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Insect Superfood: Two Sources + Cheat Notes

Entomophagy is the human consumption of insects as food.

While we were in Mexico last summer, my husband and I tried avocado toast with crickets at La Gruta, a restaurant near Teotihuacán, Mexico. There tasty! This week’s sources for remote learning (during COVID-19 pandemic) are on this high interest topic. Geared towards 2nd-5th grade. I’ve included a cheat sheet with main ideas & details that are similar for you to reference as you plan and as you examine students’ responses as well as a sample think aloud for a mini-lesson.

Source # 1 Video: Eating Insects by National Geographic (3:35 mins)

Candy apples rolled in mealworms? This is a quick and fun video that explores how the owner of a candy store is trying to change people’s minds about the value of insects and worms as a food.

Source #2 Online article: Insects – the new superfood! By CBC Kids (Canada Media Fund)

This article highlights the benefits of eating insects — in kid-friendly language and reveals how companies are trying to make more insect-based foods available.

Cheat Notes you can reference as you plan and assess

Quick notes you can reference to see how details from both sources can be integrated to support three main ideas–1) obstacles to eating insects 2) benefits of eating insects 3) increased availability of insect food.

Tip: Think Aloud for students about how you make sense of details from both sources

Students need to see and hear us think aloud about how two sources are similar or different. Once students have had a chance to view and read the sources (Phase 1 Meet the Source), consider demonstrating how you go about thinking about both sources (Phase 2 Meet the Strategies).

Sample think aloud:

As I was thinking about both of these sources and how they are alike and different, I noticed that they share some of the same big ideas. For example, they both talk about why people in the U.S.A. and Canada don’t eat insects. I’m going to jot this idea down. (Pause to jot.) I can’t remember the exact details so I’m going to go back and watch the video and read the article again. Let’s start with the video. As I watch I’m going to be asking myself, “What am I learning about why people do not eat insects?” Will you watch with me and give me a thumbs up when you hear a detail that supports the main idea I just wrote?

Engage students in a shared writing of details you all notice in the video.

Then engage in the same experience with the article. Read aloud the first paragraph and then maybe think aloud like this:

I noticed that the author said I might think eating insects is “gross.” I do! And I’m thinking that’s why I don’t eat insects or people don’t eat insects. This detail is very similar to what we heard in the video when the candy store owner said that people “think they won’t like insects” so both sources include this detail. I’m going to include this detail from the article with my notes from the video–I can combine these.

As a follow up to this experience, ask the students to work in small groups to identify another main idea (or you might provide another main idea) and to revisit the video/article for supporting details to make notes.

Challenge some students to find a third source and add additional details!

There’s lots of great content students could integrate into a written response (Phase 3 Meet the Response). Possible prompts:

  • In your opinion, should we eat (more) insects? Use details from the sources to support your thinking.
  • Write a letter to your guardian/mom/dad about why they need to include more insects in your meals at home. Use details from the sources to support your answer.
  • Create a plan for how your family might begin to eat more and more insects over time. Use details from the sources to support your ideas.

I’ve written three other blog entries that include multiple sources, cheat notes, and tips.

Driverless Cars: Three Sources + Cheat Notes

Space Junk: Two Sources + Cheat Notes

Animals: Easy Online Sources to Compare/Contrast

Hope this helps.


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