Exploring Diversity with Food Groups (K-5)

Diversity Beans - Exploring Diversity with Food Groups Lesson Plan

Objective: Use food groups to explore the diversity in food and people.

Materials Required: Approx. 1.5 oz of Diversity Beans per student. Boxes of food with the food guide pyramid on the side.


A. Divide the class into 6 groups and assign each group one of the food groups on the food pyramid.

B. Define the food groups for the class and discuss the reasons for the food groups. Lead a discussion on general nutrition.

C. Assign each group a color of Diversity Beans. Divide the beans up and pass them out to each group.

D. Have each group pick the flavor of bean that best matches their color, assign the flavor to the food groups.

E. Have the groups list all of the foods they can think of that are in their food group.

F. Discuss each food group, listing the types of food in the group and the nutritional value of the group.

G. Choose some foods that cross the lines and belong in multiple groups (chocolate covered raisins, chocolate milk, rice pudding, pasta primavera, etc).

H. Have the students pick one of the Diversity Beans representing their food group and have them taste it. Ask which students tasted the flavor they expected. Record the results.

I. Have the students choose another bean and ask them what flavor they expect to taste. Have the students taste the beans and record the results. Repeat until most of the students don't know what to expect.

J. Ask the students who didn't taste the flavor they expected if they can think of an explanation to explain it.

K. Guide the class towards discussing that sometimes you can't classify a food by its appearance. Relate this to the Diversity Beans in that you can't judge the flavor of the beans by their color.

L. Ask the class about judging people by appearance. Ask if they can tell what group of people a person belongs to by their appearance. Have the students list groups/categories of people.

M. Explain to the class that food has been stereotyped by its predominant component so that people can monitor their nutrition.

N. Discuss with the class if there is a reason to stereotype people.

O. Explain to the class that people are like food, they can fit into numerous categories or groups. Explain that we shouldn't judge people by appearance or expectations. We should judge people based on their behaviors, attitudes, and actions.

P. Ask the students what they expect now when they taste the Diversity Beans. Have them select any bean to taste. Ask why they are selecting the colors they select. Have them taste the beans and see who tastes what they expect.

Q. Tell the class that they have broken their expectation based on color and appearance with Diversity Beans. Discuss with them that they should carry that over to their expectations of people they meet and they should not judge by appearance.