Module 5: Food
What’s in your lunchbox?
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This is an interactive class activity which uses a slide show and resource cards to investigate the sustainability of the contents of a lunchbox. The activity can be divided into two parts.
What to do:
For this activity you will need the presentation ‘What’s in your lunchbox?’ available from the Centre for Alternative Technology. The presentation contains clearly written notes to guide you through the activity, and uses images to stimulate the pupils into thinking about the wider global impact of typical lunchbox food and packaging items. This fun presentation should lead them to consolidate their knowledge that meat, dairy and processed and packaged food products have a higher impact than fresh, local, and home made produce which uses washable and re-usable packaging.
This is the hands-on part of the activity which uses the resource cards and two lunchboxes – alternatively you can make your own cards. There are two sets of cards – one set which shows images of food and packaging, the second set is identical to the first, but has a written description of each item and its impact on the back of the card. (The images on this set are to help younger or less able pupils) There are also three pictures of footprints, ranging from large to small:
For this activity you will need the pupils to be sitting in a large circle on the floor. Place the cards containing only the pictures of food or packaging in one lunch box. Spread the other set of cards text side up out on the floor in the middle of the circle of pupils.
Hand the lunchbox of picture cards round the room. Invite each pupil (or pair – there are about 20 picture cards) to take one card. Ask them to consider what they have on the card, and seek and find the written card that matches their picture. Ask them to read and make sure they understand what is written on the card.
Now set out the three footprint cards. Ask the pupils to think carefully, and place their picture card next to whichever sized footprint they think is appropriate. This is a good opportunity to see how well they have understood the activity. When all the cards have been laid out, discuss as a class whether the cards are in the right place. If you are going to move the cards, check that you have agreement with and understanding from the pupil that put it there.
The final task is to merge the three groups of footprints into two, so that there is a generally large footprint lunchbox, and a generally small footprint lunchbox. Allow the pupils to share their opinions and observations about this – they will probably point out that the small footprint lunchbox is also generally the healthier one, although there are also some fresh fruit products in the large footprint lunchbox which have been processed and refrigerated.