The Brain Food Pyramid

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You’ve probably heard about using the food pyramid to keep a healthy diet, but what about getting balanced nutrition for your brain?

Instead of the same old genre review, my fourth graders are exploring the Brain Food Pyramid this week – the secret to a balanced diet for your brain 🧠 Together, we took a look at the brain food pyramid I created for myself, filled with genres that I love and genres that challenge me. Students had the opportunity to teach the class about the genre featured in each block. Then I asked them: What’s missing in my pyramid that you’d like to see in yours? What goes in your brain food pyramid: genres, formats, moods, subjects? What do you have an excess of in your reading diet? What do you need more of to be a healthier reader?

This quirky lesson really got students thinking about genre and their reading lives differently. One reader said about nonfiction, “I don’t really like the taste of that food group. But I know I need it to get smarter… like broccoli.” 🥦 It was a great conversation starter about challenging yourself… and about the merits of eating broccoli!

What tools do you use to get your students thinking about genre, variety, and a “balanced reading diet”?

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