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United States Dept. of Agriculture: Choose My Plate - The 5 Food Groups

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, optional projector (for class presentation)

Activity Description

In this activity, students identify foods and categorize them according to food group, discuss the MyPlate image, draw a MyPlate image showing how much of each food group they typically eat, write sentences about their eating habits and what they should change, compare their eating habits with other students, and research key consumer messages for each of the food groups on the ChooseMyPlate Web site.

This activity aims to develop student understanding of healthy, balanced eating and provides practice of basic food vocabulary, the present simple tense, comparatives (more than/less than), and the modal "should."


Print the Example Document 1 worksheet (above) for each student.


  1. In groups, have students brainstorm as many foods as they can in five minutes. The group with the most foods is the winner.
  2. Have each group read its list out loud. Have each group add to its list as other foods are mentioned.
  3. Distribute the "ChooseMyPlate" worksheet to each student and have them identify which group each of the foods in their lists belong to. Review as a class.
  4. Lead a discussion about the MyPlate image. Which of the food groups is the biggest? Which is the smallest? How much of the plate is filled with fruits and vegetables? (half)
  5. Have students draw a picture like the MyPlate image, showing how much of each food group they usually eat. Have them write sentences about their eating habits using "more than/less than" (i.e. I usually eat more grains than vegetables) as well as what changes they "should" make (i.e. I should eat less protein and more vegetables.)
  6. Have students share their pictures and sentences with the class and compare their eating habits. Have the students decide who is the healthiest eater in their group/class using the MyPlate image to justify their selection.
  7. Direct students to the Web site's Food Groups page  and have them write down the "Key Consumer Message" for each food group (there might not be one for Protein).
  8. Discuss the Key Consumer Message for each food group and discuss ways to implement these recommendations.

More Ways

Show some of the videos on the site  if time allows.



  • Beginning Low
  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (3.6) Understand basic health and medical information
  • (3.5) Understand basic principles of health maintenance
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.