Pink Slime?!? A teachable moment indeed!!!!


This past week there has been a lot of talk about…

PINK SLIME!!!

The buzz about this whole Ammonium hydroxide food additive, affectionately know as “pink slime” is clearly pretty much gross.  The fact that McDonald’s is actually healthier then a school lunch in terms of the pink slime scale is down right disturbing. I won’t even lie – I have a secret love of a steamed school cheeseburger and let my daughter eat school lunch everyday (though that is being reconsidered).  And while I am dealing with the idea of putting something in my body that looks like it came out of a Ghostbuster

movie – the reality is – Pink Slime is a teachable moment indeed…how you ask???  Read on – and hear how my school is going to use this wonderful ousted dirty secret of American Schools as a catalyst for teaching!!!

Several years ago the Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock craze hit hard.  For the kids in my school McDonald’s is a food group in and of its self so we decided that one of the best ways to reel the kids in was to get them to think about what they eat.   The unit of study was a persuasive essay unit that revolved around the book Chew On This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food by Charles Wilson and the movie Super Size Me became mentor pieces as the students learned about the food they eat and then began an intensive project in the food that we put into our body and the effects of eating such foods.

Now with the revelation that “Pink Slime” may very well be in the lunch that the students eat – the teachable moments are endless and so cross curricular…

  • LITERACY – A letter writing campaign to the superintendent (or in the case of NYC the chancellor) petitioning against the use of the additive (regardless of whether or not the food product is considered safe)
  • SCIENCE – A science lab into what “pink slime” really
  • SOCIAL STUDIES – A intensive geography project of where “pink slime” is banned and not banned or the ways in which it moves around the globe or the history of “pink slime” or a study of the countries that ban or do not ban pink slime
  • MATHEMATICS – An in-depth graph and analysis of the use of “pink slime”
  • HEALTH –  The effects of “pink slime” on the body
  • ART – A sculpture or painting project depicting “pink slime” and its effect on people, industry, society

Their is so much that can be done with one article and the ways in which you can infuse one topic into all the different content areas really just shows that something as news worthy as pink slime not just a simple news story, it is a teachable moment, and a way to meet the ever growing demand to bridge the real world with the class…therefore I say bring on the SLIME!!!!

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