I’ve developed a visual that I’m going to use when I teach the new rules to my students, many of whom have special needs. I think my terrific graphic about sums up yesterday’s ruling by Congress to amend the regulations to continue to allow pizza to be a vegetable. I’m hoping my students will grasp this, but I don’t think they are going to believe me. I think there will be a lot of dissent.
Let’s develop a lesson plan for teaching this amazing new discovery to students. Ok, here’s an Illinois state learning standard for science:
STATE GOAL 12: Understand the fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life, physical and earth/space sciences.
Why This Goal Is Important: This goal is comprised of key concepts and principles in the life, physical and earth/space sciences that have considerable explanatory and predictive power for scientists and non-scientists alike. These ideas have been thoroughly studied and have stood the test of time. Knowing and being able to apply these concepts, principles and processes help students understand what they observe in nature and through scientific experimentation. A working knowledge of these concepts and principles allows students to relate new subject matter to material previously learned and to create deeper and more meaningful levels of understanding.
A. Know and apply concepts that explain how living things function, adapt and change.
12.A.1a Identify and describe the component parts of living things (e.g., birds have feathers; people have bones, blood, hair, skin) and their major functions.
12.A.1b Categorize living organisms using a variety of observable features (e.g., size, color, shape, backbone).
Mrs Q’s Pizza as a Veggie Lesson Plan -
Purpose: The students will be learning about how Congress reclassified pizza as a vegetable so that they better understand what pizza is, what a tomato is, and what a vegetable is so that they can make informed choices when eating.
Materials: Pizza from the school cafeteria, fresh tomatoes and other vegetables purchased from grocery store. Pencil and paper. Possible field trips to extend learning and share pizza’s new classification to stakeholders:
1) Visiting a pizza place to learn about how pizza is made and with what ingredients. Inform people making pizzas that pizza is now a veggie! Rejoice!
2) Tour a grocery store to observe how food is categorized and grouped. Tell employees to move pizzas into the produce section because it’s only logical.
Instruction: Getting out our materials, students will observe, feel, touch, and smell both pizza, tomatoes, and random vegetables. Students will write down observations, describing words, and characteristics of pizza, tomatoes and veggies in three columns. Note similarities and differences. Point out to students that pizza is a vegetable now! Write out definitions for pizza and tomatoes and make sure that they are the same. Squelch any student dissent by producing Congress’s new rules and regulations. If Congress and its many lobbyists say it is so, it must be true!
Check for Understanding: Make sure that students understand pizza’s new category by asking them, “Is pizza a vegetable?” Students should say “Yes,” but if they say, “No,” keep repeating the question until they relent.
Encourage students to share their new learning with their parents at home! Tell them that they should say to their parents, “Let’s eat more vegetables! I mean, let’s eat more pizza!” (Let’s really confuse the issue by reminding everyone that actually tomato is a fruit!)
Please consider calling or emailing your representative in the House (find your representative here) and telling them how you feel about the changes to the new healthy rules. When we put corporate interests first, common sense gets lost and kids lose out. We’re going in the wrong direction!
Further reading: Food Politics (nice round up of the coverage).