Teaching Employability Skills with “The Pursuit of Happyness” Movie

When I first started teaching about employability skills, my lesson was pretty dull, a real snoozer!  Over the last few years, I’ve reworked the lesson to make it more interesting and engaging for my students.  One of my all time favorite movies, The Pursuit of Happyness, is also incorporated into this lesson because it contains a ton of examples of employability skills in actiont!  Check out the lesson below if you need to spice up your employability skills materials!

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Kids in the Kitchen with Children’s Book Inspired Recipes: A Literary Feast!

It does my heart good to see young children helping out in the kitchen!  Back in the olden days, children learned to help out in the kitchen and even cook and bake at a fairly early age.  Today’s children, not so much! One thing that I have noticed about my incoming 7th graders is that their culinary skills are severely lacking!  Sadly, many students aren’t allowed in the kitchen to cook or experiment with food preparation, others simply can’t be bothered because “convenience” is easier and has become a way of life. Lastly, many may want to learn, but have no role models in their lives that can or will teach them as their parents and even grandparents just don’t cook!  This lesson combines literacy and food prep as students learn the importance and benefits of why young children should be in the kitchen, helping to prepare foods with their parents. It also shows them how creating fun recipes can be an extension of the very books the children love to read.  So, take literacy and food prep to a whole new level and show students how they can enjoy a literary feast!

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Food Influences Intro Group Activity to Culminating Home Scavenger Hunt Portfolio Project

Why do you eat what you eat?  For some this is an easy question and for others it’s a bit more complex.  After all, there are many things that influence our food choices and they may be completely different from one person to the next!  When I teach about food influences in the junior high, it’s often one of my very first lessons with them.  This introductory group activity is a great way to get students up, moving around and communicating with you and their peers right away.  The middle of this lesson consists of an overview of the influences and application activity. Finally, the culminating project is a scavenger hunt portfolio that students complete outside of class and can be digitally or hand-generated but gets students sleuthing around their homes, looking for some of the influences as they relate to their own families.

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How do you work smarter, not harder?

Family & Consumer Science Teachers work harder than almost any other teacher, in my opinion, for many reasons.  First, we have a lot of different preps that core subject teachers often do not have. Many of my core colleagues teach the same 2-3 preps all day long while I typically have 5. I know many of you have significantly more!  Secondly, if you teach a foods class of any kind, you have additional planning and prep along with grocery shopping to squeeze into your day or week. I don’t know about you, but I am at the point in my teaching career that I would like to work smarter, not harder regularly so that I’m not only sane by the end of the day or week, but still have some patience and energy left to deal with anything that comes up at home or with family.  And finally, not spend what seems like every waking moment of evenings and weekends dealing with school work whether it be planning, creating or grading. Since most of us learn best from each other, thus this new feature!  Ideally, I’d like to continuously update this post, as well as pose other questions, that inquiring teachers, experienced or inexperienced, may have. I started by including responses I got from a Facebook post, but for this to really work, I’d love to hear from all of you and how you work smarter, not harder!  Let’s help each other be more efficient in the classroom! You can share in the comments below or email me at kim@familyconsumersciences.com and I’ll update the post as new information is shared.  Additionally, if you have a burning question that you would like me to pose to other teachers, share the same way and I’ll create a post.

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Fashion Styles Project

Are your students into fashion?  Do any of your students sport a specific fashion style?  This is a two part project, however, the second part could be optional.  It’s an easy introductory activity to use at the beginning of a school year or course especially if your classroom is a revolving door with schedule changes. It could even be used as a sub plan because it doesn’t involve a lot of fashion lingo or background fashion information in order to complete. These assignments get students researching and creating immediately with some additional extensions that can be used to further add to the activity!

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Student Led Mini-Lessons for Food PreparationTerms & Kitchen Tools

The trend in education is to create student led activities, projects and presentations! After being inspired by a literary term assignment that my son had to create and teach to his AP Literature class, I thought, why not do this with food preparation terms and kitchen tools, letting students compile the information in a presentation and teach each other the materials!  This easily became a template that I could share with my students via Google Classroom, keeping entire presentations together. Since students had to orally, present their term or tool, I could grade as they presented, making my life easier at the end of the day!  

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