It’s a new year, which often means resolutions to be healthier.
These leveled reading articles, Lunch Choices and Eat Your Greens, focus on making good food choices and about how much the students should be able to make their own choices and how much their schools, administrators, teachers and parents should be choosing for them.
These articles would work well for comparing and contrasting and for practicing gathering info for research.
1st – Matrix Chart
Have students create a matrix chart to record information about each article.
Create your own on a white board or overhead transparency to use as a model.
2nd -Read One Article
Choose one article to have students read first. Remember to use the level of article appropriate for each student. Even if students are reading different versions, they will get the same information.
Identify a fact at the beginning of the article. Show students how to record it on the matrix, writing down a short statement. As a class, find a record 4-6 facts that the students think are important or worth remembering.
3rd – Read Another Article
(This may be the activity for a second day.)
Have students read the second article, again making sure each student reads a version at an appropriately challenging reading level. Record facts for the second article on the same matrix, in a new column.
Look especially for conflicting ideas. In health-related articles, there are often apparent conflicts – various opinions about what makes a good healthy or about how much fiber/calories/fat, etc. are really needed.
4th – Consider an Additional Source
News shows often include clips about healthy eating this time of year. Check your local news station webpage to find a clip to use in class.
Have students watch the clip (possibly 2-3 times) and record information in a third column on the matrix, just as they did for the articles. Again, look for similar as well as conflicting ideas.
Use any conflicting ideas as an opportunity to talk with students about not believing everything you read or hear. How can students determine which ideas/facts are correct? Look for additional sources; the more places the same information is available, the more likely that it may be accurate. Also, consider the validity of the sources; a news station report is probably more accurate than a personal video on Youtube, for example.
5th – Summarize
(Possibly an activity for a third day)
Work with students to choose 3-6 facts/ideas from the matrix that are most important or most notable. Have students circle these on their matrix. Then, use these chosen facts/ideas to write a short summary of the articles.
This can be good practice for writing a research paper later.