How do you eat like an Arctic explorer?

Lesson overview

Students learn about diet and the importance of a balanced diet through the experiences of polar explorers. Using creativity and scientific research skills, students will create a menu suitable for an Arctic expedition.

The lesson is introduced by Fran Orio, a specialist polar cook, who can make amazing meals in the most extreme circumstances.

Learning outcomes

  • Link calories to the energy in food
  • Use scientific vocabulary correctly
  • Describe the role of carbohydrate, fat and protein in the body
  • Describe the conditions in the Arctic
  • Describe some of the difficulties of surviving in the Arctic
  • Design a diet for a polar explorer
  • Explain the differences between your diet and a polar explorer’s diet

Lesson steps

  1. Ann’s food bag video (10 mins)
    Use the video to set the context and ask students if they would enjoy Ann’s diet of chocolate, cake and nuts! Use the slides to share the learning outcomes.
  2. What is a diet? (10 mins)
    Students learn the meaning of the key words and the role of different nutrients using the slides.
  3. What is an Arctic diet? (10 mins)
    To stimulate ideas, students try pemmican, an example of food eaten by explorers.
    Using the slides, students consider how conditions in the Arctic could affect explorers’ diets.
  4. My polar menu (25 mins)
    Students research calories per gram of common foods and use this to plan a menu for Arctic explorers.
  5. Self-reflection (5 mins)
    Using slides, students consider how they learnt using their eyes, ears and bodies.