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Food Portraits

Invite children to share some of their favorite foods. Follow-up with a discussion of how nutritious their choices are for them.

  • Directions

    1. Collect a variety of pictures of foods that pre-school and kindergarten children will be familiar with. Post these in the classroom for easy viewing during this lesson.
    2. Ask students to talk about what they typically eat in a day. Use Crayola® Dry Erase Markers to write student contributions on a classroom white board.
    3. Shift the discussion to how healthy their foods are for them. What makes a food healthy? What makes a snack food? Have students look over their list of identified foods and break them down into two categories: healthy foods and snacks. Create two lists on the white board. If models of food are available in the classroom, have students manipulate the models into the two groups.
    4. Have a variety of Crayola Washable Tempera and brushes ready at each painting station. Ask children to put on their Crayola Art Smocks and select a work station in preparation for painting a picture of their favorite food. Remind students to refer to classroom pictures for assistance if needed.
    5. Allow time for students to work on their art. Tour the classroom and answer student questions. Make suggestions regarding line, shape, form, color, and texture as needed. Artwork should be dried overnight.
    6. Once the paint is dry, encourage students to add food details to their paintings, such as seeds or ridges, using markers. Have students write their names on their work. If capable, have students also write the name of the food they have selected. Provide assistance as needed.
    7. Provide time in the school day for students to share their paintings with classmates, identify the food illustrated, as well as what category it falls into and why it is healthy or a snack.
  • Standards

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

    SCI: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Children's book: Candy Andy and the ABC dinner (Happy Motivated children's books Collection) by Yonit Werber; Candy Andy and the rainbow dinner (Happy Motivated children's books Collection) by Yonet Werber; Good Enough to Eat: A Kid's Guide to Food and Nutrition by Lizzy Rockwell

    Encourage students, working in small groups, to create a healthy meal for lunch. What would they include? What food might they eliminate? Why? Student groups use Crayola Crayons to create a visual of their lunch meal. Label each food.

    Use foods named by students during the investigation state of this lesson to reinforce letter, vowel, or consonant blend sounds. Food names can be re-organized into groups such as all foods with the blend 'st' (such as strawberries)are in one list, foods with the blend 'bl' (such as blueberries) are moved to another group, etc.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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