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Grade 6 Mathematics Seminar

Unit 1: Healthy Choices


Unit Overview
Students will apply their understanding of ratios and proportional relationships to analyze
healthy snack choices. Students will analyze food labels to determine whether snacks are
healthy. Students will analyze options for calories and serving sizes. Students will then apply
their understanding to develop a recommendation for what foods should be offered in a local
vending machine. They will develop mathematical justifications for their choices and ensure that
these choices will fall within the healthy food guidelines.
This unit is expected to take 4 weeks (approximately 20 days).

Common Core Content Standards

6.RP

Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.


1. Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship
between two quantities. For example, The ratio of wings to beaks in the bird house at
the zoo was 2:1, because for every 2 wings there was 1 beak. For every vote
candidate A received, candidate C received nearly three votes.
2. Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b 0 , and use
rate language in the context of a ratio relationship. For example, This recipe has a ratio
of 3 cups of flour to 4 cups of sugar, so there is a 3/4 cup of flour for each cup of sugar.
We paid $75 for 15 hamburgers, which is a rate of $5 per hamburger.
3. Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by
reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams,
or equations.
a. Make tables of equivalent ratios relating quantities with whole-number
measurements, find missing values in the tables, and plot the pairs of values on
the coordinate plane. Use tables to compare ratios.
b. Solve unit rate problems including those involving unit pricing and constant
speed. For example, if it took 7 hours to mow 4 lawns, then at that rate, how
many lawns could be mowed in 35 hours? At what rate were lawns being
mowed?
c. Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100 (e.g. 30% of a quantity means
30/100 times the quantity); solve problems involving finding the whole, given a
part and the percent.
d. Use ratio reasoning to convert measurement units; manipulate and transform units
appropriately when multiplying or dividing quantities.

Grade 6 Mathematics Seminar

Suggested Classroom Materials

Dry Erase Markers and White Boards


Packaging from snack or prepared foods (nutrition labels)
Digital Scale (available from Science teachers)
Graph Paper (1/4 inch or 1 cm) - can be downloaded from Internet
Calculators
Measuring cups/spoons
Hundreds Charts/Boards
Fraction Bars or Circles
Colored Blocks, Color Counters, or Unifix Cubes
Flash cards/Fraction beach balls/other fraction practice materials
Copy of Diet Book such as The DASH Diet Action Plan

Unit Guide
Week
1
2
3
4

Focus
Introduction to Snack Labels
Reading Snack Labels
Skill Review
Understanding Food Labels
Assessing Food Labels
Skill Review
Researching Vending Machine Options
Unit Pricing
Skill Review
Skill Review
Group Proposals and Presentations

Content
Standard(s)
6.RP.1
6.RP.2
6.RP.3
6.RP.3

Scheduling Note: The first 4 weeks of school have 18 instructional days. Depending upon the
abilities of your students this unit will require a minimum of 20 days. You may need to continue
into week 5 before beginning the Feeding the Hungry Unit.
In this unit:
Students will analyze calories, fat, sodium of popular snack foods. The objective is to
understand and apply ratio and percent concepts.
During this unit students will take nutritional information from snack foods and come up
with ratios that portray part-to-part, part-to-whole, and whole-to-whole relationships.
o Whole-to-whole: calories and serving size
o Part-to-whole: calories from fat and total calories
o Part-to-part: saturated fat and unsaturated fat

Grade 6 Mathematics Seminar

Note for Teachers:


Though it may not seem like it at first, discussing food choices with students can be a sensitive
matter. As sixth graders have limited opportunity to choose or purchase food items themselves,
teachers should be particularly aware of using language that might seem critical of any foods.
Remember that students may live in households where certain items are staples, and cultural
tendencies dictate food choices much of the time. Try to avoid indicating that certain foods are
bad or good, and try to discuss nutrition labels, for example, in a way that analyzes but does
not judge.

Additional Resources for Teachers


Links for Ratio/Proportions:
Good resource guide with visual diagrams for various strategies with ratios and proportions
http://www.graniteschools.org/depart/teachinglearning/curriculuminstruction/math/elementarym
athematics/K6%20Support%20Documents/Conceptual%20Foundations/Conceptual
%20Foundations%20for%20Unit%20of%20Study%201%20-%20Ratios%20and
%20Proportional%20Relationships.pdf
Web MD Link:
This link provides information on how many daily calories you should eat based on BMI and
daily activity.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/estimated-calorie-requirement
Resources for Disciplinary Literacy:
This lesson includes great instructional ideas, lessons, and games.
http://kidshealth.org
Informational Websites for Nutritional Information on Snacks:
Students can click on a brand of chips and product to view nutritional information.
http://www.fritolay.com/our-snacks/full-list-of-brands.html

Facilitator Notes Week 1


Prerequisite skills note: Instructors should assess the skill levels of individual students in the
following areas:
Ability to Simplify Fractions
Knowledge of multiplication facts
Ability to add subtract decimals
(It may be necessary to build into lessons, short practice sessions, to reinforce these skills.)

Grade 6 Mathematics Seminar

Days 1-2: Introduction to Snack Labels


1. Ask students what are your favorite snacks? on the board, or computer record the
students favorite snacks. As a class look over the results and discuss any common
components or differences. Examples could be sweet, salty, crunchy, chocolaty, and
fruity. Tell students over the next couple of weeks we will be learning about how to read
and interpret snack labels. By the end of the unit we will examine the products sold in a
vending machine and make recommendations for healthy snack options.
2. Share the Project Criteria with the class. As a class begin to discuss the potential
grading rubric for the project. (Later in the course finalize the grading rubric as a class.)
3. Have students read one of the following articles on childhood obesity facts at
http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm or
http://www.letsmove.gov/learn-facts/epidemic-childhood-obesity and take notes
on the Childhood Obesity resource sheet A or B provided. Discuss findings as a
group. Note: The article listed first (A) has a higher reading level than the second
article (B).
4. Pair students to have them read and take notes on the same site listed above under key
resources. Each pair will examine on or two of the sites and then report out on the
findings to the group. Note: There are five resources to examine on that page, so group
accordingly.
5. As a group have the students watch the video called Food Smarts located at
http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/video/index.html discuss with the students their reactions to
the video. Do they agree with the students? Are they like or dislike the students in the
video?
6. Have students work in pairs to understand how to read nutrition labels at
http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/body/foodsmarts/article4.html Food Smarts: Understanding
Nutrition Labels and take notes on the Understanding Nutrition Label resource. Note
the resource is a picture of the label used in the article the students are to add notes / text
talk in order for them to understand how to read any label. Review their notes and
understanding as a class. Placing their notes under the document camera may work. Note:
Nutrition information is listed in percents so you should informally assess their
understanding of this concept. Review weight/volume concepts (grams/ounces) and
serving sizes.
7. For homework the students will need to bring in labels from 5 of their favorite
snacks. The teacher will also bring in 5 labels from snacks.
Days 3 - 4: Reading Snack Labels
1. Day 3 will infuse Disciplinary Literacy into the lesson. Have students read the article on
nutrition health from the Livestrong website (http://www.livestrong.com/article/461835what-do-salt-sugar-do-to-your-body/). As a class, discuss the big ideas and relevant
mathematical connections with the article. (Note: Additional options for reading is to
have students visit http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dash-diet/HI00047 to learn about
the effects of sugar and salt on the body. or visit
http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/01/health/salt-sugar-fat-moss-time to explore how
companies use sugar and salt to increase consumption.)

Grade 6 Mathematics Seminar


2. Have students complete the Hershey Kiss Activity to pre-assess students understanding
of label information, after reading about salt and sugar from the Livestrong site. Discuss
how healthy Hershey Kisses are as a snack.
3. Use the snack labels that you and students brought to class to begin to look at common
traits in snacks. In groups have the students compile the information from the labels.
Help groups that may need support getting started in their organization. They may want
to look at sugar, fat, sodium, or calories to begin to organize. Discuss as a group and
create a whole class graphic organizer containing the snacks the brought to class.
4. Have students complete the Doritos Snack Analysis to practice analyzing label
information. Discuss the findings as a class.
5. Have students brainstorm what snacks they typically see in a vending machine. If the
school has a vending machine, take students to the machine to look at the options
available. If the school does not have a vending machine (see Sample Vending
Machine) have students find items in a local grocery store or mall vending machine, or
have students ask their parents what is in snack machines at their workplace. Have a
master list generated by next week.
Day 5: Skill Review
Skill Review lessons are opportunities to offer targeted, differentiated support for students based
on their current understanding of content standards. Prior to this lesson, determine the
instructional needs of your students. Plan a differentiated lesson using strategies that meet the
needs of the class (strategic grouping, stations, two-group model, all pupil response, etc.).
For ideas for creating and responding to formative assessment data, visit:
http://letthedatabeyourguide.wikispaces.com/
For differentiation strategies, visit:
http://daretodifferentiate.wikispaces.com/
http://media.hcpss.org/newcode/strategies/strategies.php
For ideas for teaching/re-teaching simplify fractions and add/subtract decimals, use the following
Moving with Math Fractions and Decimals (MH2) activities:
Pattern for Simplifying Fractions (p. 8)
Addition and Subtraction of Decimals (p. 56)

Facilitator Notes Week 2


The focus of this week is for students to able to understand and interpret ratios expressed as
percents; then students compare and evaluate nutritional information expressed in percents. You
will need to gather the needed scales and measures with the help of your science team. You may
need to review capacity and volume measurement concepts prior to this lesson. Bring in food
items such as salt, sugar, shortening, etc. to measure and weigh.
Key Concepts and Skills for this week:
Express ratios in simplest form

Grade 6 Mathematics Seminar


Using calculator to compute with percents. Recognize/express percent as fraction/100
Convert decimal to a percent
Convert ratio to a percent
Day 1: Understanding Food Labels
1. The purpose of this lesson is to give students a deeper understanding of the measurements
learned the previous week. Show student the YouTube video on sugar in soda:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=yKZ2ZqBYlrI&NR=1
2. Lead a simple demonstration lesson using sugar, salt, etc so students have a visual
reference point and connection to the labels (i.e. demonstrating that 1000 milligrams = 1
gram.) For this demonstration, you will need a digital scale, measuring cups, salt and/or
sugar.
3. Have students visit the Kids Health website and read the article:
http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/food_labels.html#cat20132
As a class, discuss big mathematical ideas, such as serving sizes, how to read food labels,
percentages, etc. (Note: This website includes the UDL accommodation of a listening
option.)
4. Students should have a basic understanding of fraction and rounding concepts, (if not,
you may wish to use this day for additional practice if your students skills are
particularly weak). They will need these skills for the next two days and in order to
proceed to Week 3s lessons, expressing ratios as rates.
Days 2-3: Assessing Food Labels
1. Day 2 should focus on the strategy of converting a ratio to decimal (dividing the
numerator by the denominator) and then converting to a percent by multiplying by 100 or
shifting the decimal two places to the right. Have students complete the Turn a Ratio
into a Percent activity.
2. Day 3s Calorie Comparison Activity assessment targets students ability to express
ratios in simplest form, as a decimal and as a percent. The target calorie chart may be
revisited in Week 4.
3. Have students visit http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/estimated-calorie-requirement.
Have students develop a healthy calorie range and record a health goal. Collect student
health goals and save these goals for Week 4.
4. Have students examine the foods they recorded in a nearby vending machine by visiting
the Calorie Count website (http://caloriecount.about.com/foods) to analyze nutritional
information. Have students complete the Vending Machine Assessment activity and
turn it in.
Days 4-5: Skill Review
Skill Review lessons are opportunities to offer targeted, differentiated support for students based
on their current understanding of content standards. Prior to this lesson, determine the
instructional needs of your students. Plan a differentiated lesson using strategies that meet the
needs of the class (strategic grouping, stations, two-group model, all pupil response, etc.).
For ideas for creating and responding to formative assessment data, visit:
http://letthedatabeyourguide.wikispaces.com/

Grade 6 Mathematics Seminar

For differentiation strategies, visit:


http://daretodifferentiate.wikispaces.com/
http://media.hcpss.org/newcode/strategies/strategies.php
For ideas for teaching/re-teaching writing and using ratios and rates, use the following Moving
with Math Percent and Probability (MH3) activities:
Writing and Using Ratios (p. 21)
Rates (p. 22)
The lessons for these days should focus on developing students understanding of ratios and
proportional relationships. The Common Core Standards encourage the use of visual
representations in addition to the traditional algorithmic strategies. Pictorial resource sheets
(available from your math department) or colored blocks (like Unifix cubes) or counters are
effective aids in demonstrating part-to-whole and part-to-part relationships.
For activities to develop understanding of ratios with tape diagrams, visit the
Thinking Blocks website (http://www.thinkingblocks.com/). Select the Ratios tab and allow
students to model and solve ratios with the tape diagrams. If students need additional support,
they can watch the video at the bottom of the screen. You may want to show the video before
students practice with the tape diagram models.

Facilitator Notes Week 3


The focus of this week is to master the prerequisite skills necessary to understand and calculate a
unit price. Using actual food packages or advertisements from local grocery flyers makes the
activity more engaging for students.
Day 1: Researching Vending Machine Options
1. Return the Vending Machine Assessment activity and have the class discuss findings.
2. Have students go online to research snack food options available for vending machines.
Some available websites include:
http://www.snacktime.com/about-us/Product-range/
http://www.everquench.com.au/product-range.php
3. Have students also read one of the following articles to see online reviews of vending
products:
http://www.forbes.com/2005/10/05/vending-foods-healthcx_sy_1006feat_ls.html (The best and worst vending machine
snacks)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/us/politics/new-rulesplanned-on-school-vending-machines.html (New guidelines
planned for school vending machines)
http://www.healthyvending.com/vending-machines-in-schools#
(Vending machines in schools)

Grade 6 Mathematics Seminar

http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/vending-machines-the-good-the-bad-and-theshocking-2398744.html(Comparison of items in vending machines)


http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/snacks/healthy/vending-machine-snacks/
(Unhealthy snacks and healthy snacks on the next page)
4. Have students begin to compare snack options and review the snack labels for the
available products. Students may continue some of the research at home over the course
of the week.
Day 2: Unit Pricing
1. Unit Pricing is a valuable Financial Literacy skill and a fundamental rate concept.
Introduce the concept of a unit price (ratio in simplest form) as a comparative shopping
tool. (Note: this concept may be new for some students.)
2. Have students read one of the following articles, Using Unit Pricing.
http://www.extension.org/pages/19896/using-unit-pricing or the Consumer Reports
article on unit pricing. Note: The Using Unit Pricing article is at a easier reading level
than the Consumer Reports article.
3. Have students discuss unit rate pricing. (Note: You may want to bring in different food
items and have them discuss unit prices.)
4. Allow students to read packaging, advertisements and actual grocery shelf labels (See
Unit Price Labels 1, Unit Price Labels 2, and/or Unit Pricing Ads for samples). You
may wish to obtain actual unit pricing stickers from your local supermarket - most are
quite willing to share outdated prices - ask the manager.
Days 3-4: Skill Review
Skill Review lessons are opportunities to offer targeted, differentiated support for students based
on their current understanding of content standards. Prior to this lesson, determine the
instructional needs of your students. Plan a differentiated lesson using strategies that meet the
needs of the class (strategic grouping, stations, two-group model, all pupil response, etc.).
For ideas for creating and responding to formative assessment data, visit:
http://letthedatabeyourguide.wikispaces.com/
For differentiation strategies, visit:
http://daretodifferentiate.wikispaces.com/
http://media.hcpss.org/newcode/strategies/strategies.php
Note: In order for students to successfully calculate actual unit rates, they must be able to round
decimals to the hundredths (cents) place and divide ratios using a calculator. Skills practice
should focus on rounding and calculating simple rates (240 miles in 4 hours = 60 mph).
Reinforce the idea that rates are a ratio of two quantities/measures (Miles per gallon; price per
pound. etc.) Use whiteboards to have students practice.
For ideas for teaching/re-teaching rounding decimals and calculating simple rates, use the
following activities:
Moving with Math Fractions and Decimals (MH2) Lesson Plan (p. 67)
Moving with Math Percent and Probability (MH3) (p. 22)

Grade 6 Mathematics Seminar

Day 5: Calculating Unit Prices


1. Students will use actual products to calculate unit prices. (See Unit Price Labels 1,
Unit Price Labels 2, and/or Unit Pricing Ads) or you can make your own using
household items.
2. Have students read the Eat Well Newsletter Spring 2009 and complete the Unit Pricing
Spreadsheet.
1. Have students complete the Coffee Buzz Assessment. Have students create an argument
writing sample to defend their choice of the best value coffee.

Facilitator Notes Week 4


This week will focus on the culminating Unit Project. Use information from prior weeks to
create graphic comparisons, including representations by tables, ratios, tape diagrams, etc. (Note:
This weeks tasks will require Internet access to complete the necessary research.)
Day 1: Skill Review
Skill Review lessons are opportunities to offer targeted, differentiated support for students based
on their current understanding of content standards. Prior to this lesson, determine the
instructional needs of your students. Plan a differentiated lesson using strategies that meet the
needs of the class (strategic grouping, stations, two-group model, all pupil response, etc.).
For ideas for creating and responding to formative assessment data, visit:
http://letthedatabeyourguide.wikispaces.com/
For differentiation strategies, visit:
http://daretodifferentiate.wikispaces.com/
http://media.hcpss.org/newcode/strategies/strategies.php
For ideas for teaching/re-teaching rounding decimals and calculating simple rates, use the
following activities:
Moving with Math Fractions and Decimals (MH2) Lesson Plan (p. 67)
Moving with Math Percent and Probability (MH3) (p. 22)
Days 2-4: Developing the Final Presentations
1. Have students finalize their assessment of vending options and work in small teams to
generate recommendations for their local vending machine. What products should be
removed? Why? What products should be included? Why?
2. Have teams create a presentation, which may include iMovie commercial, podcast,
brochure, board display, PowerPoint presentation, skit, etc. The presentation should
include key label information with mathematical justification of why the snack choices
are the best options.
Day 5: Group Presentations of Findings

Grade 6 Mathematics Seminar


1. Have each group share the presentation with the class. Invite guests to watch the
presentations, including the principal or assistant principal.
2. Celebrate the accomplishments of the class.