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Schools Serve Healthful Lunches on Meatless Monday


Arts & Humanities
--Language Arts
--Our Bodies
Social Studies
--Current Events


Grades 2-up

News Content

In Baltimore, chicken nuggets and burgers are off the menu on Meatless Mondays."

Anticipation Guide

Ask students to list some of the most nutritious foods they eat. Write the nutritious foods they list on a board or sheet of chart paper. After students read this weeks new story, review the list with an eye toward discussing which of those nutritious foods might be easy to prepare for hundreds of kids in a school cafeteria.

News Words

Next, introduce these words that appear in the News Word Box on the students printable page: makeover, fiber, popular, lasagna, calories, and district. Discuss the meanings of any of those words that might be unfamiliar. Then ask students to use one of those words to complete each of these sentences:

  • Aunt Maes new meatless _____ recipe calls for zucchini instead of hamburg. (lasagna)
  • Our voting _____ is home to more than 12,000 registered voters. (district)
  • During Book Week, students voted for the most _____ author. (popular)
  • If you are looking for foods rich in _____, try bran cereal, peas, or lima beans. (fiber)
  • Riding a bicycle is a good way to burn _____. (calories)
  • The family barely recognized their home after its _____. (makeover)
  • Read the News

    Click for a printable version of this weeks news story Schools Serve Healthful Lunches on Meatless Monday.

    Reading the News

    You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

    Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

    Students might first read the news story to themselves; then you might call on individual students to read sections of the news aloud for the class.

    Photocopy the news story onto a transparency and project it onto a screen. (Or use your classroom computer's projector to project the story.) Read the story aloud as a class, or ask students to take turns reading it.

    Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write notes in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

    More Facts to Share

    You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this weeks news story.

  • Lunch has been getting a makeover in lots of schools. All the attention being paid to school lunches is a reaction to rising childhood obesity rates, growing nutritional awareness, and the local-foods movement.
  • The next step in the Great Kids Farm development plan is to create a tilapia fish farm. In addition, Baltimore hopes to build an "agri-hospitality" charter school on the site of the Great Kids Farm.
  • Nutrition experts say going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Reducing your intake of saturated fats can help keep your cholesterol low and reduce your risk of heart disease, they say. Beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and seeds contain little to no saturated fats. In addition, a plant-based diet is a great source of fiber, which is absent in animal products.
  • The Meatless Monday campaign -- a campaign of choice and moderation -- was launched in 2003. Through this campaign, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and twenty-eight other leading universities hope to revive an American tradition of going meatless on Monday. The tradition was common during World Wars I and II; many Americans at home went meatless on Mondays in order to support the war effort -- so more food was available to ship to troops overseas. (During the war years, many Americans also took part in Wheatless Wednesdays.)
  • Paul McCartney, of Beatles fame, is partly responsible for the spread of the Meatless Monday movement. He and his daughters launched Meat Free Monday in the U.K.
  • The city of Ghent, Belgium, became the first city in the world to go meatless one day a week. VeggieDag has been instituted by its city council. Restaurants, schools, hospitals, and city offices provide meatless options to help the environment.
  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. Going meatless on Monday is one way people can reduce their carbon footprints. Doing so can help save resources like fresh water and fossil fuels. But, experts emphasize, going meatless one day a week is not enough. Adopting a meatless Monday" is just one of many conservation strategies people can use to reduce their carbon footprints.
  • Use the News

    Print out this weeks Use the News printable activity page for students. Or use the questions on that page to check student comprehension.

    Use the News: Answer Key
    Comprehension Check. The true statements are 1, 3, 4, 6, and 9.
    Great Grammar. 1. giving, 2. gone, 3. are, 4. lots, 5. is, 6. help, 7. raises, 8. learn, 9. hope, 10. save.
    Main Idea. Baltimore is trying to improve the nutrition of its students.


    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 the Think About the News question on the news story page.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    National Standards

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    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
    NPH-H.K-4.7 Health Advocacy
    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
    NPH-H.5-8.7 Health Advocacy
    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
    NPH-H.9-12.7 Health Advocacy

    See recent news stories in Education Worlds News Story of the Week Archive.
    Article by Gary Hopkins
    Education World®
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