Monday, April 13, 2009|
ESL Teacher Blog: Teaching Four Food Groups - Grains
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 12:57 PM
- When it comes to identifying four food groups, students readily give examples of fruit and vegetables, meat and alternatives, and milk and alternatives. Ask them to give examples of grain products...and they’ll come up with the only grain - rice (well, maybe oats too). Is this a lack of vocabulary, or being unfamiliar with any other types of grain? It’s probably both, and therefore is worth some classroom time dedicated to the topic.
- It’s difficult to talk about grains without looking at them. A matching game consisting of grain samples (in small plastic bags) and a set of flash cards with grain names can help to turn something quite abstract for the students into something more visual and practical. While matching the grains to their names, students have time to touch the grain, explore its color and shape, and share the ways to cook it. Some will be motivated to search more about a particular type, and even, hopefully, give it a try.
- This activity will also help students to understand Canada’s Food Guide that recommends certain amounts of daily grain product intake based on age and gender. Send your students to a natural food store and ask them to read the labels. How many grains can they identify now?
- Based on your class level (and probably their curiosity too) 7-8 types of grain make a good start to introduce additional types. Your matching game can include (but isn’t limited to): buckwheat, barley, couscous (students’ favorite due to its easy cooking method), semolina, quinoa, bulgur, millet, wild and/or brown rice.
- Talk about whole and refined grains, and grain products (bread, pasta, cereals) as vocabulary extension.