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The Food We Eat
Examples of Student Work
4th Grade Performance Task
Contributed by: Council Chief State School Officers (CCSSO/SCASS)


Students are asked to study the food pyramid, learn about their daily food requirements, and use this information to plan food for one day. The pyramid was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. The student is given a diagram of the food pyramid, which is the updated summary of dietary recommendations that replaces the old standard "four food groups" chart. The food pyramid shows six food groups and the number of servings from each group that a person should eat every day in order to maintain a healthy diet.

This task is designed to be done alone by individual students in approximately 45-50 minutes.

Overall Task Content Area:

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

Specific Knowledge Areas:

Personal Health

Performance Expectations:

  • gathering, organizing, and representing data
  • formulating conclusions from data
  • applying scientific principles to develop explanations and solve new problems

National Science Education Standards:

4 A SI 1: Ability to do scientific inquiry: Grades K-4
1.4 Use data to construct a reasonable explanation. This aspect of the standard emphasizes the studentsí thinking as they use data to formulate explanations. Even at the earliest grade levels, students should learn what constitutes evidence and judge the merits or strength of the data and information that will be used to make explanations. After students propose an explanation, they will appeal to the knowledge and evidence they obtained to support their explanations. Students should check their explanations against scientific knowledge, experiences, and observations of others.

4 F SPSP 1: Personal Health: Grades K-4
1.3  Nutrition is essential to health. Students should understand how the body uses food and how various foods contribute to health. Recommendations for good nutrition include eating a variety of foods, eating less sugar, and eating less fat.

(Use the "hot" link on the PALS home page to check the full text of related National Science Education Standards, if desired.)

Materials for "The Food We Eat":

At this station students should have:

A pen or pencil

Advance Preparation:

None required. Students need to be ready to work as soon as the period begins.


  • Be careful.
  • Teachers and students should always exercise appropriate safety precautions and utilize appropriate laboratory safety procedures and equipment when working on science performance tasks.


  • N/A

Advanced Preparation Set Up:

Students need direction sheet and a pencil for this task.


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