Whole Grains 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.

What are whole grains and why should we include them as a part of a healthy diet? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to explain the benefits of whole grains. An activity helps students become aware of the nutritional benefits of whole grain foods.

Learning Objectives

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

  • define 'whole grain'
  • identify the parts of whole grains
  • list examples of whole-grain foods


45 to 90 minutes

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 cup of dried oats
  • A cup of popcorn
  • A cup of white rice
  • Paper copies of the text lesson What Are Whole Grains? - Types, Sources & Examples
  • Paper copies of the worksheet from the associated text lesson
  • Empty food packaging of processed and whole-grain food items similar (e.g. processed vs. whole-grain bread, crackers, cereal, etc.)
  • Multipurpose paper
  • Colored pencils


  • Begin by displaying the cups of oats, popcorn, and rice for the class.
    • Which of these foods are whole grains? Why?
  • Explain to the class that all three examples represent whole grains before distributing the paper copies of the text lesson.
  • Ask students to read the introduction and the 'Definition of Whole Grains' section of the text lesson.
    • How is whole-grain bread different from processed white bread?
    • How many of you have tried both processed and whole-grain breads?
    • For those who have, can you describe the differences in appearance and taste?
  • Tell the students to read the 'Parts of a Whole Grain' section of the text lesson.
    • What is a whole grain?
    • What is the term for the outer layer of the wheat kernel?
    • What is contained in the middle of the wheat kernel?
    • What is wheat germ?
  • Have the students read the 'Types of Whole Grains' section of the text lesson.
    • How many of the types of whole grains presented in the text lesson have you tried?
  • Instruct the students to read the 'Less Common Varieties of Whole Grains' section of the text lesson.
    • What is triticale?
    • Why is millet compared to birdseed in the text lesson?
    • What makes spelt an especially healthy whole grain?
    • How is bulgur made?
  • Ask the students to read the 'Lesson Summary' section of the text lesson.
  • Review key facts about whole grains with the class before continuing.
  • Hand out the worksheet to the class.
  • Instruct the students to work independently to complete the worksheet using what they learned about whole grains from the text lesson.
  • When all students have finished the worksheet, review each question and answer with the class as students follow along checking their work.

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