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What’s for Lunch Around the World?

What do students eat for lunch at school? Discover tasty menus from around the world. Make a game to match foods to their countries.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Find information. What do you think children in other countries eat for lunch? In South Korea, squid with hot sauce is on the menu. Children in Mexico City may drink Horchata, a mixture of oatmeal, apple, and water. Russian children might eat two kinds of bread plus rice and a wheat and potato soup.
    2. Find out what foods are popular in several more countries. What foods are popular? What is considered to be healthy? What foods grow in the country’s climate? What does a school lunch tell you about the country?
    3. Make a game board. Decide on a visual way to present your findings, such as a matching or bingo-type game. Here’s how we made the sample. With Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, divide paper into lunch tray sections for several countries. Label the page and each country. Draw circles for each food eaten, with bigger circles for the main course.
    4. Design game pieces. On another paper, sketch food inside circles that match the circles on the board. With Crayola Twistables, design plates or bowls and color foods. Cut out with Crayola Scissors.
    5. Mix & match! Mix up the pieces and then put them back in place for each country. For a challenge, exchange games with other students. To make a poster, use a Crayola Glue Stick to attach the correct foods on the school trays. Label each dish.
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

    LA: Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Give examples that show how scarcity and choice govern our economic decisions.

    SS: Distinguish between needs and wants.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

  • Adaptations

    What does it cost to put together a lunch for a child? Students interview parents and check out prices at local grocery stores to arrive at a price for daily lunch for an individual student. Create a chart of lunch costs representing the class of students. Challenge students to research the cost of lunches in other countries. How do these prices compare to those of your class?

    Invite a local nutritionist to visit with the class to discuss about nutrition, growing healthy bodies, and the value of each country's school lunch researched. Compare and contrast the nutritional values. Post learning to a class blog.

    Students investigate recipes for healthy lunch foods. If possible, have a Festival of Lunches and invite parents to attend.

    Students examine a monthly menu from the school's cafeteria. How nutritional are they lunch meals? Discuss their value in small groups. Compile a list of possible recommendations for making the lunches at school even healthier!


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