Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Snacks 'R Us

Cathy Burgess
Bay District Schools


Students identify foods that make nutritious snacks. They will analyze snack foods to determine their fat content by completing an experiment.


The student knows that objects can be described, classified, and compared by their composition (e.g., wood or metal) and their physical properties (e.g., color, size, and shape).

The student understands positive health behaviors that enhance wellness.

The student classifies food and food combinations according to the Food Guide Pyramid.

The student knows nutritional value of various foods (for example, fruit, cereals, dairy, meat).

The student works with others to complete an experiment or to solve a problem.


-Snacks: pretzels, potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, apples, popcorn with and without butter, and granola bars
-Food Pyramid poster
-Suggested book, [Nutrition - What’s In The Foods We Eat?] Patent, Holiday House, 1992
-Snack Time song: [Busy Kids: Song And Rhyme Preschool-Kindergarten], The Education Center, 1999 (see associated file)
--Snack Attack- poem: [Busy Kids: Song And Rhyme Preschool-Kindergarten], The Education Center, 1999 (see associated file)
-Charts of "Everybody Needs A Heart," "A Shopping Song," "Easy as 1, 2, 3!" (see Teacher Prep)
-"Everybody Needs A Heart," "Easy as 1, 2, 3!" ([Heart Power], AHA, 1996)
-"A Shopping Song": [Songs, Poems, And Fingerplays, Best Of Mailbox Magazine], The Education Center, 1998 (see Teacher Prep)
-Chart paper
-Science journals
-Five 3x3 inch brown paper squares (for each group you have)
-2 oz. Squeeze bottle
-1/2 oz. of vegetable oil


1. Write poems and songs on chart paper.

2. Chart cooperative group comments. See activity #4 in the procedure section

3. Gather snacks for experiment. (I usually have parents donate them. The groups need one of each snack.)

4. Cut brown paper squares 4”x4” (8 squares for each group of 4).

5. Have the book [Nutrition - What’s In The Foods We Eat?] ready to read.

6. Gather supplies: chart paper and 1 package of markers, crayons 1 pack per student, ½ oz of vegetable oil in squeeze bottle (1 for each group)

7. Science journal.

8. Make copies of the song and poems for students to keep in their portfolios.

9. Have charts of "Everybody Needs A Heart," "A Shopping Song," "Easy as 1,2, 3!" from lesson one, Message From Your Heart.

10. Divide students into four groups by students counting off 1-4. All the ones in a group and so on.


*This is lesson four, day 4, in the Happy, Healthy Me unit.

1. Review previous lessons on the Food Pyramid, and balanced meals by singing and reading "Everybody Needs A Heart," and "A Shopping Song." Also recite the poem "Easy as 1, 2, 3!"

2. Ask students to name a food that they like to eat between meals and tell why. Point out that a food eaten between meals is called a snack.

3. Read the book, [Nutrition - What’s In The Foods We Eat?] Discuss vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and water as introduced in the book.

4. Divide the students into groups of four. Explain that this is an experiment they will complete in a cooperative group together.
Tell them you'll be looking for:

1. Each person in the group is to take a turn.
2. Positive encouragement that sounds like: “Nice job,” “Way to go,” “I like the way you _____,” “Awesome,” “You are good at_________.” (or others)
3. Everyone is on task and the experiment is completed in a timely manner. (We have 15 minutes to do this.)
4. Tell students: Remember I am looking for cooperative groups during this experiment. I will place stickers on the desks of super-duper cooperative workers who are able to follow these directions.

5. Next, have students write the word oil on a paper square. Explain that oil contains fats and that they will use the brown squares to find out which snacks contain fat. Students put a drop of vegetable oil on that square. Hold it up to the light and talk about what the oil did to the paper and what it looks like.

6. Name the gathered snack foods with the students. Hand out paper squares and tell them to write the name of each snack onto it. Do this orally together.

7. Hand out snack foods to the groups. Hand out from less oily to oily. Hold up each snack, one at a time, and have students take turns rubbing it on the square several times with the snack food named on it. Ask them to wait a few minutes and observe the squares by holding them up to the light. Do each one orally together. Compare them to the square labeled oil. Remember to check for cooperative groups and pass out stickers. You may want to hand out wipes for the students to use between snacks.

8. Ask: Which of your snacks contained oil or other fats? Describe, classify and compare snack findings. Record them on chart paper. (I would put oil and fats in one category and healthy snacks in another and list them.) Encourage a discussion on healthy snacks and help students conclude that snacks with less oil are healthier. The teacher formatively assesses students' answers as they give them and provides feedback. An example of positive feedback would be: “Very good answer. Pretzels do go in the healthy snack group.” An example of corrective feedback would be: “Think again, find the square marked potato chip, what do you see there?”

9. Tell students some snacks provide energy needed for physical activity like foods high in sugar or caffeine. They digest quickly and give your body a boost that produces energy, but only for a short time. For example, athletes who need to run a fast race may eat energy bars or candy bars to give them an extra edge. Or if a person on the job gets very tired, but needs to continue to work productively, he or she may eat some chocolate or have a cup of coffee. It is a quick pick-me-up, but can fade and often leave the person more tired than before. What would some other examples be? Allow time for discussion. Then record answers on chart paper. Observe students' answers and give feedback for any misconceptions. Some examples of positive and corrective feedback may be:

“Yes, candy bars like Snickers and Hershey kisses would be a quick pick me up.”
“Chocolate milk, yes that is a good answer because the chocolate and sugar give you a boost.”

“No, peanuts and popcorn would not be considered a snack high in sugar even though you may see them higher in the Food Pyramid. Let’s see where they fall on the Food Pyramid. I can see where you are coming from. They have butter and butter has fat.”

10. Display poster of the Food Pyramid. Have students recall facts about the fats, oils & sweets group at the top of the pyramid. Discuss how these foods should be limited and are called junk food. Explain that our bodies need some fats, and it is ok to eat snacks, but they should be nutritious to help keep our bodies strong. Circle the healthier snacks on the chart and ask students to name others. Make sure students can tell you why they are healthy or nutritious.

11. Introduce the "Snack Time" song. Use this song to encourage students to say, “yes” to healthy snacks. Point to the words and sing and read them several times until students become familiar with it. Then introduce the "Snack Attack" poem. Have different children stand up and name their favorite nutritious snacks while each class member inserts his/her name into the poem.

12. Now assign the class to make a journal entry with the title Snacks That Are Good For
Me. (Share the Snacks That Are Good For Me rubric with students before they start the activity.)

A. Students are to draw pictures of themselves with a happy face in the center of page 3.
B. Then they are to draw pictures of nutritious snacks (at least 3) that surround the body.
C. Draw a line from the snacks to the body.
D. Ask them to write several sentences about what makes a nutritious snack and how that keeps the body well. They can include information from the experiment.

13. Collect student journals for formative assessment.


Formatively assess the students' understanding of nutritional value of various foods by observing pictures and statements written in the students' science journals. The teacher is specifically looking for a statement on what makes a healthy snack and how that keeps the body well. See attached rubric.

Formatively assess the students' knowledge that objects can be described, classified, and compared by their composition by charting responses of the snack experiment on chart paper. See activity #8 in procedures.

Formatively assess the students' understanding that people need food for energy by observing answers of snacks that give quick energy and recording them on a chart. See activity #9.

Formatively assess how the students work with others to complete an experiment or to solve a problem by placing a sticker on their desks if they are cooperatively working together. The criteria the teacher is looking for is students taking turns, positively encouraging others, staying on task, and completing experiment in a timely manner. See attached rubric.


1. An extension would be to point out to students that Florida is known as the Sunshine State and is famous for its citrus groves and produces other types of fruit like watermelon, cantaloupes, strawberries, peanuts, and pecans. Plan a Florida snack week where you would taste a different nutritious Florida snack every day of the week.

2. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

Web Links

Web supplement for Snacks R Us
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Use this link to obtain the materials referenced in Teacher Prep.
A Message From Your Heart

Use this link to obtain the materials referenced in Teacher Prep.
Catching a Balanced Diet

Attached Files

Attached are the copies of the song, poem, and rubric.     File Extension: pdf

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