You Are What You Eat

Experience a hands-on activity that enables them to sort, classify, and interpret their findings.  

Activity Idea 
Participate in a zany archaeological dig through a preselected pile of everyday trash.

Materials & Equipment
Butcher block paper
Plastic gloves
Glue sticks

Activity Steps
Your challenge, as a table, is to sort through a pile of garbage and classify the “artifacts” that you find (ex. type of food product, common ingredients etc.).

  1. Sort and classify the “artifacts”.
  2. Trace the body of one of your table colleagues on large sheet of butcher block paper.
  3. Using the sorted artifacts, construct an illustration of an eater/consumer of the waste by placing the artifacts within the traced drawing.   
  4. Tape/ Glue your artifacts to the illustration.
  5. Label and organize according to you interpretation of the data you collected.
  6. Share your project!


  • What evidence would you find in the trashcans in your centers?  What might the trash say about the eating habits of young people?
  • What did you see happening in your groups?
  • How well did your group work together?  What about when there were disagreements?
  • What were the discoveries?
  • What conclusions were drawn?