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Following the (Food) Rules: Using Informational Texts to Teach about Food, Cooking and Nutrition

Everyone must eat food in some form to survive; therefore, it is a commonality between all of humanity thus making this a topic that all students will find a place of intersection and relevance in their own lives.

I have designed this unit around Michael Pollan’s brief text, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. In this compact volume, Pollan outlines 64 rules that he has collected over the years as a result of his research on food, food culture and food production. The rules are segmented into three parts:

One: What should I eat? Eat food

Two: What kind of food should I eat? Mostly plants

Three: How should I eat? Not too much.

How simple and easy nutrition and good health would be if only we applied these maxims to our own lives! Americans would be less obese, not suffer from diabetes or many other maladies. This unit introduces and indoctrinates core knowledge about food, eating and health that by arming them with knowledge through pertinent, interesting and engaging informational texts so they can become a healthier generation of adults.

This topic is directly applicable to my students and their worlds. Additionally, students will benefit academically from the repeated contact with a variety of informational texts as practice and preparation of the skills necessary to be successful in the 21st Century workforce. Additionally, students will be enriched through interdisciplinary learning and also by text to world connections.

Tara Ann Carter

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