Lesson Plan

Unit Two Subsistence: Nutrition and Health

Word cloud with key words from Unit 2  Made in Taxedo.com
Word cloud with key words from Unit 2 Made in Taxedo.com

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Health, History, Language Arts, Nutrition, Reading, Social Studies, Writing
45-60 Minutes
Group Size:
Up to 24
National/State Standards:
Social Studies:
Fourth Grade
Eighth Grade
8.1.1 ,8.1.2 

Language Arts: (writing)
Fourth Grade
Eighth Grade


Changes in nutritional habits play an important role in overall health and well being.  As dietary habits of the Three Affiliated Tribes (TAT) changed from their traditional high vegetable/ high protein diets to those more inclined to high carbohydrates/ high fat, diabetes incidence rose to the rates observed today with at least 89% of TAT members expected to have some form of diabetes by age 55.


Students will:
Discuss health and subsistence in the context of the Three Affiliated Tribes perspective.
Prepare a nutritious bowl of corn soup.


The teacher will need to provide a slow cooker or large pot and source of heat to make corn soup. Also be sure there are small dishes and serving utensils available when the soup is served.

Save the last word for me is a discussion format controlled by the students rather than directed by the teacher. The small-group setting is more inviting to students who are reluctant to talk in front of an entire class, and in addition, gives them time to rehearse their comments by writing their thoughts on index cards.

Students are given an opportunity to adopt a more reflective stance as they read.
tudents are encouraged to talk about things in the reading that they personally connect to.
Students are able to hear classmates' views before offering their own, which gives them the chance to adjust their comments and reflect on ideas before expressing them to others.


Fresh ears of corn
Note cards
Student notebooks
Myfitnesspal.com free calorie counter
Corn Soup Recipe



Students will each have four or five index cards with information on them related to health and subsistence
Students ask and answer questions during group discussion.
Students make a culturally significant and healthy pot of Corn soup.

Park Connections

During the Knife River Indian Villages years, the people ate healthy foods and lived more active lifestyles. After relocating to areas that were less favorable for agriculture, they became more sedentary and began to adopt more European-like eating habits including eating commodities and in more modern times fast foods.


GoDigital by visiting myfitnesspal.com and assist students with developing healthy habits of diet and exercise. The app for iPad is free and easy to use.

Gardening is a wonderful community activity and makes a great after school project. Students could research different gardening methods and plant a garden. Or invite a gardener to come and plant a garden with them at the school. 

Another idea might be to plant seeds in early spring in paper cups and let students bring seedlings home to try to grow them.  This makes a great journaling activity if they monitor the progress of their seedlings from start to harvest.

Additional Resources

Recipe for corn soup

Book: Story of Corn

Book: Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden

Website: www.mhanation.com

Myfitnesspal app for iPad


Diabetes, tribal government, dialysis, commodities, federal surplus, Indian Taco, PowWow, corn soup

Last updated: April 10, 2015