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Food n' Fitness Kid Connection: Great Grains - Single Activity

Content by: NCES, Inc.

Food n' Fitness Kid Connection is a comprehensive Lesson Plan for kids of all ages...

Food n' Fitness Kid Connection: Great Grains - Single Activity






Grains provide the body with energy, aid in healthy digestion and a healthy nerve function. The goal is for half of your daily servings of grains to be from whole grains. Long-term benefits of eating whole grains as part of a healthy diet include a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and other chronic diseases. Grains are a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, B-vitamins (thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and folate), and minerals like iron, magnesium, and selenium.


🌾 Grains are seeds from plants, and we use them to make a lot of the foods we eat every day.
🌾 These foods include bread, pasta, cereal, rice, popcorn, tortillas, oatmeal.
🌾 Grains give your body energy - it helps us to run and play, and to think/study.
🌾 Choosing “whole grains” like brown rice or whole grain bread give your body extra nutrients that you can’t get from white bread or white rice.
🌾 These extra nutrients help to keep your heart healthy and your digestive system happy.

🌧 Make It Rain Activity

Step 1: Have all students stand at least elbow length apart with room to run in place, preferably arms length apart.

Step 2: Discuss the value of rain...

Ask what do all plants need to grow besides sunshine?
Answer: RAIN!

What happens if it doesn’t rain?
Answer: Plants won’t grow. I’m going to show you how to make rain so you can grow to be strong and healthy.

Step 3: Ask the class to participate in a fun exercise...

🌾 Our rain starts with a cool mist. (Wave fingers in the air lightly, raising arms up and down as you wiggle your fingers.

🌾 Then the first raindrops start to fall slowly. (Snap fingers quietly and slowly while moving arms up and down reaching up high and bring arms down in front of your body.)

🌾 It starts to rain a little harder now. (Snap fingers loudly and quickly while moving arms up and down.) • Then it starts to lightning. (Slap hands on legs – exaggerate motion.)

🌾 Finally, a thunderstorm hits. (Students run in place while slapping legs. Do this part for ONE MINUTE! All other steps can be done for 20-30 seconds.

🌾 The storm starts to pass and it is only raining now. (Students snap fingers moving arms up and down.)

🌾 The rain is softer now, just sprinkling. (Soft slow snaps.)

🌾 The rain becomes slower and turns to mist. (Wiggle fingers up and down in the air slowly and gently.)

🌾 The rain stops.

*** For Older Kids ***

Using wheat as an example, visually talk with the students about how grains grow.

🌾 The farmer tills the dirt and plants the seeds, the seeds are watered, and the water and sunlight help the seeds to grow.

🌾 After the wheat grows and turns yellow, it is ready to be harvested.

🌾 Farmers use combines to harvest the wheat then it is carried to grain elevators in a grain truck.

🌾 From the grain elevators it is shipped to a food processing plant where it is milled into flour and used in breads, cereals, and other food products.

🌾 Bring the following visuals to illustrate the process – dirt, wheat seed, water, picture of sun, the finished sheaf of wheat, picture of combine harvesting wheat, flour, and a loaf of bread or cereal made with wheat. Check a craft store for a wheat sheaf, you can find pictures of a wheat field, a combine during harvest, grain trucks and elevators in the Support Materials.

🍞 Demonstration

Kids your age need…
● Children 6-8 years old need 4 to 6 ounce equivalents per day.
● Children 9-12 years old need 5 to 8 ounce equivalents per day.
● Show and tell children that 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of breakfast cereal or 1/2 cup of cooked rice, cereal or pasta is considered a 1 ounce equivalent, or 1 serving from the grains group.
● Ask children how many grain group servings they think they need everyday for energy. Take a few guesses, then show children how many grains they need each day. You can use bread, dry cereal, cooked rice or pasta.
● Explain that when they eat a sandwich with two slices of bread that counts as two of their servings.

Quick Tips:

1️⃣ Presentation includes discussion points and visuals for the “make it rain” activity

2️⃣ If your class is too old for the “make it rain activity” use the secondary activity to have a discussion about how grains grow.

Next Steps:

⬇️ Downloads are fun word searches that can be completed after the classroom activity or on the student’s free time.

NOTE: The age level for each word search.

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