What our Vitamins and Minerals lesson plan includes
Lesson Objectives and Overview: Vitamins and Minerals explores the importance of consuming certain nutrients. Students will discover various kinds of vitamins that we ingest and how they help the body function properly. They will also be able to explain to others why eating healthy is important. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.
Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. The only supplies you need for this lesson are food labels for the activity portion.
Options for Lesson
The “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page has a lot of suggestions of additional ideas and activities to incorporate. For the activity, you could allow students to work alone or in groups rather than in pairs. You could also have students supply the food labels by bringing them from home. Another idea is to assign one vitamin or mineral to each student to research and later present to the class. Students could create a poster that encourages healthy eating and getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals each day. Another activity is for students to create menus of food items for a day or week that include the necessary vitamins and minerals people need. One more option is to have students research other living things and discover the types of vitamins or minerals those organisms need.
The paragraph on this page provides a little extra information on what you can expect from the lesson. It emphasizes the importance of helping students understand why eating right is good for them. You could also teach this lesson at the same time as or before a lesson photosynthesis. Use the lines to write out your thoughts as you prepare.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS LESSON PLAN CONTENT PAGES
The Vitamins and Minerals lesson plan contains five pages of content. To start off, it reminds students that their body consists of cells, tissues, organs, bones, and many other parts. Every part needs to function properly to keep their body strong and healthy. And the two substances every human body needs to accomplish this task are vitamins and minerals.
Many people think these two substances are the same, but they are not. They are simply both necessary to keep our bodies strong and healthy and functioning properly. Vitamins are organic substances, meaning that plants and animals produce or make them. Minerals are inorganic. They come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals.
Both vitamins and minerals come from the foods we eat each day, but some foods have more of these important nutrients than others. Therefore, we need to eat more of some foods and should eat less of other foods. Those less healthy foods may not include enough minerals or vitamins to keep our body healthy.
Students will recognize that all vitamins and minerals support and boost the body’s immune system, which protects it from foreign substances. They also support normal growth and development and help cells and organs do their jobs. Eating the right foods is important to receive the needed vitamins and minerals for your body.
In addition to the proper amount of vitamins and minerals (micronutrients), the body also needs the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, fats, and calories (macronutrients). Some vitamins turn the macronutrients in the body into the energy it needs. The macronutrients and the micronutrients work together to keep our bodies strong and healthy. All vitamins and minerals have specific functions and exist in a wide variety of food products.
Vitamins are divided into two categories—fat soluble or water soluble. Which category a vitamin falls into depends on whether it dissolves best in lipids (another term for fats) or water. The fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body, but the water-soluble vitamins need to dissolve in water before the body absorbs them. In addition, the body can’t store water-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins can pass through the body and be lost during urination. For this reason, we need a fresh supply of water-soluble vitamins each day.
In all, there are about 13 essential vitamins that humans need. Four of these are fat soluble and nine are water soluble. There are different scientific names for vitamins, but we refer to most of them by using the letters of the alphabet and numbers instead. For instance, ascorbic acid is the scientific name for Vitamin C. The lesson provides a table that lists each of the 13 vitamins, why we need them, and where we can find them in our food.
Special medical groups have determined a set of guidelines that recommend specific amounts of vitamins people should consume based on their age and needs. For example, a person may need more vitamin D as a child than they do as an adult.
Next, students will learn more about minerals. There are two types: macrominerals and microminerals (trace minerals). Our bodies cannot break down or change minerals. Minerals can, however, form part of the structure of bones, teeth, nails, muscles, and red blood cells. There are several minerals the body needs, and a chart on the last content page provides information on several.
Calcium is one of the most common minerals. Our bodies need calcium to build and protect bones and teeth, support our muscles, and help with blood clots and nerves. Dairy products, green leafy vegetables, and trout are some foods that contain calcium in fairly high amounts.
Zinc is another important mineral. It helps with cell growth and healing wounds and supports the immune system. We can find zinc in foods like mushrooms, spinach, whole grains, and chicken. Salt is a mineral, too. It balances body fluids, but too much can impact the body’s blood pressure.
Other minerals include phosphorous, magnesium, copper, chromium, fluoride, iodine, selenium, manganese, sulfur, and molybdenum. As with vitamins, the amount a body needs may depend on many conditions, such as age, health, and other things.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS LESSON PLAN WORKSHEETS
The Vitamins and Minerals lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one of these handouts will help students demonstrate their knowledge and will reinforce what they learned throughout the lesson. Use the guidelines on the classroom procedure page to determine when to give students each worksheet.
FOOD LABEL ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
Students will review the food labels for four different foods that you provide them. They must read the label carefully to find all the vitamins and minerals that food contains. They will fill out a chart for each food item, listing what it is, the calories per serving, and other information according to the chart’s prompts. Then they will answer whether or not the food is good for a person’s health and why.
FILL IN THE BLANK PRACTICE WORKSHEET
The practice worksheet splits into two section. The first section lists 15 statements. Students must fill in the blanks in each statement according to what they learned in the lesson. There is no word bank from which to pull the correct terms. You may or may not allow your students to use the content pages for reference to complete the assignment. On the second part, students will mark whether statements are true (T) or false (F). There are 10 statements to complete in this section.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Like the practice worksheet, there are two sections on the homework assignment. The first section requires students to match definitions with the correct term. There are 10 definitions and terms to match in this section. Then, students will answer or respond to 10 questions or prompts about vitamins and minerals.
Worksheet Answer Keys
The lesson plan provides answer keys for both the practice and homework worksheets. All the correct answers are in red to make it easy to compare them to students’ responses. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.