Category Archives: Professional Studies

Lesson Ideas – Food and Health 2nd Level

After our health and wellbeing workshop, we looked at food and health and how important it is to explore with children – as it affects everyone’s lives. After watching the ‘Sugarcrash’ documentary, I was shocked at the amount of hidden sugar in the foods I am eating. I try to be as healthy as possible, but sweet treats always sneak in. I can now say I am no longer putting low fat yogurts in my trolley when shopping!
As professionals, we need to give our children an understanding of what a healthy and balanced diet is. What we eat affects our future, in both positive and negative ways, and we want each child to have the best future possible.


Class of primary 6/7

By applying my knowledge and understanding of current healthy eating advice, I can contribute to a healthy eating plan. HWB 2-30a
By investigating food labelling systems I can begin to understand to use them to make healthy food choices. HWB 2-36a

Lesson 1

L.I. – We are learning to understand the 5 nutrient groups and what foods come underneath these groups.
We are gaining an understanding of what food is healthy and what food should be eaten in moderation.

S.C. – I can list some food items which come under certain nutrient groups – e.g. carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins/minerals, calcium and fats.
I am beginning to understand what foods are healthy for me and what I should not eat all of the time.
I am able to create an eye-catching and informational poster about a certain food group.

Resources: Print outs for each table of a blank eat well plate, cut outs of different foods. A eat well plate (full) to show after the first task. Computer for video.

Starter – 10 minutes.
Youtube clip explaining each section of the groups.
After video – Can you name any foods that would be classed under fats? Carbohydrates? Vitamins/minerals? Calcium? Proteins?
What groups do you think are good for you and why? What groups should we eat less of? Why? Where does water come under this? Discuss these questions with a partner, then discuss with class.

Main body – Match game. 10 minutes
A blank get well plate on each table with a bundle of different pictures of foods. The children are to place the foods in the different sections of the plate – discussing with the table why a certain food shall go where. A full plate will be handed out once finished to compare. Discuss with class certain foods in groups – why did you put that in that group?

Poster in tables – 30 minutes to create.

A specific food group for each of the 5 tables. An informational poster that is eye-catching and colourful. Success criteria for poster – I can work collaboratively in a group to create an information poster. It includes colourful pictures, facts about certain foods and a food group and what effect this food group has on your body.
If no time to present – after lunch? Next day? Next Food and health lesson at start?

End of lesson – Class discussion. What foods are good for us? Can you give examples? What types of food should we have in moderation? Why can we not eat them all of the time? Examples of your favourite foods in the vitamins/mineral’s category, etc.


Lesson 2

L.I – We are learning to understand the contents of our food.
We are beginning to understand what the different contents on the labels mean for our diet and our health.
We are going to construct a pie chart, and divide each content of the food. We will add up percentages to do so.

S.C – We are beginning to understand the contents of food and what the percentages mean.
We can distinguish what are healthy foods and what are not.
We can lay out the information from food nutrients in a pie chart.
We can work as a group to create a pie chart. (Cross-curricular for maths)

Resources – Food packaging, A3 paper, example of pie chart?

Starter – Recap for lesson 1 – 10 minute discussion
What we class as healthy and unhealthy foods? What did we all have for breakfast/break/lunch? Was it a healthy choice? Do we remember what carbohydrates do to our bodies, etc.

15 minute – Looking at packaging of food. What do the labels mean? Why are they red, orange, green, etc. Task to put in order of healthiest to unhealthiest. Why is this at the top?

30 minute – Pie chart task
In groups of 3/4 (able children and children who may struggle mixed) children to make 2 pie charts from packaging. One for healthier option and one unhealthy food. Divide each food part (e.g. sugar, salt, saturated fats, calories, etc.) and draw a pie chart to represent each area of food content.

6/7 min recap of lesson – Why should we look at labels of food and explore the contents? What do they mean? Discuss with shoulder partner(s).


Reflection – I Want to Better My Practice!

Personally, I find taking constructive criticism somewhat difficult. Throughout my high school years, I would tend to have the mindset to ‘give up’ if the slightest thing was wrong – a list of corrections in an essay, a failed test. The list can go on and on. It would put me off that particular area of learning, making me think I wasn’t good enough to pass or meet the grades expected of me. For the subjects I enjoyed – such as English, Music and History – those slight mistakes maybe mattered too much. The crosses on the page made me dread to even look, although they were easily fixed. For subjects I didn’t particularly like, I saw the mistakes as just me not understanding the question or the topic. Those did not bother me as much somehow. Maybe, because I realised, I wasn’t the best in that particular subject and my score wouldn’t improve drastically. However, I knew how important it was to persevere and try my best, and improve these scores – even if was only by 1%. Being reflective and asking myself ‘what can I do to better my grade? Even by a couple of marks!’, allowed me to realise that the grade was on the paper was a learning curve. It can be worked on if you can reflect on what went well and what didn’t.

I have learned throughout the Values module from last term, that it is completely normal to make mistakes. Most mistakes you can fix, you can improve on. It was made clear that this can only be done by reflecting on what had maybe gone wrong with your work. It is a human trait to make wrong decisions sometimes, and it makes us into the person we are today. But we cannot fix these mistakes without reflecting on them and asking ourselves ‘what can I do to improve this?’.
Being able to be receptive to constructive criticism and learn from it is an essential trait to have when working in the classroom. Every day is different, and this may mean that lessons do not go the way you had specifically planned them out to go – and it is important to accept that. Teaching means you are constantly developing different strategies on how to tackle certain behaviours and mishaps in the classroom. You are continuously learning about what works and what does not. By being reflective and understanding what did not go so well on that one particular day, when the moon was full and the children were noisy, we can always improve our practice and explore different strategies to enhance our methods in teaching.

I am nervous for those days that may occur when I am on placement. The truth is though, you cannot hide from these days. They will come and they may be a kick in the teeth, but it is all about learning from the errors that have happened in that lesson. I am going to accept any feedback that comes my way because I know this will help me improve for the next lesson I will take. I will reflect on what went well and what I can use again and again in the classroom. I will ask myself ‘is there any way to improve this, to take the children to the next step of learning?’. I will be able to consider different strategies if one did not go so well, and ask myself ‘why?’.
Reflection is a vital part of education – bettering your own learning, and improving your own practice will have a massive impact on the children’s education in the class.