Small Victories logo Dept of Family & Consumer Science logo Learner objectives
What you need
Lesson Content
Handout [html] [pdf]
Answers [html] [pdf]
•Evaluation [Word]
•Press Release [Word]
•Portion Size Kit [pdf]
•CD Label [pdf]
•Kit Sticker [pdf]
How Big is BIG?

Lesson Plan

Learner objectives

As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • evaluate the number of servings in super-sized portions of various foods
  • state that they plan to eat fewer super-sized portions in the future


What you need:
  • Handouts:
  • "How Big is BIG?!" quiz sheet - question side only for use as a worksheet
  • "How Big is BIG?!" quiz sheet - questions/answers printed back to back as take-home handout
  • Participant evaluation form - This is a Word document.
  • Soda pop containers:  8-ounce bottle, 12-ounce can, 64-ounce cup
  • Large muffin, approximately 6 ounces
  • Foam French fries and their containers:  small serving (approximately 27 fries) and large serving (approximately 96 fries) from Wendy's, Burger King, and McDonalds
  • Cookies:  giant (5 3/4" diameter x 3/8" thick) and regular sized (e.g., commercial chocolate chip)
    • Note:  This is the actual size of a giant cookie purchased on campus in Laramie.
  • Large brownie (4" x 2 3/4" x 1")
  • Bagel, approximately 5-6 ounces
  • Sugar cubes in 2 plastic zipper bags:  bag with 12 cubes (for 12-oz soda pop) and bag with 64 cubes (for 64-oz soda pop)
    • Note:  This lesson rounds up the amount of sugar in regular soda pop to be 1 cube or tsp. per ounce.  Although this is a bit high on average (most estimates are 10-12 tsp. of sugar per 12-oz can), it's very easy for learners to remember the 1 cube or tsp. per ounce conversion.  And whether you figure 53 cubes (using 10 tsp./12 oz) or 64 cubes (12 tsp./12 oz) in 64 oz of soda pop, either total is a very large amount!


Feel free to modify this activity and accompanying handout in terms of foods and portion sizes that may have more local meaning or are easier to access.  For example, a local steak house may feature a huge steak (e.g., 48 ounces) with an incentive that a person who eats the entire steak gets it free.  Modify the handout accordingly.


Time Content/Suggestions Learning Reinforcer
3-5 min. Introduce the activity by discussing the trend in ever larger portion sizes of many foods.  Note the generally small increase in price for a much larger portion of food.  Ask for audience thoughts, experiences, and/or reactions.  
10-20 min. Distribute the single-sided handout.  Divide learners into groups of 2-4 individuals.  Give each group one of the food items and ask them to discuss and answer the quiz question related to their food item.  As groups complete their task, have them trade food items so every group works on all the questions and food items.  Encourage discussion and reflection by all members within each group. Handout:  "How Big is BIG?!" - question side only
Props:  Items listed under "What you need"
10-15 min. Distribute the double-sided handouts but ask that participants look at the answers to each question (on the back) only after that item is discussed.  Ask for a spokesperson from each group to share his/her group's findings about one of the food items.  Discuss all food items. Handout:  "How Big is BIG?!" - both sides
5 min. Questions, wrap-up, and evaluation. Handout:  Evaluation form
  Reinforce the bottom lineWe may think we're "getting a good deal" with titanic-sized portions, but we're doing it at the expense of our health and the health of our family and friends.  If you purchase a large sized item, split it several ways to take home the remainder to eat later.  


Developed Suzy Pelican and Vicki Hayman for Small Victories, a mini-lesson series promoting positive food, physical activity, and body image attitudes and behaviors.  Small Victories reflects the mission and principles of WIN Wyoming, a multi-agency, multi-state network that promotes healthy lifestyles instead of a specific body size, shape, or weight.  WIN Wyoming is coordinated through Department of Family & Consumer Sciences, University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.  0606
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Glen Whipple, Director, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.  Persons seeking admission, employment, or access to program of the University of Wyoming Shall be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, political belief, veteran status, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact their local UW CES Office.  To file a complaint, write the UW Employment Practices/Affirmative Action Office, University of Wyoming, P.O. Box 3434, Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3434.  The University of Wyoming and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperate.
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Updated on 10/17/2006