Age Range: 7 - 11
By: Iclal Lawrence

This is a fun investigative science activity, which teaches children to look more carefully at food labelling. It is also an excellent way to exercise Maths as involves understanding the value of E numbers and their place between two other numbers. For example, to find what type of additive the E120 is, children will have to look between E100 to E180 which means it is a colour added into the food product. Apart from exercising maths, children also learn special words which are used in food labelling, which can be linked to literacy. Inputting the data on to the computer can follow the activity. This food investigation therefore involves science, literacy, numeracy and ICT. Personal, Social Health Education (PSHE) can be applied through this activity too. For example, learning about what additives do; in what type of food we find these additives; how does it affect our health; checking and reading the food labels - these are all important issues which can be raised through this activity as well.

How to set the activity:

Before you begin, you will need copies of the worksheet below, and the E Number reference sheet. You will also need to ask children to bring empty food packaging (including chocolate wrappers!).

Give out copies of the E Number reference sheet. Share the food packaging equally for each table. Children can now begin to gather data about the E Numbers which have been added to the food products. This information can be put onto the table on the worksheet (or they could make a table of their own to show their data). Once they filled their table, the activity can be followed by word processing the data on to the computer, which presents the children’s work professionally. This is a flexible activity, which can be broken down and adapted to various year groups in Key Stage 2 (ages 7 - 11) Science curriculum.


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Julie Mann

Great, just what I was looking for for a Science investigation with a year 5 class