Food Influences Intro Group Activity to Culminating Home Scavenger Hunt Portfolio Project

Why do you eat what you eat?  For some this is an easy question and for others it’s a bit more complex.  After all, there are many things that influence our food choices and they may be completely different from one person to the next!  When I teach about food influences in the junior high, it’s often one of my very first lessons with them.  This introductory group activity is a great way to get students up, moving around and communicating with you and their peers right away.  The middle of this lesson consists of an overview of the influences and application activity. Finally, the culminating project is a scavenger hunt portfolio that students complete outside of class and can be digitally or hand-generated but gets students sleuthing around their homes, looking for some of the influences as they relate to their own families.


  • Think about why you eat what you eat or why your family prepares and serves the foods they do.
  • Provide students with a copy of blank answer strips and a colored pencil or marker.
  • Explain the activity they will be participating in and go over a sample picture so students know what is expected.  Remind them that there are no right or wrong answers!
  • Send them off the stations that you’ve set up ahead of time with pictures from the below PPT.


  • Pre-printed pictures (laminating is optional)
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Scissors
  • Index Cards
  • Laptop, Screen & Projector


  • Once all of the stations have been visited and students have made connections, ask them to cut apart their answer strips.
  • Have students count off by 8 and form small groups.  Students are to go to the station corresponding to their number and complete the sorting of answer strips by themes, content or ideas and be prepared to share the 3 most common meanings for their assigned pictures.
  • Go through the presentation asking to students to share ideas/meanings.  Encourage them to listen as they will utilizing this later.
  • Finally, give each group an index card and ask them to complete the final prompt as a group, providing names along with their answer.
  • The next day ask students for a food they ate in the previous 24 hours and why they ate it.  Share answers.
  • Present the various influences to our food choices via the PPT and video clips.  Have students complete the graphic organizer as you move through the information.
  • After the notes, assign students the scenarios in which they must identify the food influence(s) being represented.  If time permits, go over the answers as a class.  If not, collect for a grade.
  • Finally, have students practice making personal connections to the influences via the Home Scavenger Hunt Portfolio Project. Explain that this assignment can be completed digitally or by hand if you don’t have access to a computer at home. I provide ample time to complete this.  Many students will complete it immediately while others wait until the last minute!



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