Whenever I’m teaching my students about healthy food choices, the topic of junk food some how finds its way into the discussion, especially with junior high students. When I ask them for reasons as to why they don’t eat more healthy, nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, they tell me it’s because they don’t like the taste. In comparison, junk food tastes so much better! I promptly explain that it’s made that way, on purpose! So, when the January 2017 issue of Scholastic Choices came out with an article on just this topic, I was super excited to share it with my students! I also wanted to include a tech project associated with it, as I saw cartoon/comic strip written all over this. Below, you will see how I turned something students wanted to discuss into an educational, interactive assignment. The end results are so cool, like something out of a real comic book–your students are sure to enjoy the technology! Oh, and, did I mention that it’s free and super friendly and easy to use?
- Begin by having students complete and discuss the Probable Passage reading strategy activity titled “Word List for Junk Food Article. This is a strategy suggested by our English department to help get students excited to read an article, story, excerpt, etc. by making predictions prior to reading. It is an optional activity, but one that did spark interested with my students. After sharing classifications and prediction sentences…
- Read through the article from Scholastic Choices, January 2017 issue titled “The Sinister Science of Irresistible Junk Food”, discussing any vocabulary terms or concepts they don’t understand. This is still available through the Scholastic Choices Website if you have an account. Otherwise you can get your librarian to help you get it from EBSCO by typing the title into the search box.
- Copy of the January 2017 issue of Scholastic Choices Magazine (hard copy or digital)
- Laptops or iPads (can be done on either, but I prefer the laptop)
- Assign students the “Junk Food: The Sinister Food Science Attack” guide sheet and start by having them answer the questions.
- Once they’ve answered the questions, introduce them to the Storyboard That technology and have the students set up free accounts.
- Students are to create a “Storyboard That” Presentation to depict the events of the Junk Food Scientist, using Part I #1-5, through comic book style illustrations and concise descriptions. The storyboard should make sense to young children (3rd through 6th grade), helping them to make snack choices that outwit the scientists. Your board must be 2 rows by 3 in length (that’s as long as it can be with the free version).
- Pre-Reading Word List for Junk Food Article (PDF)
- Junk Food Sinister Food Scientist Attack SBT Project (PDF)