The Grain Group & Bread Baking Lesson


Lesson Overview:

Students will learn about the important nutrients that the grain group provides (carbohydrates, fiber, iron, B vitamins) and why the grain group is known as the "energy group". Students then receive whole wheat bread dough to shape and decorate. The bread is then baked and eaten as a healthy snack!

Targeted Grade Level: K-3

Lesson Objectives:

  1. The student will recognize the grain group as the food group that provides the most energy to the body.
  2. The student will name at least two nutrients that the grain group provides.
  3. The students will shape and decorate bread dough in order to create a healthy grain group snack.

Lesson Flow:

  1. Have students (and adults) clean desk tops and wash their hands with antiseptic soap.
  2. Cut parchment paper in half (reserve 1 whole sheet for baking tray). Pass paper out as work space for students.
  3. Put on plastic or latex gloves. Pass out foods for each student: 1 bread dough ball, 8- 10 fig nuggets and a small amount of walnuts.
  4. Instruct students to twist, roll, knead and shape the dough into whatever they wish. Figs and walnuts are for decorating the dough once formed.
  5. Place uncut piece of parchment paper on large baking tray. When students are finished, have them bring up their dough and the instructor will write their name on the parchment paper by their roll.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 8-12 minutes if using school kitchen convection oven; 20 minutes at 350 degrees if using a conventional oven (cooking times vary with oven, so watch closely).
  7. Allow rolls to cool approximately 10 minutes. Pass out and enjoy!

Lesson Extension Ideas:

  1. For younger children, read The Little Red Hen before the activity. Discuss the stages of bread production from wheat to eat. Also, consider a coloring of grain products.
  2. Present the lesson with a multicultural emphasis. Include breads from around the world i.e.: tortilla, bagels, matzoth, rye bread, Indian flat breads, sourdough and french breads.
  3. Discuss refining and processing of grains (see vocabulary words below). Consider a field trip to a mill or large commercial bakery.
  4. Consider a central kitchen tour prior to this lesson to tie in the production of the bread dough.

Vocabulary Words:

  • Carbohydrate: An energy containing nutrient that is the body's primary fuel source.
  • Fiber: Indigestible carbohydrate that helps prevent bowel diseases and cancer.
  • Iron: A mineral in the blood that aids in the delivery of oxygen to all body cells.
  • Bran: The fiber containing part of the grain kernel.
  • Germ: The fat and nutrient rich part of the grain kernel.
  • Endosperm: The starchy part of the grain kernel.
  • Refined grains: Consists of the endosperm portion of the wheat kernel; bran and germ are removed during processing.
  • Enrichment: Required by law; refined grains much have the B-complex vitamins thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and iron added back to original whole grain levels.


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