The Mighty Micronutrients

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    Micronutrients are essential to human bodies, but are only needed in small amounts. Guide your students to a deeper understanding of these necessary nutrients by using the two activities in this lesson. In the first activity, a jigsaw exercise, students will learn about micronutrients: how our bodies obtain them, how much we need, and the effects of too many or too few micronutrients. Students will conduct individual research and then reconvene to teach their peers. Students will then track their food intake, compute their micronutrient intake, and compare their intake to US Recommended Daily Intakes.


    Biology, Health, Nutrition

    Grade Level:


    Estimated Time:

    Part 1 – Mighty Micronutrients, a jigsaw activity (one or two 50-minute classes)

    Part 2 – Am I Getting All My Micros? Personal Intake and Micronutrient Analysis

    • Introduction (20 minutes)
    • Data collection (homework)
    • Data analysis: computing RDI values and questions (50 minute class or homework)

    Materials Needed:

    Part 1: Mighty Micronutrients

    • Copies of Mighty Micronutrient Instructions, Mighty Micronutrients Data Sheets
    • Understanding My Micros worksheet
    • Online or printed information about micronutrients

    Part 2: Am I Getting All My Micros?

    • Copies of Personal Intake Analysis worksheets and Personal Intake Analysis Log
    • Meter stick, scale, computer with internet access
    • Printed copies of Reference DRI charts


    • Students will read multiple sources for essential details, take notes, and teach their peers.
    • Students will explain what micronutrients, recommended daily allowances, and tolerable upper limits are and why they are important.
    • Students will describe the consequences of over- or under- consumption of macronutrients.
    • Students will collect data and analyze that data in reference to US dietary standards.
    • Students will evaluate the validity of their data collection methods.

    Concepts Covered:

    Micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, nutrient deficiencies, Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Iodine, Folate, Zinc and Vitamin B-12


    Molly Holden and Susan Dodge, M.S. Ed for Creative Curriculum