Can we learn from the past?

Can we learn from the past?

1. Real Life Situation

I get pocket money each week. I can decide to buy some things for myself or save my money to buy a big thing for myself. Last year I saved all my money to buy a new bicycle for myself. This year I have decided to spend all my money every week. This week I bought some sweets, a magazine and on Friday I am going to the cinema with my friends.

But I have a dilemma, next month it is my big sister’s birthday. Last year she bought me a new radio for my birthday which I like a lot. I want to buy something nice for my sister but it will cost a lot of money. My sister likes weird stuff; she is really interested in the environment and does not like things that cause pollution. Hmmmm...what can I buy her that is not too expensive and helps the environment. I will ask some friends for advice. Maybe my grandparents will have some good ideas, they are always saying how much better it was in their childhood!

2. Introduction


Supermarket_vegetables_kleinI like to eat fresh brocolli. The only problem is that when my mum buys brocolli, we usually have to eat it the same day because otherwise it starts to wither and wilt. You can also buy frozen brocolli which is much better because then you can use what you need and store the rest in the freezer.







3. Task


You will investigate how people preserved food in the past and how food is preserved now.
You will also learn how to preserve your own food.







4. Activities

Activity 1: How can we keep food for longer?

Activity 2: Preserving food in the past

Activity 3: Supermarket sweep

Activity 4: Making jam



 Activity 1: How can we keep food for longer?



Work in small groups of 3 or 4.

In your group discuss the following questions.  If you are unsure of the answer use the internet to help you.

1.    What is preserving?
2.    What happens to food if you do not preserve it?
3.    How did people preserve food in the past? (You may find some more information here).
4.    How do we preserve food today? Write down five different ways of preserving food.



 Activity 2: Preserving food in the past


Imagine life without a fridge - how would you preserve your food?  You are going to interview someone who did not have a fridge when they were younger, perhaps your grandparents or family friend, and ask them how they preserved their food.


Create a list of questions to ask in your interview.

Carry out the interview and record your results.  Prepare a short report to discuss with the rest of the class.


 Activity 3: Supermarket sweep

Next time your family visits the supermarket you are going to investigate different food products and their preservation . Before you go to the supermarket you need to prepare, so think now about two products you want to investigate.

Remember that your chosen products should be preserved in different ways.

For example, have you ever eaten a vegetable both fresh and from a can?

When you go to the supermarket look at the different ways your chosen food item is packaged and complete the worksheet

You may need to check different aisles to find your food product.


 Activity 4: Making jam


As a class you are going to be making jam - wait for your teacher's instructions.

Or write instructions on how to make jam.

First you will need a recipe - what sort of flavour jam will you make?

5. Reflection

Write down three things you have learnt about where people shop.

Write down two things you would like to find out more about.

Choose one of these things, how could you find out more about it?

Consumption learning wall

6. Conclusion



You know how people preserved food in the past and how we preserve food today.
You also know how to make your own jam.

7. Teacher notes

Age: 11 and 12


Total time: 100 min

Activity 1: How can we keep food (20 minutes)  
Activity 2: Preserving food in the past (20 minutes)
Activity 3: Supermarket sweep (30 minutes)
Activity 4: Making jam (30 minutes)

Curriculum / Subject (cross-curricular links):

Food technology


Learning Objectives:

By the end of the webquest all students will:

Be able to name the different preservation methods

Have prepared and carried out an interview

Follow a recipe or write instructions


Some further resource materials can be found here:


Teacher assesment framework