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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, English Language Arts

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Food Waste Reading Comprehension

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  • This reading comprehension activity teaches students about food waste, food loss, and what can be done to combat them, then assesses student learning through comprehension questions. 
  • The resource includes a student handout with comprehension questions and a teacher's guide and answer key.
Teaching Tips


  • The article and corresponding comprehension questions are well constructed and scaffolded for student understanding. 
  • Images, infographics, and graphs in the article are compelling and engaging. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • The link in the Sources section does not work.
  • To save paper, consider presenting the article digitally and printing the last two pages of questions, or have students submit their answers digitally. 


  • This resource could be used in a language arts class working on nonfiction reading comprehension, a science class discussing food waste and loss, or a social studies class considering how individuals and groups can make changes to curb climate change. 
  • For students who struggle with writing responses, teachers can begin with a class discussion based on the comprehension questions before asking students to answer individually.
  • As an extension, have students create a list of things they can do on an individual or class level to lessen food waste. 
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on how food waste produces greenhouse gases, this video on how to stop food waste, and this article on the climate impact of reducing food waste.
Scientist Notes
The effects of food loss and waste on the environment as well as solutions to these issues will become clear to the students. It is acceptable and advised to teach this reading comprehension activity.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
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