school or certain grade levels. Display for everyone to see.

Subjects supported: English Language Arts, Math, Health, and Physical Education

Key nutrition/health message(s): Be physically active for a minimum of 60 minutes every day. Get your 60 minutes with bouts of activity – it all adds up!

Books to read over breakfast connections: Graphing Food and Nutrition by Isabel Thomas

5th Grade

Activity: Food Group Groups

Description: Card games and munchies go hand and hand! Make a set of food cards with foods from the five food groups (or download a set at www.neahin.org) and have the students play familiar card games (Go Fish, Rummy) by making minor adjustments to the card game rules (for Rummy, try to make sets of five cards with one card from each food group).

Another helping: Have students record what they eat at every meal in a weekly food log (each morning they can record their choices from the previous day). After a week, take stock and set a personal health goal (to eat a wider variety of foods).

Subjects supported: English Language Arts and Health.

Key nutrition/health message(s): Eat a variety of healthy, nutrient-rich foods every day.

Books to read over breakfast connection: Blue Potatoes, Orange Tomatoes: How to Grow a Rainbow Garden by Rosalind Creasy

6th Grade

Activity: Nutrition Facts Label Shuffle

Description: Collect and sort out a variety of Nutrition Facts Labels (NFL) to create a set of at least 50 NFL cards. Each day of the week teach students a new skill for reading the NFL (i.e., how to tell what nutrients the food provides, how to tell if the sodium level is too high, how to tell if the first ingredient is whole grain). Shuffle the set of NFL cards and distribute them evenly to small teams. Have students read one NFL at a time and work together to practice the NFL reading skill taught for that day.

Another helping: After a week (or more) of practicing NFL reading skills, have students write explanatory essays describing how to read and interpret an NFL.

Subjects supported: English Language Arts, Math, and Health.

Key nutrition/health message(s): The Nutrition Facts Label is an important resource to help you make important choices about the foods you eat (i.e., make half of your grains whole grains; reading a product’s ingredient list will enable you to make this determination).

Books to read over breakfast connection: Bones by Steve Jenkins

7th Grade

Activity: Better Beverage Choices Description: Demonstrate how much added sugar is in common beverages using clear cups, a teaspoon measure, and granulated sugar.

Another helping: Have students create a Better Beverages Display for the school to see.

Subjects supported: English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Health

Key nutrition/health message(s): Watch out for the amount of added sugar when choosing a beverage.

Books to read over breakfast connection: Be Fit, Be Strong, Be You (Be the Boss of Your Body) by Rebecca Kajander

8th Grade

Activity: Physical activity

Description: Working in small groups, have students brainstorm and record a list of ways to be physically active. Discuss different types of physical activity (moderate, vigorous, etc.) and the benefits and need for being physically active every day. Have the groups go back to their original list and discuss which activities are moderate and which are vigorous.

Another helping: Have students log their physical activity by completing a chart each morning listing their activity from the day before. At the end of the week, have students take stock of their own activity level and set a personal health goal based on the information collected. Have students use the information from their logs to determine what their estimated daily caloric intake should be (based on their activity level).

Subjects supported: English Language Arts, Physical Education, and Health

Key nutrition/health message(s): Be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day; include bouts of moderate and vigorous activities.

Books to read over breakfast connection: The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Daisy Scott

 

USDA’ s Team Nutrition Website www.choosemyplate.gov contains comprehensive lesson plans and resources (MyPlate handouts and posters) that can be used to teach students important concepts about nutrition and physical activity.