Facilitator's Guide

Through experiential activities, youth will recognize a variety of healthful foods within MyPyramid food group, taste new foods from other cultures, explore the similarities of food, and develop an understanding and appreciation of cultures that are different than their own.

Each of the six units includes activities based on a single culture, a featured book, and a food group from MyPyramid.

  • Reading: An activity based on a book related to a specific culture and the food they eat
  • Nutrition: An activity based on the identified culture and a specific food group from MyPyramid
  • Cooking: An activity focused on making a recipe from the identified culture, and using foods from the specified food group
  • Physical Activity: A physical activity enjoyed by youth from the identified culture
    Cultural Experience: An activity focused on learning more about the identified culture and the foods they eat
  • Take-home Activity: An informational letter to parents or guardians describing the specific food group, health information, a recipe to share with their youth, and an activity for them to do at home

Note to the Facilitator

You are lucky! You have been asked to be a project helper for a nutrition education program that uses literature to learn about food, nutrition, healthy living, and different cultures.

Your Role

  • Review the material in the Facilitator’s Guide and Food, Culture, and Reading Project Online site.
  • Gather supplies needed for each activity.Provide support for youth to achieve the success indicators for the program.
  • Discuss the review questions after each activity, listening to and encouraging the youth to give their own answers and draw their own conclusions.
  • Use the experiential methodology throughout the curriculum.

What You’ll Find

  • Life Skill: The 4‑H Life Skill that corresponds with the learning in the activity
  • Project Skill: The goal of the activity
  • Education Standards: The Education Standards that correspond with the learning in the activity
  • Success Indicator: What the youth will learn in the activity
  • Time Required: The time required for the activity
  • Suggested Group Size: The optimum group size for the activity
  • Supplies Needed: Supplies needed for the activity
  • The Activity: The experiential activity providing youth with an opportunity to learn about a new culture through reading, nutrition, physical activity, and cooking
  • Talk it Over: Questions to ask youth after completing the activity to help them process what they have learned
  • Bites of Knowledge: Additional information supporting the activity
  • Spice It Up: Additional activities to do with the group to support or augment the main activity
  • Did You Know? Fun facts about the subject covered in an activity
  • Words to Know: Vocabulary words used in the activity and defined in the glossary

In addition, the curriculum provides a glossary for words highlighted in the activities and an appendix of reproducible activity sheets used in various activities.

Hints When Planning Youth Activities

When planning your sessions, please keep the following in mind:

  • Each unit takes a few sessions to complete. You can combine a few activities, depending on your group and size (for example: reading with physical activity; nutrition with cooking).
  • If your group meets immediately after school, provide a snack by using a recipe found in the project online.
  • If your program has a routine schedule, adjust Food, Culture, and Reading to meet your regular time sequence—such as including physical activity after a snack and then completing reading, culture, and other activities.
  • Order books and MyPyramid supplies before you start the program.

Resources

Locate or order the featured books for each unit prior to starting the Food, Culture, and Reading program.  If you cannot find the featured book, please use the alternate book that is suggested.  To supplement activities or to encourage extra reading, additional resource books are listed.

Unit 1: United States and My Pyramid

Featured Book: The Usborne Little Round the World Cookbook (Children’s World Cookbook IL) by Angela Wilkes and Fiona Watt. (Usborne Publishing, 2004. Hardcover.)
ISBN: 07945 08073.
This book includes more than forty simple, delicious recipes from around the world with great photos.

Alternate Book: Let’s Eat! What Children Eat around the World by Beatrice Hollyer. (Oxfam, 2004. Hardcover.)
ISBN: 0805073221.
Colorful photographs detail the lives of five youngsters from around the world: their homes, families, traditions, and typical foods. Each section also explores a special day in one child’s life and the role of food in it: a wedding in South Africa, a fiesta in Mexico, a day out with Dad in Thailand, and a birthday in India.

Alternate Book: Travel-the-world Cookbook by Pamela Marx. (Good Year Books, 1996.Paperback.)
ISBN: 067336254-X
This cookbook is organized by continents. Each recipe includes information on kitchen tools needed, ingredients, directions for food preparation, an interesting food fact as well as a cultural fact, and an activity related to the continent.

Unit 2: Mexico and Grains

Featured Book:Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto.
(Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 1993. Paperback.)
ISBN: 0-698-11412-4.
Maria tries on her mother’s wedding ring while helping make tamales for a Christmas family get-together. Panic ensues when, hours later, she realizes the ring is missing.

Alternate Book: The Tortilla Factory by Gary Paulson. (Voyager Books, 1998. Paperback.)
ISBN: 0152016988.
This book describes how corn is harvested and made into tortillas.

Unit 3: Russia and Vegetables

Featured Book: Latkes, Latkes Good To Eat, A Chanukah Story by Naomi Howland.(Clarion Books, 1999. Paperback.)

ISBN: 0-618-49295-X.
This appealing tale is about a girl who does a kind deed for an old woman, who gives her a magic pan that will fry up latkes.

Alternate Book: Latkes and Applesauce: A Hanukkah Story by Fran Manushkin. (Scholastic, 1992. Paperback.)
ISBN: 0590422650.
A poor family struggles to make ends meet when an enormous snow storm keeps them from getting supplies. When they realize they will have no potatoes for latkes at Hanukkah, they come across a cat and a dog. Despite the fact that they can’t feed themselves, they take the pets in. In this spirit of sharing, the pets have a surprise of their own.

Unit 4: Kenya and Fruits

Featured Book: Latkes, Latkes Good To Eat, A Chanukah Story by Naomi Howland.(Clarion Books, 1999. Paperback.)

ISBN: 0-618-49295-X.
This appealing tale is about a girl who does a kind deed for an old woman, who gives her a magic pan that will fry up latkes.

Alternate Book: Latkes and Applesauce: A Hanukkah Story by Fran Manushkin. (Scholastic, 1992. Paperback.)
ISBN: 0590422650.
A poor family struggles to make ends meet when an enormous snow storm keeps them from getting supplies. When they realize they will have no potatoes for latkes at Hanukkah, they come across a cat and a dog. Despite the fact that they can’t feed themselves, they take the pets in. In this spirit of sharing, the pets have a surprise of their own.

Unit 5: Greece and Milk

Featured Book:The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus by Aliki. (Harper Trophy, 1994. Paperback.)
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-446189-4.
Long ago in ancient Greece, people created stories – myths – to explain the mysteries of life. These myths told of gods and goddesses, fearful monsters, brave heroes, and mysterious beauties. The awesome Olympians of Greek mythology come to life as Aliki skillfully weaves many of the tales that have fascinated children for generations.

Alternate Book: Classic Myths to Read Aloud: The Great Stories of Greek and Roman Mythology, Specially Arranged for Children Five and Up by an Educational Expert by William F. Russell. (Three Rivers Press, 1992, Paperback.)
ISBN: 0517588374.
The most complete collection of Greek and Roman myths specially arranged to be read aloud.

Unit 6: Japan and Meet and Beans

Featured Book: How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman. (Houghton Mifflin, 1984. Paperback.)
ISBN-10: 0395442354
ISBN-13: 978-0395442357
Friedman has created a delightful, original, and very funny book that goes far beyond simple table manners. Realistic yet slightly stylized illustrations are done in muted watercolors that catch the nuances of Japanese culture. The book is wonderfully thought-provoking in its portrayal of the subtle similarities and differences among cultures.

Alternate Book:The Story of Chopsticks by Yin Chang Compestine. (Holiday House, 2001. Hardcover.)
ISBN: 0823415260.
When Kuai cannot get enough to eat, he begins using sticks to grab food too hot for his hands, and soon all of China used chopsticks.

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Unit 1: United States and MyPyramid

Spanish/English Take-Home Sheet

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Other Activities

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Books

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Recipes

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Unit 2: Mexico and Grains

Spanish/English Take-Home Sheet

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Other Activities

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Books

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Recipes

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Unit 3: Russia and Vegetables

Spanish/English Take-Home Sheet

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Other Activities

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Books

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Recipes

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Unit 4: Kenya and Fruits

Spanish/English Take-Home Sheet

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Other Activities

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Books

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Recipes

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Unit 5 - Greece and Milk

Spanish/English Take-Home Sheet

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Other Activities

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Books

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Recipes

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Unit 6: Japan and Meat and Beans

Spanish/English Take-Home Sheet

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Other Activities

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Books

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Recipes

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Additional Resources

Cookbooks

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Culture Links

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Nutrition Links

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Physical Activity Links

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Reading Links

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