Lesson 7: Food, Culture, and Origin

Time: 1hr

Common Core:

Next Generation Science Standards: Grade 5


Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

Objectives: To describe the range of foods people eat in different cultures. To link food with religion and culture

Key words: Kosher; Halal; Vegetarian; Vegan

(Using Key words: Students can create a glossary, in books or on wall in classroom. Students are encouraged to practice using vocab in written or verbal sentences – perhaps writing example sentences and displaying them. Students could earn points for using the vocab in novel sentences each week)


  • PowerPoint – Around the World
  • ‘Meals Photos’ document (color printed if possible)
  • ‘World’ document (printed per group)
  • ‘Food and Religion’ document (printed per group)
  • For extension – PowerPoint – Food Word Origins



Ask students to write down what they had for dinner last night and the night before. In groups, students compare what they ate. Are there similarities? Ask students why they think they ate what they did? (Answers could be – easy to cook, quick to prepare, cheap to buy, delicious to eat, etc). Go through slides 1-4 on PowerPoint ‘Around the World’. Discuss why people eat what they do in different countries or what they don’t eat and why.

Group Activity

Give each group a picture of a meal, they have a guess at which country that food is from, and write it down. The pictures of meals rotate around the groups, until all groups have seen each of the ten pictures. For each meal students could also vote on how many of them like the food (perhaps each giving it a score out of 5, and then adding up the total scores each meal has).

(Advanced Activities: higher ability groups could be asked to think about what goes into pasta; or where rice grows; the food miles going into each meal; the health benefits or otherwise of the meal; how easy it is to prepare.)

Once groups have seen all 10 pictures, reveal on slides 5 – 14 where each meal is from. Discuss any of the other factors the groups thought about.

Further Activity

Give each group the ‘food and religion’ document. Using the information on the sheet, students make a flyer / prepare a presentation for the class / create a poster for each meal, explaining which religious groups could and could not eat the meals.

(Advanced Discussion – they could then advise how the meals could be altered so that those religious groups could eat the food.)


Possible ideas for recap:

  • Students share one new thing they have learned with the class
  • Students decide on one ingredient or meal that they have never had before, that now they would like to try.

Further Activities:


  • Poster of world map
  • Post it notes or pins
  • PowerPoint – ‘Food Word Origins’

Food Origins Activity

Using the ‘Food Word Origins’ ppt, show students all the food words and ask students to guess the origins? Reveal the origins and ask students to locate the countries on the world map, writing the food words and pinning or sticking them on the relevant countries.

(Further Discussion or Homework: Using a dictionary can any students find words of their own).

Healthy Growing Session (if participating)

Families from different cultures/religions are invited in to share and teach students how to cook using examples of traditional foods.


Lesson Plan 7: Food, Culture, and Origin

Powerpoint: Around the World

Food and Religion

Food Word Origins

Meals Photos

The World