California Agriculture in the Classroom

Give Me Five!

Grade Level(s)

3 - 5

Estimated Time

45 minutes


Students learn about the five food groups and what state-grown foods fit into each group. This lesson makes a local connection to good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.


Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)


commodity: a raw or primary agricultural product that can be bought or sold, such as hay, eggs, or cattle

Background - Agricultural Connections

The five dietary food groups are the building blocks for a healthy diet.  Recommendations are set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Food group guidelines were first introduced in 1916.  As our knowledge of healthy diets has increased, dietary recomendations including caloric intake and essential nutrients has evolved as well.  

The 5 dietary food groups include: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy.

Interest Approach – Engagement

  1. Begin by asking students if they have heard of food groups and if so, to raise their hand and share what they know.
  2. Project the Food Group Puzzle on the board and complete it as a class. Alternatively, you can print the puzzle for smaller groups of students to complete.
  3. As the students help you complete the puzzle, review the concepts taught. (There are 5 food groups, where each food is produced, common foods in each food group, and nutrients received.)


  1. Explain that food groups are collections of foods with similar nutritional benefits. Nutrition guidelines recommend daily servings from each group for a healthy diet.
  2. Ask students to name any food groups they know. List answers on the board. Fill in any of the five groups that are not mentioned.
  3. When all five groups are on the board, review them and discuss how each makes our bodies healthy.
  4. Ask students to name foods they like to eat in each group. Record answers on the board. In the end, there should be a list of the five food groups and foods in each group.
  5. Go over the Agricultural Commodities List worksheet and star or circle with a bright color all the foods grown in your state (or region).
  6. Tell students that farmers and ranchers in our state grow thousands of different types of crops and many of them are food we eat. If there are additional commodities grown or raised in your area add them to the list, or list them on the chalkboard.
  7. Tell students that each day they should eat from the five food groups for a healthy diet – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. Have them hold up one hand and list the five groups, one for each finger. After they list off the five groups, have them turn to a partner and give each other a high five. To help them remember the five food groups, students will be making a Give Me Five! hand.
  8. Each student will need to have a paper hand, a popsicle stick (pencils work too), tape and crayons or markers.
  9. On one side of the hand, students write the name of a food group on each finger. In the center of the palm they write “Exercise Daily.” (see example below).
  10. On the other side of the hand students should write/draw a state-grown food for each food group in the corresponding finger area (Ex: fruits/picture of blueberries).
  11. Have them write/draw their favorite exercise in the palm area. (See example below).
  12. Students cut out the hand then tape on a popsicle stick at the wrist area.
  13. When they are done, as a group repeat the five food groups.
  14. Have students take turns sharing their favorite local foods with the class.

Concept Elaboration and Evaluation

After conducting these activities, review the following key concepts:

We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!


Enriching Activities

Suggested Companion Resources


Tami Kerr

Organization Affiliation

Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation