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Art and Nutrition Lesson Plan

Author: Paul Heath

Year: 2015

Artform: Visual Art

Subjects: Science

Grade: 3rd

Duration: 3 sessions (45 minutes each)

Overview: This art lesson is built around the emphasis on nutrition for children, while also introducing art concepts which are important for art history appreciation.

Standards and Objectives

Students are introduced to the basic concepts of a still life based on principles of design and examples from art history.
Students are introduced to the importance of good nutrition as part of health sciences, including an introduction to the food pyramid. (Salt Lake City School District Healthy Lifestyles and Physical Education Standard)

Along with the fine art and content standards listed above, the language arts objectives include:

  1. Through videos and charts, students are exposed to vocabulary with regard to nutrition, healthy lifestyles and some art terms,
  2. Through paired discussions, students learn the names of our still life fruits and vegetables in other languages from their peers, and
  3. Students “frame” their drawn still life by writing a few sentences with regard to their still life, art knowledge and food. Students are encouraged to write in either English or their first language if they are EL students.



It is important to note that this lesson can span 3 studio sessions of 45 minutes/session. The buildup of background knowledge using the videos and charts regarding the food pyramid and food labels takes 10-15 minutes.

The pair-share activity which solicits students’ home language experience with the fruits and vegetables in the still life can also take between 10 and 15 minutes.


The art history overview and examples showing color pencil drawings and a finished student sample can also take about 10 minutes.


At the end of the first session, there is really only time to draw borders and do a quick block-in of the still life drawings using pencil. At the start of the second session, there is a quick review of drawing with color pencils (working light to dark and shading in the direction of the form) and the remainder of the time is devoted to studio drawing work and visual observations using color pencils.


It is during the 3rd week that students have about 15 minutes to finish their drawings and another 10-15 minutes to write their thoughts (including using home languages if desirable). The final 15 minutes are a chance for students to visually and orally share their drawings and observations with the other students. A friendly reminder about the food pyramid, paying attention to food labels and making healthy food choices concludes the lesson.

Using videos and charts students are introduced to the importance of good nutrition as part of health sciences, including an introduction to the food pyramid. (See specific materials list above for resources.)
  • How does the experience of food unite us across cultures?
  • How have artists from different times and cultures drawn food in different styles?
Students compose their still life drawings in their own unique ways, share and make personal observations both orally and in writing.
  • Food Pyramid
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Healthy
  • Still Life
Examples of still life drawings, beginning with the Dutch Still Life tradition from the 1600’s.
Writing component where students write their thoughts around the border of their drawings as a personal assessment and reflection.


  • 12x18” drawing paper
  • Pencils, color pencils
  • Food Pyramid Chart
  • Food Label Examples
  • Fruits and Vegetables for Still Life


  • Jan Davidszoon de Heem, Dutch Still Life Tradition
  • Paul Cezanne, Father of Impressionism
  • Ralph Goings, 20th Century Photo-Realist Painter