Beverly Scholz/ / Lane Community College

The Class:

EL Civics Level 6 Mixed Skills – This is an upper intermediate level class focusing on improving the four skills.

Unit Topic/ CA Objectives:


CA Objective:  #28 Nutrition

Civic Objective: # 28 Healthcare and Nutrition

Language and Literacy Objectives:

1. Identify a healthy diet

2. Identify the relationship between nutrition and good health.

3 Locate sources of low-cost healthy food in the community.


Resources Used:

Various websites provided pieces of articles on food selection, preparation and storage to preserve nutrition

Nutrition books from the public library

Grammar text: Grammar in Context, 3rd Edition, by Sandra Elbaum – used as reference to develop materials.

Supplementary Materials Used:

Teacher-developed materials


CASAS Objectives:

0.1.5 Identify or use appropriate classroom behavior (collaboration on preparation  of presentations and sorting materials, as well as collaboration/competition combination in doing vocabulary matching games.)

1.2 Apply principles of comparison-shopping in the selection of goods and services (researching and presenting selection standards and understanding of supermarket practices in the produce dept.)
1.2.2 Compare price or quality to determine the best buys for goods and services (discussion of quality of fresh food on sale).

1.2.5 Interpret letters, articles, and information about consumer-related topics (compiling presentation material)

1.6.2 Identify consumer protection resources available when confronted with fraudulent practices (learning about what information should be available re: chemicals applied to produce, and origin of foods at markets

3.5.2 Select a balanced diet (learning ways that quality fresh food provides optimum nutrition and health)

3.5.3 Interpret food storage information (central focus of  some articles and  presentations)

3.5.9 Identify practices that promote physical well being (within the material was references to effects on this)

7.2.3 Make comparisons, differentiating among, sorting, and classifying items, information, or ideas (the sorting task where students arranged points/paragraphs/sentences under topic headings and divided them up for presenting).

7.2.7 Identify factors involved in making decisions, including considering goals, constraints, and consequences, and weighing alternatives. (students formed opinions, developed judgment about selecting, cooking and preserving food from the materials given. There were some contractions to handle, e.g. Microwave use)

7.3.2 Devise and implement a solution to an identified problem. (Discussion of nutrient loss when boiling foods, microwave compromises, supermarket practices that can compromise quality/safety)



The first week of class, students chose 4 topics from a list of about 12 within the nutrition heading for this term. This set of lessons is from the topic: Choosing fresh foods in the store, preparing them in healthy ways, and storing them to preserve nutrition. I will not include the source documents, as they were cobbled together from books and are not in a Word file. The grammar point during this unit was Embedded questions.   Also, as we did our nutrition projects I tried to ease the vocabulary gap by adding glosses and sometimes simplifying text by whiting out extra details for words I didn’t expect them to encounter often.


Vocabulary focus: The most frequent verbs of English usage. I felt these words were more important to the students overall than many nutrition words.   I had previously had students survey the list of the 1,000 most frequently used words in English, and mark those they did not recognize easily. I made flashcards of these and put the Spanish and Korean translations on the backs. From those (42), I chose 21..In one lesson, I made 2  grids/boards each with about 11 Spanish definitions on it, and students worked in two groups to put the flashcards (not looking at the backs) on one board at a time. (Sorry, I don’t have that file now, I deleted it before I discovered I’d not attached it to this document yet.) But after having them create some sentences with a few of the verbs, saw they needed more bridging.. So I created a grid/board with English definitions and had two students competing, and a third holding an answer sheet, to match word cards with English definitions.  This turned out well, as even though it was difficult (because these verbs are so fundamental that it is hard to make easy definitions for them), I made it easier by letting students work together if they chose, work simultaneously– to eliminate boredom – and for the answer-holder to give them hints.  The hints were very good and they learned the word “hint”.  We did this several times on different days.  Then I created paragraphs – slightly nonsensical, but on the topic of nutrition and health -   with blanks to fill in.  Each paragraph had about 7  Frequent Verbs associated with it.  See  Appendix 1 worksheet: Frequent verb practice.  After students completed those – in pairs, I gave each pair a small group of the flashcards, and they were to use those verbs to create their own paragraph with blanks to test the rest of the class.  I edited and typed those up, and presented them at the next class. After completing the paragraphs, I had the composers present the answers.  Next, see the bottom of  Appendix 2:“ Final practice with Frequent verbs” for a cloze practice in which all the blanks were from the 21 Frequent verbs list.  I went a step further, for the more scholastic students, and rewrote the close practice – the completed paragraph to access answers from – putting each of the verbs in a different tense from the original cloze exercise – just to show students how similarly something can be presented and still be using a different tense. They had to check their answers by making slight conjugation changes from the answer-paragraph (and hopefully be stimulated by the pattern differences at the same time.).

Short presentations:  Choosing fresh foods in the store, Preparing food in healthy ways, and Storing foods to preserve nutrition. This activity included  practice with embedded and direct questions.
I gathered bits and pieces of advice from internet documents, and cut them in paragraphs or sentence-long bullet points.  They were in  eight categories (one for each student). I made heading strips with the category names and put them on one table. I  put the strips on another table.  Next students distributed the strips between the headings together. Then each student chose one heading and put the strips associated with it in a logical order, thinking about a good flow of information for a presentation, and taped their set together into a sheet. Their weekend homework was to prepare a 1-2 minute talk on important tips they found. It  was to be fairly informal and not graded.  On Monday, I put students in groups of 4, and had them each stand and talk extemporaneously about their general topic for two minutes.  Then I had them work on their presentations for 10 minutes, then deliver their talk to a partner for practice.  Then we all sat in a circle and discussed the process – what decisions they had to make to deliver it to a real person, and what feedback the partner had. I stressed that these would not be graded, and we would do something more formal later in the term.  We postponed the actual talk-giving until the next class.
 In the following class, I had them find a secluded corner in the room to practice their talk for 10 minutes.  Then, for practice on our current grammar point,  I gave each student a pink and an orange token –one to ask an indirect question, the other for a direct question. I told them to be sure and “spend” both tokens during the course of the presentations... The first two presentations were each 15-20 minutes long!  What to do?  I gently reminded them of the assignment, but since the material was on our topic, they were understandable, and seemed to enjoy it – plus the attention to question types, I let them take the time they did.

Student responses;  Students enjoyed the vocabulary board games very much. They had freedom to decide how competitive to make it, and the one holding the answers had fun giving hints. The extemporaneous talking was novel to them, but they seemed stimulated, and amused by it.  When the students gave their presentations, they all talked much longer than necessary and the activity with using tokens to register embedded and direct questions posed, produced much good natured joking and participation. I could not tell how much they enjoyed the practicing with a partner, but they agreed that there was no replacement for actually practicing out loud. The process discussion did not produce much response, but I had not prepared them to talk about it in that way before – it may have been pretty new.



Appendix 1.

Winter 2008, EL Civics 6B                                                                NAME_________________________

                                    Fill-in-the-blank practice with Frequent Verbs

* I’ve divided our set up into 3 groups. Read each paragraph and choose from the group above it, checking them off as you use them. Each verb is used only once.

A. Use these words:

 ___expect                   ___appear        ___wish                       ___rise             ___share          ___suffer                                             ___draw                                  ___reach

It is early morning, time for the sun to _____________ in the sky.  I __________ I could sleep longer, but my boss ______________ me to _______________ at my desk at 9:00, ready to __________ a sketch of the new building plans.  I want to ____________ breakfast with my sister before I go. I will make the toast, and she will make the tea, and we’ll split the rest of the cereal together.   We don’t want our health to __________ from bad nutrition, so we take time to get a good breakfast.  I will try to ___________ my office a little early this morning so I can be ready when the boss arrives

B. Use these words:

___become                  ___avoid                     ___argue                     ___cause                    

___act                         ___fail                         ___achieve

My friend and I _____________ sometimes about nutrition. He thinks it does not matter what he eats, as long as he  _____________ sugar.  But I think that we can only _____________ good health if we  _______________ balanced about everything we eat.  We can’t ______________ as if any one thing is the most important.  I think my friend will _________ to get enough vitamins if he eats only meat and starch, and artificial sweeteners.  I believe unbalanced eating will ___________________ unbalanced health.


C. Use these words:  ___intent                       ___drop                       ___treat                       ___refuse                                                                                                                                            ___develop

I try to ____________ my health with respect.   I try to __________________ good eating habits and I ______________to educate myself about nutrition so I can make good choices.  If I ____________ to learn this important information, I’ll be paying for it with poor health.  I just decided to ___________ all the white flour products from my shopping list, and not buy them again. I hope that if I can _____________ the food in my house first, then I can learn to eat better at parties and restaurants too.

D. In the space below, take the flash cards I give you and create a paragraph with fill-in-the-blanks to use all the words once.  We will share these with our class mates  Write carefully so I can type them up for the next class. Be sure to have me proof-read them so I can help you with native-like examples.

Word List:   ___                                  ___                                          ___                              ___                              ___                        ___                              ___




Appendix 2 --  2 pages

Winter 2008, EL Civics 6B


More Frequent Verb practice from paragraphs written in class on 2/11/08,  , and a Cloze practice.

There are three sets of verbs A,B,C.


A.  Use these words: __rise   ___avoid     ____achieve   ___become   ___suffer               ___appear   ___fail

I go to my job when the sun _______ to ________ a new day.  I ________being late, but sometimes I ________.  I _________ everything on time as well.  I __________ to wake up early in the morning, but sometimes I __________ very early.


B. Use these words:  __ drop   ­­­ ___treat    ­­___ cause       ___draw __ expect  ___ reach               ___ share   

I _____ to ______ a picture for the next exposition in the Hult Center.  If I ________ the job seriously and passionately, I will ________ my desire/goal and will _________ the success with my family. Also I can _____ young people to be interested in the art and they can ______their drugs


C. Use these words:  ___ refuse            ___argue        ___manage     ____act          ___develop_ ___wish_ ___intend

We ________ to do our class work without __________, but we ____________ to ______________ our work the way the other students do.  I _________ we could _______ creatively and also ____________to do the work together.

D. This is a cloze practice. I will give you a hint: All the missing words are from the Frequent Verb List.

Did you ever __________to  __________eating too much sugar?  It __________ to me like you did, because you ________ so calm and you’ve __________some weight too. I  __________I could __________  a line across my kitchen and let my sister keep her sweets on one side and never __________ them with me.  My level of health will __________and __________ to eat sugar will be __________it to go up. I __________to finally__________a high level of health before I go traveling again.  I don’t want to __________from foreign diseases on my trip. It would be hard to get __________in a strange place, and I might __________frightened and very tired.  If I __________to __________good health, I probably will not __________to take a long trip.  So I will not__________ with my friend the “health nut” when she wants to help me __________a good diet.




Below is the same paragraph, but  with other verb tenses for the frequency verbs in italics.:


Have you ever managed  to succeed in  avoiding  too much sugar?   You appear  to have done it, because you’re acting so calm and your weight has dropped too.  I’m wishing I could have drawn a line across my kitchen and ask my sister to keep her sweets on one side and never be  sharing them with me.  My level of health would start rising and by refusing  to eat sugar, I would be the one  causing it to go up (rise).  My intent (noun form) is  to have  reached a high level of health before I go traveling again.  I don’t want to be suffering from foreign diseases on my trip.  It would be hard to get a doctor to treat me in a strange place,  especially if I became frightened and very tired.  If I see that I’m failing  on my plan to achieve good health, then I won’t be expecting to take a long trip.  I am going to stop arguing with my friend the “health nut” about her ideas for developing a good diet.