Serving Size Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

How much candy represents a serving size? This lesson plan challenges your students with that question and teaches them crucial facts about serving size with a text lesson and activity.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'serving size'
  • list the daily guidelines for serving size
  • analyze personal food choices in terms of serving size


  • 1 to 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.


Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).


Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.


  • A large bag of candy such as jelly beans, M&Ms, or candy corn
  • Bowl
  • A plastic spoon
  • Paper cups
  • Markers
  • Paper copies of the text lesson Serving Size: Definition & Examples
  • Paper copies of quiz
  • Paper plates

Key Vocabulary

  • Serving size
  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Dairy
  • Meats
  • Fats
  • Nuts
  • Sweets


  • Write 'serving size' on the board.
  • Pass out a paper cup to each student.
  • Open the bag of candy and pour it into the bowl, setting the bag aside.
  • Place the spoon in the bowl.
  • Pass the bowl around the classroom, asking students to fill up their cups with a serving size of the candy.
  • Now have the students count the number of pieces of candy in their cups, writing the number on the cup.
  • Pass out the paper copies of the text lesson now, one per student.
  • Ask the students to read the introduction and 'What Is Serving Size?' section of the text lesson.
  • Review the nutritional label from the bag of candy with the class, sharing the serving size of the candy with the class.
    • How many of us are below the serving size in terms of the amount of candy that is in our cups?
    • How many of us are above it?
    • How does the serving size listed on the bag compare to the amount of candy most people eat?


  • Write the key vocabulary terms on the board.
  • Now pass out the paper plates, one per student.
  • Ask students to divide their paper plate into eight sections.
  • Now have them use food types listed on the board to label each of the sections.
  • Instruct the class to write all of the foods along with amounts that they ate the previous day in each section of the paper plate (e.g. Grains: three pieces of toast, 10 crackers, and so on).

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