Nutrition: Grades 5-8


SciGuides are a collection of thematically aligned lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources for teachers to use with their students centered on standards-aligned science concepts. This SciGuide was co-developed between FDA and NSTA.

Nutrition can be defined quite simply as the science of how the body uses food. But what is food? How does food transform into substances that nourish the body? What do those substances do, and what foods provide them? And how do we make informed food choices to sustain life? Using a variety of online resources – including simulations, games, articles, and science demonstrations to do in class -- students will learn these nutrition basics. They’ll learn a variety of tools to make wise food choices, and they’ll track and evaluate their own food choices, using science-based food and nutrition guidance.

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Reviews (9)
  • on Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:10 AM

SciGuides are really fantastic. When it's time to teach about nutrition, I can be confident knowing I'll have the Nutrition: Grades 5-8 SciGuide to go to for lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources. I'll be able to create outstanding lessons in a shorter amount of time since many resources are easily accessible in this SciGuide.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:41 PM

Great lesson plan keeps the students talking and interacting. Student get to apply what they learn to their daily choices. Great interactive tools. A complete resource that could be adapted to a wide range of students.

Jerica Schatz
Jerica Schatz

  • on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:30 PM

I really enjoyed going through the tons of resources available in this sciguide. It was valuable in that not only did it provide endless ideas and lessons that involved Nutrition directly but it also provided ideas in food as an energy source. This sciguide was useful to me as I teach 7th grade Life Science and found that many of the lessons and resources in this sciguide could easily be used and/or adapted for use in the Life Sciences. One particular lesson involved photosynthesis. The laboratory that was described in this sciguide was easy to understand, cost effective and did not require too much preparation. Most importantly it demonstrates a process (photosynthesis) that can now be understood much easier with the use of this demo/lab. Easy to navigate, tons of ideas, includes interdisciplinary resource ideas as well.

Rochelle Tamiya
Rochelle Tamiya

  • on Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:09 PM

This SciGuide is separated into four themes: Food, Categories of Nutrients, Body Functions, and Food Choices. I think this SciGuide is a terrific place to start if you are planning a unit on nutrition. I thought that the lesson plans that are listed under each theme were all very interactive and engaging. There are also many links to web sites that you could use to gather more lesson ideas.

Juliet K
Juliet K

  • on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:51 AM

This is probably one of the most practical sci-guides there is in the NSTA collection of learning resources. It provides scientific framework in order for individuals: both young and adults to have informed choices on what or how to prepare and get their daily nutritional sources.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:22 PM

well-written but a little dry; small print

Kristy  (Little Rock, AR)
Kristy (Little Rock, AR)

  • on Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:33 PM

This SciGuide was filled with a lot of useful information about Nutrition. It addresses the following: Food, Category of Nutrients, Body Functions, and Food Choices. It was very easy to navigate with all the sub heading and links. The SciGuide map was also useful to visually see how all the topics are related to Nutrition. This SciGuide provided information about important nutritional topics such as calories, fats, organs involved in our body system and much more. One useful part of this SciGuide that I used to help guide my students towards better nutrition was found in the Category of Nutrients section. The part that I used and adjusted to make it appropriate for my class was the section using McDonalds and their nutritional values. This highly interested my class. The outcome from using that section was that my class realized that fast food places can be healthy places to eat.

Cristey Kagawa
Cristey Kagawa

  • on Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:17 AM

The Nutrition SciGuide provides a plethora of information and resources for helping you teach or embed nutrition into your lessons. This SciGuide pairs very well with the Nutrition SciPack, which I would recommend teachers to view first as it provides a “review” of how nutrition is linked to the body systems. What is great about this SciGuide is that it is broken down into “themes” so if there’s one particular topic you are interested in, you can go directly to that theme. Then, each theme contains links to sites in NSTA and outside sources related to the topic, including videos and simulations. This SciGuide will be most helpful when I teach body systems. Currently the unit that I teach focuses primarily on the functions of each system, but to tie in nutrition with the unit would make it more meaningful for the students. They can begin to make connections of the importance of nutrition to our bodies. Although the SciGuide contains numerous links to wonderful resources, some links are no longer available. A suggestion would be to keep the SciGuide updated as current as possible.


  • on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:08 PM

This SciGuide has a plethora of resources for teachers that can be used in middle school or modified for lower grades. It was easy to navigate and the Topic Map with links at the beginning is a great way to find your way around the site. The lessons and interactives explore food as the source of energy, body systems and how they interact, the elements of human growth, and the calories and nutrients our bodies need. I will be using several links with my fourth grade students as we begin a unit on nutrition and fitness. There are several review sites I will use as well, such as "The Cell Explorer" and "Energy Flow Web" simulations. I like that the Guide has many links to Kid's which allows for students to research what is most relevant in their lives. I will use several simulations on body systems, as well as a nice game for the students to play called "Nutrition Decision" that examines food labels. As we begin in class to keep food and exercise logs, there are plenty of resources in this SciGuide that reinforce these activities. Several of the interactive links were inactive, however, that was the only difficulty with the Guide that I experienced. I will definitely use these resources in my class and would recommend the Guide to other teachers as well.

Paula Roknick-Evans
Paula Roknick-Evans

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