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Vegans Among Us


  • Project TitleVegans Among Us
  • ThemeThe positive aspects of veganism.
  • Submitted ByDanielle Doucet, Paul Parillo, Kathrine Watkevich
  • OrganizationMount Wachusett Community College
  • Brief DescriptionStudents in MCAS Prep Bio, ELA and Math classes explore positive aspects of being a vegan.
  • Materials / ResourcesInternet access; access to school TV studio.
  • Team membersDanielle Doucet, Paul Parillo, Aurea Rivera, Kathrine Watkevich
  • Pre-requisite knowledgeBasic reading skills
  • Technical support neededAssistance with and access to school TV studio.
  • Any modifications or extensions for particular student populations?Students were surveyed as to food allergies.

Key Questions

  • Key QuestionsWhat does being a `vegan` mean? What are some positive aspects for an individual, and the world, to being a vegan?
  • Connections: How or why was this topic identified? Why is it meaningful?Students in the Bio, ELA and Math MCAS prep classes planned, cooked and shared a Thanksgiving meal together. At that time it was learned that a staff member follows a vegan approach in her daily life. Students wanted to learn more about being a vegan and the positive effects an individual`s decisions can have on the world.
  • Background Research: What resources were used to find background information for this project?veganet-
    The film "A Life Connected: Vegan. For the People. For the Planet. For the Animals"


    Web Link:

  • Outcomes: What was the outcome? How was it shared or applied in the community?Students had a better understanding of the parameters of vegan living, and the positive affects it can have in the world. During one week, public service announcements were made during the school`s morning news program to that effect.

Units / Activities

  • The vegan lifestyle:the consequences of an animal based diet.Students were introduced to the theme by watching a brief video, "A Life Connected: Vegan. For the People. For the Planet. For the Animals" (see reference page). Then students were grouped and jigsawed to compare the environments of domestic and natural animals to see how evolved physical traits were used/not used (see reference page); reflected on quotes to challenge their personal values(handout); discussed consumer demand

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/Jigsaw grouping cards & quotes for one-pager.docx

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/BioMagnification.docx

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/Superbug Prompt.docx

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/Fact or Myth.docx

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/Nutritional Pamphlet.docx

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/Algae Bloom.docx

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/ENERGY IN A SALT MARSH.docx

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/References Veganism Unit.docx

  • ELA: Raising awareness of the benefits of vegan ism through public service announcements. 3 class periods; 5 morning announceents.Students were introduced to the theme by watching a brief video, "A Life Connected: Vegan. For the People. For the Planet. For the Animals". Students used Vegan Pre-reading and Research Prompts to initiate the writing process(see attached); drafted, edited, redrafted and finalized PSA`s, including reading aloud/rehearsing the daily PSA, ending with the on-air reading each day."A Life Connected: Vegan. For the People. For the Planet. For the Animals"Allow for class time in the library/computer lab; obtain the requirements/parame-ters for morning announcements; schedule dates with media coordinator/TV studio for students to `rehearse` and make the actual announcements.

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/vegan pre-reading and research prompts.doc

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/vegan psa.doc

  • "Show Me The Money" The cost effectiveness vs. health benfitis of an animal based diet.The students watched a short video "A Life Connected: Vegan, For the people, For the planet, For the animals". The students then discussed a Vegan Apple Crisp recipe as compared to similar non-Vegan recipe. The caloric and nutritional value of each recipe was determined as well as increasing the amount of servings from the original. A Venn Diagram was used for this activity. See attachmentsSee attachment of recipes and Venn Diagram
  •  /project215_2124/venn-diagram-2-sets.gif

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/Vegan Apple Crisp.doc

    Web Link: http://

    View/Download File: /project215_2124/Just Like Mom apples.doc

Instructional Techniques

  • Jigsaw notes; reflective writing; movies; reinforcement worksheets; labs; drawing diagrams; designing educational pamphletStudents took notes on cows and chickens using the jigsaw format(see references for source of notes); reflected on their personal values by choosing a quote to reflect on in a one-pager activity; created a short story with a mandatory first sentence; watched clips from "The Inconvenient Truth"; reinforcement worksheets on biomagnification and Red Tide; drew diagrams of the greenhouse effect; designed pamphlets explaining how to correctly follow the vegan diet.
  • Writing and research prompts; drafting, editing and finalizing PSA`s. Rehearsing reading PSA`s.Students used handout to begin writing and research process, compiling information and editing down to areas of focus; rehearsed presentation of PSA`s, then read them during morning announcements.
  • Review and discuss recipes with attention to calories, nutrition and cost.Students were divided into two groups to determine which of the recipes they would like to research and prepare. Once that was established, the students were taken to the cooking room where they tripled the ingredients to accommodate all three MCAS classes of Biology, English and Math. After the crisps were baked a tasting was conducted as to student preferences. The results of the poll were 50% for Vegan and 50% for non-Vegan crisps.

Assessment Techniques

  • Reinforcement worksheets, labs,PamphletInformal assessment of students were: the quality of the jigsaw notes, and understanding communicated through the reinforcement worksheets (Biomagnification and Algae Bloom). Formal assessments were; the lab (Energy in a Salt Marsh), and the Nutritional Pamphlet students designed.
  • Observe student interaction as research and information is gathered and integrated in answer to each research prompt. Informal poll of peers after PSA`s have been read.Students are observed as they collaborate and interact during pre-writing and research, as well as during creation and process of PSA`s.
  • Observation of students eating their crisps and a poll of their findings.Students were observed as they ate the crisps and facial expressions were noted. Occasionally a frown indicated a dislike for the sample. As a follow-up to the project another Venn Diagram was made to categorize their preferences.

Frameworks / Skills

  • Math Frameworks (7-8)
    Compare, order, estimate, and translate among integers, fractions and mixed numbers (i.e., rational numbers), decimals, and percents.8.N.2
    (Math Frameworks (7-8))
  • ELA Frameworks (HS)
    Identify and practice techniques such as setting time limits for speakers and deadlines for decision-making to improve productivity of group discussions.For example, in preparation for a student council meeting, students plan an agenda for discussion, including how long they will allow each speaker to present a case or argument. They build into their agenda time for making decisions and taking votes on key issues.
    (ELA Frameworks (HS))
  • Math Frameworks (7-8)
    Determine when an estimate rather than an exact answer is appropriate and apply in problem situations.
    (Math Frameworks (7-8))
  • Math Frameworks (7-8)
    Select and use appropriate operations
    (Math Frameworks (7-8))
  • ELA Frameworks (HS)
    Give formal and informal talks to various audiences and for various purposes using appropriate level of formality and rhetorical devices.
    (ELA Frameworks (HS))
  • ELA Frameworks (HS)
    Deliver formal presentations for particular audiences using clear enunciation and appropriate organization, gestures, tone, and vocabulary.
    (ELA Frameworks (HS))
  • Math Frameworks (7-8)
    Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and apply formulas and procedures for determining measures, including those of area and perimeter/circumference of parallelograms, trapezoids, and circles. Given the formulas, determine the surface area and volume of rectangular prisms, cylinders, and spheres. Use technology as appropriate.
    (Math Frameworks (7-8))
  • ELA Frameworks (HS)
    Use general dictionaries, specialized dictionaries, thesauruses, or related references as needed to increase learning.
    (ELA Frameworks (HS))
  • ELA Frameworks (HS)
    Identify and use correctly new words acquired through study of their different relationships to other words.
    (ELA Frameworks (HS))
  • ELA Frameworks (HS)
    Identify, describe, and apply all conventions of standard English.
    (ELA Frameworks (HS))
  • ELA Frameworks (HS)
    Identify content-specific vocabulary, terminology, or jargon unique to particular social or professional groups.
    (ELA Frameworks (HS))
  • Math Frameworks (HS)
    Given the formula, find the lateral area, surface area, and volume of prisms, pyramids, spheres, cylinders, and cones, e.g., find the volume of a sphere with a specified surface area.
    (Math Frameworks (HS))
  • Math Frameworks (HS)
    Relate changes in the measurement of one attribute of an object to changes in other attributes, e.g., how changing the radius or height of a cylinder affects its surface area or volume.
    (Math Frameworks (HS))
  • Math Frameworks (HS)
    Describe the effects of approximate error in measurement and rounding on measurements and on computed values from measurements.
    (Math Frameworks (HS))
  • ELA Frameworks (HS)
    Create media presentations that effectively use graphics, images, and/or sound to present a distinctive point of view on a topic.For example, in preparation for a local election, students in a television production class prepare for a debate among the candidates. They write an introductory script and questions for the candidates, then plan how they will use three cameras: a wide-angle view of all candidates on stage; a close-up view of each candidate for answers and reaction shots; and reaction shots of the audience.
    (ELA Frameworks (HS))

Tags = cooking | environment | biology | vegan | nutrition | Subject = ELA, Mathematics, Science | Grade Level = HS | Time Period = | Program/Funding = 596/597 |
Direct website link to this project: