5th grade students learn to make healthful food choices
The 5th grade nutrition education program consists of seven lessons that include interactive activities, simulations, and reflections taught by classroom teachers. Aligned with California’s Common Core Content Standards, California’s National Health Education Standards, and current psychological theory, each lesson is designed specifically for fifth graders. For example, the 5th grade program includes critical thinking skills, such as creating and analyzing food records. Fifth grade students also work on more advanced goal-setting lessons and an advertising lesson designed for students to analyze marketing information related to foods.
An important observation of the 5th grade program was that it led to greater changes than with earlier editions of the program. The more rigorous and interactive content indicated positive knowledge and behavior outcomes. A subsequent evaluation of our fourth grade version of the program has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Translational Behavioral Medicine demonstrates that the program has a moderate to high public health impact.
A formative evaluation was conducted by researchers at RTI International and the University of Southern California during the 2011-2012 school year. Thirty-six participating teachers had students complete a survey before and after the lessons were taught. Qualitative input from the teachers provided during this formative project was used to improve the 4th and 5th grade programs and a summative evaluation was completed with our 4th grade version of the program. Students were measured prior to participating in the program and after participating to test changes in important variables. A similar study with a control group and a final survey three-months after the program was completed using the 4th grade version.
Read the full report here.