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Feast and Famine: Exploring Differences in Global Food Cultures

male nurse holding syringe over small baby
Lesson Plan Author(s): 
Ryan Welt
Food Disparity Between Cultures
Teaching Area: 
Social Studies
Grade Level: 
Teaching Level: 
Secondary Childhood
Origins Item(s): 

This lesson plan compares the growing trend of obesity that exists in the Global North to famine that is prevalent in parts of the Global South. It begins with an images activity meant to juxtapose ideas of obesity in the Global North, with the grim reality of famine that can exist in the Global South. This is done through contrasting cartoons satirizing obesity with images of the effects of famine. This leads into a think-pair-share activity where students will consider the question of how food cultures differ around the world. The bulk of the learning in this lesson plan is inquiry based and comes from students analyzing sources and answering questions about a series of stations. These stations include a map illustrating global caloric consumption, a chart highlighting countries with the largest changes in caloric consumption, and finally, the original article that highlights the effects of the food disparity around the world. Following this, students will discuss their findings from the stations before moving on to their exit ticket. For this, students will reflect on the simple question “Who gets to eat?”

Instructional Strategies:

  • Image Frontloading
  • Think Pair Share
  • Stations
  • Synthesis Discussion

Lesson Materials:

Key Words: 
Famine, Globalization, Food Culture