The object of this game is to demonstrate that energy is
taken into the body by eating foods, and that different foods provide different
amounts of energy. Energy is either used up or stored. We want to stress the
fact that storing food is not necessarily a bad thing.Although the energy unit values assigned to
the different foods are loosely based on their caloric values, this fact should
not be mentioned to the students. We want to ensure that the students do not
get the message that they need to count calories and then expend the amount of
calories they consume. Rather, we want them to realize that food contains
energy which is used by the body to perform physical activities. Energy that is
not used by physical activity is stored in the body.
You will need: 1 roll of tape per group (or per student, if
playing individually), 1 ruler per group (or per student, if playing individually),
scratch paper and pencils for the groups (or student), and 1 stack of Food
Cards per group (or per student, if playing individually).
Prepare the “field” by marking the width of one end of the
room or hallway with a long piece of tape. This is the starting line, so label
it as such with a marker.Measure 8 feet
(96 inches) from the starting line and mark the finish line, or “Energy Zone,”
with another long piece of tape the width of the field. Label it as the “Energy
Zone” with marker.Every 2 feet from the
starting line to the energy zone, make a long mark the width of the field with
tape, in order to give the students a better sense of the length of the field.
Mark on the tape the number of inches from the energy zone
that it is. For instance, the first line of tape from the starting line will
say “72 inches,” the second line will say “48 inches,” and the third line will
say “24 inches.” This will allow the students to get a better sense of how many
inches they still need to go to reach the Energy Zone.
the students to imagine that they are going to play a game of touch
football with their friends that evening. Playing a game of touch football
for about 25 minutes uses up a measure of 100 units of energy from their
that these energy units (EUs) get into the body through foods they eat,
and different foods contain more or less EUs than other foods.
that the game they are going to play right now is kind of like football,
and they are going to all start on one end of the “field” and try to get
to the other end, the end zone—or in this case, the “Energy Zone,” without
going too far beyond it.
will be given a stack of cards with different foods on them, and over the
course of the game they must pick 6 different foods to “eat.” They will
move across the field according to the EU value assigned to each food that
they choose to “eat,” where 1 EU = 1 inch.
again, stress that they want to get to the energy zone without going too
far beyond it, so they want to choose foods that will get them there, but
without going beyond it, if possible.
Since they must pick 6 foods, they have 6
“downs” to get into the energy zone (similar to the 4 downs needed for a
first down in football).
The students know the EU values
assigned to each food because the value is written on the backside of the food
cards. They will try to plan mathematically which foods to “eat” by combining 6
different foods with EU values equaling 100, or nearly 100.
The students do not know the
corresponding EU values assigned to the foods they choose to “eat.” The teacher
has a list of the foods and their EU values.Once the groups decide which food they want to “eat” at at a particular
down, the teacher tells them how many EUs the food contains and the students
move the corresponding number of inches.
the groups line up at the starting line.Hand each group their own stack of food cards (40 per stack).
Down -- give them a few minutes to pick their first food to “eat.”
on which scenario you are using, allow the students to use their rulers to
measure the distance their food’s EUs will take them.
the students place a small piece of tape on the floor to mark how far that
food took them, so they know where to measure from for their next food
Down – give the students a few minutes to pick the next food they want to
“eat,” stressing that they cannot
choose the same food, and they want to try to get to the energy zone
without going far beyond it.
until the 6th Down.
students to move beyond the energy zone (as far as the space you are
working in will allow), which will occur if they consistently choose foods
with high EU values.
students who get closest to the energy zone tape, with or without going
beyond it, are the winners.