A new computer program enables parents to monitor kids school lunch choices.
Invite students to tell about the ways in which scan-able or swipe-able cards touch their lives or the lives of family members. Write down the ideas that students share. For example, they might tell that they use a swipe- or scan-able card to pay for groceries at the store, to get money from a cash machine, to sign out books at the library, to buy movie tickets at the theater, to make phone calls from a pay phone When students have shared a bunch of ways in which swipe- or scan-able cards impact their lives, introduce this week's story that tells of another potential use for those cards.
Introduce the words in the News Word box on the students' printable page. Talk about their meanings. Then ask students to identify how many syllables each word has. (Internet - 3 syllables, allergies - 3, account - 2, program - 2, scanned - 1, obesity - 3)
Click for a printable version of this week's news story Computer Program Tracks Lunch Choices.
You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this week's news story.
Think About the News
Discuss the Think About the New question that appears on the students' news page. Many nutrition experts say that students must be given the information needed to help them make healthful choices on their own. Karen Cullen, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Children's Nutrition Research Center at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told CNN that the new computer program is good only if it sparks communication between parents and their children about healthy food choices. "Kids need to be able to make healthy choices," Cullen said. "Parents can't be in charge. Children need some freedom."
You might talk about this question too:
Math. Create some grade-appropriate word problems for your students to solve. For example, if you teach young children you might pose a questions such as If your school lunch card has $10 on it, how much will it have after you pay $2 for today's lunch? If you teach intermediate-grade students you might pose a few questions such as If your school lunch card has $35 on account, how much will be left after you pay $2.50 for lunch and $.75 for a bag of chips?
Nutrition. Pose this question to students: If your parents were to prevent you from buying chips and sweets, what more healthful snacks might you substitute for those things? Create a list of healthful alternatives to the foods parents might declare off limits.
More Math. Pose this question to students: How many of you think your parents would use the new computer system to limit the things you buy in the school cafeteria? Create a simple bar graph to show the results of the vote. Then have students share a copy of this news story with their parents. After their parents read the story, students will survey a parent to learn if she or he would be likely to use the system to limit the child's purchases? How do the results of the two surveys compare? Did students correctly predict their parent's response?
Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to one of the Think About the News questions on the news story page or in the Comprehension Check section.
MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
GRADES Pre-K - 2
NM-NUM.PK-2.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH: Health
GRADES K - 4
NPH-H.K-4.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
NPH-H.K-4.3 Reducing Health Risks
NPH-H.K-4.4 Health Influences
GRADES 5 - 8
NPH-H.5-8.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
NPH-H.5-8.3 Reducing Health Risks
NPH-H.5-8.4 Health Influences
GRADES 9 - 12
NPH-H.9-12.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
NPH-H.9-12.3 Reducing Health Risks
NPH-H.9-12.4 Health Influences
See recent news stories in Education World's News Story of the Week Archive.
Article by Gary Hopkins
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