Face it! There are just some food topics that are difficult to have a lab associated with them. Sometimes it’s because of the cost, the logistics, the equipment or the quantity/variety of foods you’d have to purchase in order to make the lab happen. When this happens, I try to do some kind of unique project in place of the lab. So, below you will see how I make the best of teaching about salad bars with a tablescape project in lieu of an actual foods lab. What are some unique assignments or projects you do in place of labs? Share in the comment section below.
Kayla Pins, a Family &Consumer Science teacher from Iowa, who was featured HERE, has been busy creating Collards & Sense: A free curriculum for high school students that helps students make wise choices with their food dollars. She has graciously given me permission to share this amazing 10 day curriculum that is full of meaningful, engaging and enriching lessons and activities! It is designed to be taught by any teacher and in any class, Family and Consumer Sciences certified or not, and kitchen setup or not. Activities are hands-on but require very little prep or purchasing for the teacher.
Food Trucks have been quite popular for the last couple of years with no signs of this trend going by the wayside any time soon! So if you’re like me and have always wanted to teach this, but didn’t have time to reinvent the wheel, look no further! Below, you will find a plethora of resources for teaching this topic and project geared to every grade level. It’s up to you to decide how far you want your students to go with it!
Looking to incorporate the “farm to table” concept into the fruit and vegetable unit of her 9-12 Basic Foods class, Liz Odle, a teacher at North Platte High School, Nebraska did just that by creating the Periodic Table of Fruits & Vegetables project! A colleague helped her iron out the details and the project was created to accommodate new standards as well as 90 minute periods. This lesson is not only informative, but engaging, and when complete, creates a large periodic table display that is hung in the hall for all students to view! See how she teaches this entire unit below.
The stoplight is such a simple traffic device, but has a universal meaning to pedestrians and drivers in the world of transportation. You may also be familiar with this concept in the nutrition world as it was introduced a few years ago as “Go-Slow-Whoa” or “Stoplight Nutrition”. In order to reinforce healthy food choices, why not implement the universal meaning of the stoplight into an interactive Jenga game? It’s a simple way to reinforce healthy food choices for all age groups.
After teaching this unit last year, I knew I had to update my vegetable lessons and activities, especially since we are a 1:1 school with iPads! So, I’ve spent the better part of six months trying to figure out how to make this unit more engaging, both with and without technology! I am super pleased with the results, as are my students! These lessons focus on students’ preexisting knowledge of vegetables, the consumption of vegetables (habits as well as reasons to consume), nutritional value and subgroups and vegetable classifications. Because knife skills are used in the lab options, be sure to cover that information prior to the lab(s)
Do you teach an Advanced Foods and Nutrition class? Looking for a rigorous assignment for students who have a strong understanding of the nutrients? You are in luck as Nikki Heflin, a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher of Indiana shares this breakfast lesson, several lab ideas and concluding assessment, placing students in the role of the dietician. Check out her lesson below!
Pasta is one of my all time favorite units to teach in my Foods unit! Pasta is so easy, versatile, and economical that I feel every student should know how to prepare before they leave high school! I always tell my students that they will never go hungry if they know how to cook pasta. Use the provided slide to navigate through a variety of resources to learn more about pasta as your students complete this assignment and work their way into the lab.
One of the first apps we were introduced to when our school went 1:1 was SKITCH. I liked the labeling abilities of this app directly on images and thought it would be a great addition to my junior high lessons. So, I developed this activity around mandatory and voluntary label information that allows students to practice applying the information from their notes directly onto a photo label, showing me they understand the concept. This activity also allowed me to go more paperless as this lesson only uses a half-sheet of paper per student. So, if you’ve never tried this app, here’s an opportunity for you to do so!
Cheese balls are often associated with parties, holidays and potlucks! But why limit them to just those events? I get to a point in the year when I have “a little of this and a little of that” leftover from other labs and taste tests. So I decided to have a pantry raid lab and have students make “cheese balls”. All I had to do was buy a block of cream cheese for each group and provide some parameters for the challenge. See below for more details.