Things, Foods, and How We Know

byJennifer B. Esty

The unit begins with an introduction to observation. In the next section the student's observational skills are put into practice. In this section we will begin to study some "things," food related items in particular. The next part of the unit, the "what do the things tell us" part of the unit, is where we start to think more deeply about the questions that came out of the things part of the unit. In this section we also start to think about what the objects can tell us. As it happens, all of the objects the students will study in this unit will have something to do with food preparation and eating. The next logical step, then, is to think about what types of foods individual cultures were eating such that they needed to make and use these food tools. In this section the students will choose a culture to research. They will try to discover what types of food were being eaten by their chosen culture, but they will also begin to study the ways in which information about cultures and peoples is gathered. After the students have researched another culture's eating habits, they will research their own eating habits. The last piece of the curriculum unit is a conclusion and a new beginning. The students will look at their own diet and the diet of the culture that they studied and develop a new diet for themselves based on the results of the nutritional analysis of the two diets.

(Developed for Wellness, grades 8-12; recommended for Health, Biology, Culinary Arts, and Social Studies, High School grades)

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