Lesson 15

Biodiversity in a Lunchbox

 

Activity:

Through a food journal, students will make connections between the foods they eat, the source of the food, that source's niche in the ecosystem and the role biodiversity plays in our food supply. These connections will help them understand that certain food habits can be helpful to wildlife and the rest of the environment.

Content Standards Addressed:

Common Core State Standards

 

Reproducible: Food Journal
 
Distribute a copy of the reproducible to each students. Ask students to make a list of everything they eat in a day - they may need the help of a parent. You may also have them collect all of the packaging from the food they consumed for an extension of the activity.
 
Every item on their list should be analyzed during class to see where the food comes from. Students should be able to trace each item back to a plant. Encourage them to create the chain in the form of a flow chart, and it identify where and how the item grew, how it was harvested or processed, and how it was packaged. Some chains will be relatively short and simple; others may be long and complex.
 
Note: To simplify this procedure, have students analyze only one meal, or have them each select one individual item to analyze.
 
Students should have a sense from their flow charts about the enormous diversity of life that is involved in creating their meals. Using their flow charts, have students theorize what impact to wildlife and the environment was caused when getting their food from its source to their meal. Ask them to think about a change they could make that would have a positive impact on wildlife and the environment. Can they adopt this change? Have them each try to make one change in their eating habits for a week. Reassess at the end of the week. Did they make the change? What happened? Did they stick with it the whole week or did they go back to their old habits? Are there other changes they could make? ​