Science Year 3 Biology Strand: Animals, including humans


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Science Year 3 Biology Strand: Animals, including humans

This plan makes reference to session resources that can be downloaded at

Session B

Balanced diet

Programme of study: Identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat

Working scientifically

Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings and labelled diagrams

Report on findings

Resources needed

Two pieces of coloured paper for each child - diff colour for each group. Scissors, glue sticks, large sheets of paper to stick food pictures on. A range of food packaging showing the different food groups and traffic light labels. Access to internet. A visitor with unfamiliar diet or a restaurant owner

Whole class teaching: (links to Sessions 1 & 2, Eat Up & Feet Up Theme, Healthy Me Topic & Session 4, Citius, Altius, Fortius Theme, LKS2 Olympics Topic)

Ask chn about how many of the correct food group names they can remember from last session. Look at some volunteers’ lunch boxes and decide which food groups the contents come from. Were these foods from plants or animals? Remind chn that plants can make their own food, but that animals need to get their food by eating plants or other animals. Most people eat both plants & animals, but some people have special diets. Possibly invite a visitor into the classroom who has an unfamiliar diet, e.g. vegan, vegetarian, or a restaurant owner who would be willing to discuss their diet/menu with the chn in relation to the different food groups.

Discuss in more detail why the foods in the different food groups are important for a balanced diet. Use the Food Group Vocabulary sheet in Session A resources. Explain that we need food for energy and food for growth and discuss the health issues. This discussion needs to be handled carefully as chn sometimes do not have much control over what they eat. Watch videos about a balanced diet at & Individual food groups are also described in clips such as, (carbohydrates & fibre) & (proteins).
Discuss what ‘going on a diet’ means. Ask Why do some people do this? How can they ensure they are still eating a balanced diet? Explain that other people have to be careful about what they eat due to allergies, e.g. peanut allergy, or due to food intolerance, e.g. gluten (coeliac disease), when the body isn’t producing enough of the chemicals needed to breakdown particular foods. There may be chn in the class with allergies that they would be willing to discuss or you can see Rebecca’s story at (longer than normal clip at over 7 min).

Group activities:

Adult-led activity:

Revisit the problems that can be caused by not having a balanced diet. Then put chn into groups of varying sizes to make illustrations for a large food pyramid chart, e.g. 2 chn to draw pictures of foods with fats, sugars and oils, 4 chn for proteins, 9 chn for fruit and vegetables and 15 chn for carbohydrates. Give each child two pieces of coloured paper (diff colour for each group) to illustrate and label lots of different foods from their group. They need to make sure they do not repeat pictures. Mount illustrations in pyramid with appropriate labels or arrange according to your chn’s ideas.

Independent activity:

Using ideas from the food pyramid and the school dinners from last session design and label a healthy balanced meal that you would enjoy (session resource). Extension: Design & label a healthy balanced meal for a vegetarian (session resource).

Independent activity

Visit & then try the activity at


Show chn some food packaging with the various food groups listed. Explain how the tables are arranged and what the traffic light system of labelling indicates – see Visit & discuss food miles. Look at the concept maps chn drew in Session A – have they answered all their questions? NB Point out that they will look at digestion & teeth in detail in Year 4 and at the diets of other animals.

I can:

1. Explain what a balanced diet is.

2. Understand that some people may have different diets due to preference, allergies or intolerance to certain foods.

© Original plan copyright Hamilton Trust, who give permission for it to be adapted as wished by individual users We refer you to our warning, at the top of the You Will Need document, about links to other websites

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