Lesson Plan: For Teachers: What We Eat
Ask the class the question: What problems do farmers have growing plants? Record responses, which should include drought, pests, crop yield. Explain the role of the genes in determining the traits of plants and animals. Explain that we can now change one or more genes of a species directly in order to create a new desired trait in the organism. Tell students that they will be collecting data to get an idea of the possible extent of the use of genetically modified foods or genetically modified organisms in our lives.
Outline the Opportunity
Have students review the clips titled "Identifying
genetically modified products", "The 'Flavr Savr' tomato", "The perfect bowl of
rice?" and "Introducing the Flavr Savr tomato", on the topic Genetically Modified Food: A Growing Debate
on the CBC Digital Archives website. From
the clips have students list all possible genetically modified plants used in
the food industry.
Tell students that they will create a summary chart of all the foods they eat for one day. In the summary chart they should list all the ingredients on any packaged or canned food.
Have students review their charts and analyze any food that may be a GMO. They then create a separate list of which products could be, or contain, GMOs.
Revisit and Reflect
Place students in groups of three to create a final summary on chart paper. Students display these around the class and view one another's charts. Gather students and ask: How do you think the issue of GMOs affects your daily diet? What would you like to learn about GMOs?
Students can write an opinion paragraph about whether they feel it is important to know which of our foods contain GMOs. Dedicate part of a period to allow students to read or state their opinions on this topic.