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6. Environmental psychology of food

Activity Description

This is a two-part lesson that can be broken up into different days if necessary. The first part (A) is a guest speaker lecture and discussion led by an environmental psychology CUNY PhD student. The second part (B) is a show and tell by the teacher of sticky rice tea from China, followed by a smell-panel (think taste panel but just judging aroma) and an analysis of the data.

Estimated Time of Activity

Each part, A, and B, requires 30-45 minutes.

Activity Objectives

Students will be able do the following as a result of the activity:

  1. ...have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of environmental psychology as a field, and an understanding of what one researches as an environmental psychologist
  2. …know where Yunnan Province is, and how many ethnic groups are in China, and they will understand the goals of the ecotourism industry in China centered on exploring ethnic diversity
  3. …understand the concept of species replacement and that not all plants are safe (reinforcing last week's discussion on FDA approval)

Activity Prerequisites

Students should have seen that not all plants are approved safe for consumption, based on the last week field trip. Try to segue into environmental health hazards and one hazard being bad food, and that that is related to poor food access, and these issues are explored through environmental psychology and food quality and safety research.

Activity Instructions

  1. Introduce the theme of the day, the guest speaker, and tell the students to take notes.
  2. Guest speaker makes a 15 minute powerpoint presentation, and then has a discussion of Q and A with the students.
  3. 5 min break
  4. Introduce the problem of fake sticky rice tea in China (see article here on sticky rice tea). 10 min.
  5. Pass around samples of tea for students to look at. See if the students can tell which is which sample based on their appearance.
  6. Make a cup of tea from each of the six tea samples. Put one cup at each table (station). Add this sheet to each table.
  7. Have students go from station to station, spending a few minutes at each station (20 minutes to complete all 6 stations)
  8. If you have time, make a wordcloud of the results by writing the word on the board for each tea relative to the total number of votes for that descriptor.
  9. Discuss if people think they can group the plants into two kinds based on scent, which may represent real and imposter.

Assessment

None, just participation in the activities.

Assignments

In class.

Materials

(A) If the guest speaker has a presentation that requires audio or visual equipement, plan with them on what they need.

(B) Have hot water and 6 labeled cups available. Label cups 1-6. Have a whiteboard and markers for drawing on the board.

Instructor’s Notes

See hyperlinked words above.