Suggested Lesson Steps:
1. Ask students to estimate the amount of calories they need each day, as well as the amount they consume each day. Do not give them any hints -- this is a way to gauge how much they already know about calories. Have a handful of students share their estimates.
2. As you pass out or display the Carefully Calculating Calories reproducible, discuss what students know (or think they know) about calories. Then give students the opportunity to read the reproducible, calculate their BMRs and estimate the number of calories they require each day.
3. Write the food items and associated calorie counts you chose (in the Background section) on the board or overhead. Have students try to guess what the number represent. If they don't come up with "calories," tell them the answer and then provide a brief definition of calories (see Important Terms).
4. Divide the class into groups of 3-4 students. Each group should quickly create a menu for what they think is a low-calorie meal and one for what they think is a high-calorie meal. (Encourage them to have each of the food groups represented in both menus.)
5. Distribute the food labels (or copies of the reproducibles) to each group. From the labels and the food items written on the board, students should be able to get a rough estimate of the calories for each of their meals. Additionally, have each group identify from the labels the food with the most surprising number of calories -- i.e., either more or fewer calories than expected. Ask students to share which foods they chose.
6. To help provide a transition to the next part of the lesson, ask students: In addition to food, what is the other ingredient to caloric balance? After they come up with the fact that exercise/physical activity affects caloric balance, have each of the groups measure out an area. This will serve as their space to estimate the number of steps to walk a mile, to figure out how far they can walk in 30 minutes, etc. Ideally, their area will be at least the distance around a basketball court, but could also be around the block, the school or even the classroom if space is limited. Distribute the worksheet How Many Steps to Katahdin? Have students complete the worksheet.
7. After students complete the worksheet, ask them how changing the pace would affect their physical activity. Among their answers should be:
Generally a more intense workout.
Greater distance in a shorter period of time.
Increased number of calories burned.
Increased heart rate.
8. Have students measure their pulse rate three times: at rest, after walking a couple of laps (depending on the size of the area), and after completing that same distance in roughly half of the time. (If you want to extend deeper into pulse rates, this is a good place to do it. At minimum, students should understand pulse rates are a good barometer for the intensity of an activity, as well as a sign of improved health when the pulse rate goes down over time for the same activity.) Instruct the students to count their heart rate in 15-second blocks and then multiply that number by four.
9. Remind students they are imagining they are hiking the Appalachian Trail. What else will they need to consider -- what else might make the hike a more intense physical activity? After students come up with hills/mountains and backpacks, pass out the worksheet, How Hard Is It When Carrying A Load? Each student should have his or her bookbag and books. Have each student weight his or her bag on a scale and record the weight. Have students do the activity and complete the worksheet.
10. Bring caloric calculations back into the lesson by introducing the worksheet Calories vs. Energy Expended. Students must figure out the caloric intake necessary to hike for eight hours. |