Classroom Project Ideas #5: Novel Study of Food

 Many children, and adults too, just can’t keep control of their eating habits, body weight and shape. Part of that is caused by the fact that they are rarely empowered with the skills of self-discipline that help them do what they should be doing. They don’t know enough about how the body works and how food works in the body. They trust others to tell them what to do and when to do it – the “puppet syndrome”. Let’s empower them!

Start this study with a shocking activity.
a) Tell students that they have to write what their parents should do with their body when they die and what parents should say to others about them. Make it REAL. “You will die very shortly.”
b) Students take their written work to the parents and have them sign it to indicate they read it. Get parent input too. What else would the parents say or add or change in the original perception?
c) Students create a list of all the stupid things they did in their lives that brought about their death.
d) What might they do differently if there was even a slight hope of being given a second chance?
e) Post a big chart on the wall. Student names down one side. List of changes to make in order to preserve life across the top. (having it out in the open can create a hopefully positive peer pressure. Either they do it or they don’t but all can see.)
f) Each day, have students put a small check mark in one of the boxes to indicate they did that particular thing. (honesty should be emphasized. Who is fooling whom when it gets right down to it?)
g) At the end of each day, have students get into a circle and have each tell the group what they are grateful for in respect to their lives and bodies e.g. I’m grateful that I could breathe easily today.
h) At some point in the study, organize activist groups on different food issues.
Food Cravings Engineered by the Industry
What Generates Cravings?
Food Addiction
Michael Moss Book audio Interview (don’t miss this!! about 20 minutes)
Vegetarians and Becoming One
Do we really need to eat anything? Breatharians
Foods that Offer Everything Our Bodies Need. Sprouts?
Food Eating Contests. Should this be allowed?
What is food science?
Additives: What we don’t see or feel in food
Long Term Effects of Additives on the Body
Secrets of Advertising Food to the Masses
How to Improve Self-Discipline
Here a few more resources to go with the food related package

Are you addicted to bad food?
http://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2012/11/03/are_you_addicted_to_bad_food_get_advice_here.html 

How to Fight Food Cravings (video)
http://live.wsj.com/video/how-to-fight-food-cravings/0572863E-5524-4818-8766-1D8A58313472.html#!0572863E-5524-4818-8766-1D8A58313472 

Why we crave sugary foods and not fruits and veggies
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1382217/Why-crave-junk-food-fruit-veg.html 

All about food addiction
http://addictionsunplugged.com/ 

Food Marketing and Childhood Obesity
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp068014 

Ethics of Online Advertising to Young Children
http://www.palgrave-journals.com/dddmp/journal/v9/n1/full/4350076a.html 

Ethics of Advertising to Children (excellent debate topics in this)

http://brandconsultant.hubpages.com/hub/advertisingtochildren 

Creepy Children in Vintage Food Ads (don’t miss this. Very interesting!!)
http://carlifrenneman.hubpages.com/hub/11-Vintage-Food-Ads-Featuring-Creepy-Soulless-Children 

Santa and Coke (one of the best ad campaigns ever)
http://jill47.hubpages.com/hub/-One-of-the-Most-Successful-Brand-Promotion-Santa-Clause-Coca-Cole 

Thanks Otto Schmidt for sharing these resources.

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