Are Kids' Menus a Good Idea?

Lots of children like the food choices. But is it wise to always eat the same not-so-healthy items?

Lexile Level: 810L / Guided Reading Level: Q / DRA Level: 40

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Learning Objective

Students will take a side on an engaging topic while practicing opinion writing.

Featured Skill

Main Idea and Supporting Details

Key Skills

Main idea and supporting details, opinion writing

Standards Correlations

This article and lesson support the following standards:

Common Core anchor standards: R.1, R.2, R.6, R.8, W.1, SL.1

TEKS: 3.14, 3.21

Teaching Materials

Activity Sheets

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Write an Opinion Essay
What Do You Think?

Lesson plan

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Have students preview the text features. Ask:

  • What are the two opinions people might have about this topic?
  • What is the topic of the debate? (Prompt students to use the debate title and the heading on the chart as clues.)
  • Depending on the reading level of your students, read the debate as a class or break the class into groups.
  • Have students read the debate a second time. Prompt them to highlight evidence supporting each side as they come across it. Using two different colors of highlighters would be useful here.
  • As a class or in groups, have students discuss:
    • Which opinion has the best evidence to support it?
    • Is one side stronger than the other? Why?
    • What is your opinion? What evidence helped you form your opinion?
  • For more advanced readers: Do you think the author has an opinion on this issue? What is your evidence?

Teaching Extras

The First Kids' Menus

Fun fact: The first kids’ menu was offered at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City in 1921. Your students might get a kick out of this menu from the 1930s (Consomme! Lamb chop!). Be sure to point out the crazy-low prices, too.

Healthy Choice Incentives?

Executive Editor Kara Corridan brought her daughters to a restaurant in Hawaii known for its innovative kids’ menu: Children get points for ordering healthy items—which they can “cash” in for an ice cream or cookie! That could be another topic to discuss: Is a treat a good incentive for making healthy choices?

Fast Food Nutrition

For more information on the nutrition of kids’ menu fare, check out this helpful collection of charts. This covers kids’ meals from fast food restaurants. Your students might just learn something about how to replace an unhealthy option with a healthier one!

Debates in the Classroom

This teacher’s hands-on, creative approach to teaching our debates is simple, doable, and super-fun! Check it out on the Storyworks Ideabook.

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From The Editor

We'd love to hear your feedback! Read a welcome letter from Kara, Executive Editor of Storyworks Jr.

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