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					Unit topic Author Author’s email Band Strand Description Context/Setting Duration Key Idea Essential Learnings

Food and energy
Karen Browne B - Primary Years Energy Systems Children investigate food as an energy source and the effects of energy use on food. This unit was developed as part of a broad theme on “Food” and used with a Year 4 class. 5-6 lessons Food is a source of energy. Energy changes food. Energy is used in growing, preserving, processing & cooking food. Thinking Communication

Key Competencies

1. Collecting, analysing & organising information. 2. Communicating ideas & information. 4. Working with others & in teams 7. Using technology. Students identify, plan and act on ways in which they use energy in their lives.


Key Ideas Lesson 1 Food is our energy source.

Objectives Study food as a source of energy. Launch the idea of energy in food Plan further investigation.

Learning Activities 1. Introductory Activity: Give each student a lolly to eat, then ask them to complete a physical or mental task (eg. Maths puzzle; certain number of push-ups in a set time). Question children about how they felt before and after the lolly. 2. Discuss: What is energy? What types of energy are there? Where do we get our energy? What can we do to prove energy is making a change? Small group discussion reporting back to class. 3. Plan/ design further investigation Introduction idea of a control group, working scientifically, fair testing. How could we improve introductory activity? How could we test which/whether other foods also give an energy “boost”?

Assessment Activities Checklist: eg.  How did you feel before the lolly?  How did you feel after 2 minutes? After 10 minutes?  Why do you think you got excited about the lolly? Etc Recording of student generated questions & ideas.

Resources Mini Mars Bars or other Sweet

K.C. KC1 KC2 KC3 KC4

Essential Learnings Thinking Communicating

Lesson 2 Different foods affect our energy levels.

Discuss: sugar & fats are energy sources.

1. Testing to compare different foods as energy sources. Use sweet & savoury foods & introduce notion that fats are another energy source. Groups sample eg chips/ ice-cream/ raspberry drink/ banana/ donut & report back on which foods give more energy. Class discussion of results

Measuring equal portions of different foods. Group recording of findings

Specified foods. Kitchen scales



Investigate how packaging reveals energy content.

2. Look at food packaging (labels, wrappers) to check energy content (kj per 100g). Compare & order.  Could link to SOSE – country of origin, etc.

List kj/ 100g (energy) of various foods.

Food packages

Lesson 3 We use energy to affect food:  Processing Foods

Demonstrate how use of energy can change the form of food.

1. Butter making activity: shake cream & salt in a jar. Observe changes to colour & form. Spread butter on cracker biscuits & eat. Could discuss tongue/ taste buds Discuss energy used (ie. Shaking jar) & alternative forms.

Record observations of changes throughout activity. Measure time taken to produce butter

Large jars with lids, cream, salt.

KC1, KC2, KC4

Thinking Communication

Lesson 4  Processing by As for Lesson 3 dehydration

1. Preserving activity: Thinly slice apples & place in electric dehydrator. Observe changes in colour, size, moisture content, etc. Discuss in groups Could try different fruits to compare time needed, results etc.

Record observations & findings. Taste test!

Electric dehydrator, utensils (knife, chopping board). Apples

KC1, KC2, KC4, KC5, KC7

Thinking Communicating

Lesson 5 Processing by cooking

As for lesson 3

1. Cooking activity: “Eggsperiments” a) children work in groups, following a simple meringue recipe & noting changes in form in each step: - separate yolk from white; beat; cook b) how many different ways can you cook an egg? In groups fry/ scramble/ poach/ boil eggs. Report back on energy used, changes to the egg etc. Compare.

Follow up worksheet “Eggsperiments

Utensils & ingredients as per recipes. Eggs (lots of them!!) Webb, C Science & Technology by design: 1

KC4, KC5, KC7 KC2


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