The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "How I Quit Fast Food"
How I Quit Fast Food
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Lesson for "How I Quit Fast Food... And Lived to Write About It"

Summary: Does fast food equal slow death? Carmen Rios examines her relationship with McDonald’s and what changed her mind about eating those Big Mac meals.

Pre-reading activity #1: Before you read and discuss this story with your group ask them to name some unhealthy activities. Make a list on the board. You should expect the list to contain smoking, drug use, unsafe sex, drinking too much, not exercising, and eating fast food. Are there any others? Which ones do your students think are the most and least dangerous? If they had to pick one bad habit to have which one would it be? How many picked fast food consumption? How dangerous do they think eating fast food is?

Pre-reading activity #2: Ask your group to make a quick list of the foods they have eaten over the past two days. Which ones would they say are healthy? Unhealthy? How many times did they eat at a fast food restaurant?

Questions for “How I Quit Fast Food and Lived to Write About It”

• What convinced Carmen to stop eating Big Macs? What about the book struck her the most? Have your students ever read a book or story that persuaded them to start or stop doing something?

• How often did Carmen eat fast food before she gave it up? Do your students think it was lot? Did she eat more than your students?

• Carmen says that it’s hard to find healthy food in her neighborhood. Why is that? Is healthy food easy or hard to find in your students’ neighborhood? Why?
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