Category: Life Skills

Family Definition Media Activity

Many years ago, I was given a definition while taking a graduate course about the family.  Through the years, I have often used it as a poster project lead-in to my family unit.  However, since going 1:1, I decided to try this assignment a new way, using technology…aka iMovie!  While I’m not an expert with this app, my students are and they were eager to assist their peers when necessary.  I even surprised myself by creating a YouTube channel so I could share a couple of student samples with you!  Not a 1:1 school or have access to technology–no worries!  I’ve included my original poster assignment (see attachments), which by the way could be easily modified for the differentiated classroom. I loved seeing how each student interpreted the family definition and how unique and diverse each movie was…just like families!

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Exploring Pasta

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.

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Charitable Donations Mini-Lesson

Over the past year I have viewed many articles about how to tell the difference between real news and fake news which got me thinking about the legitimacy of charitable organizations and donations. The consumer rights explain how we need to be informed so we can make wise choices. This is true of making charitable donations as well! After all, people want to make sure their hard earned money is truly going to the cause when they make their contributions! This mini-lesson shows students how to investigate their charities of interest so they can make an informed decision when making charitable donations!

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Teaching About Food Waste

This is a topic I’ve wanted to teach for a long time, not only because I practice it, but think it’s an important lesson for everyone to know and implement in their lives! However, that said, I was also a bit nervous introducing this lesson because I didn’t know how my students would receive it. Would they think it interesting and practical? Would they think it old-fashioned and a thing of the past? Would they even engage? Well, I can honestly say that my students were totally with me throughout this entire lesson! They shared personal stories and examples! They embraced the topic and were quite interested in the articles and stories I had them use, as well as the projects they were assigned! In the future and for the record, I will definitely be teaching this unit again, but this time with complete confidence!

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Activities Resume

Over the years, I’ve written a lot of letters of recommendation for my students as I’m sure many of you have. Most of the time I had to either probe them for more information about their involvement in both in school and community activities or ask the guidance office for more information. When I started teaching my Career and Consumer Science class (similar to Adulting 101), I decided to include this assignment. Once students completed their digital activities resume, they could easily share it with perspective teachers, coaches, bosses, etc who would write them letters and it could be updated quickly as their activities changed. It’s also beneficial when filling out college applications as it’s a snapshot of their high school career. So, if you’re tired of tracking down background information on students who ask for recommendations, give this assignment a try!

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Saving Money on Food Activities

Interestingly, students requested that I teach about coupons and techniques to help save money when food shopping. I happily obliged by putting together some engaging activities and resources to help students get started, but then flipped and put them in the driver’s seat to investigate and come up with solutions to their own request. See below for more details and if you have any interesting ways to teach this topic please share in the comment section below.

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Capsule Wardrobes

Capsule Wardrobes seem to be the latest trend in shopping and not just for the minimalists who strive to eliminate the excess! I decided to have my students explore this trend, create their own capsule wardrobe collection for a specific season and budget range as well as promote it through an infomercial using apps such as Polyvore and iMovie. Students were highly engaged as they looked for pieces to create their collection and somewhat frustrated as they had to revise when prices exceeded their budget range! Overall, a great practical lesson and project, simulating real life practices (except for the infomercial–that was just a fun, creative way to share their collections with the entire class)!

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Quotation Posters Activity with Canva

Seems like quotation posters are everywhere on social media! These posters often contain very important and inspirational or motivational quotes that can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. Below you will find a way to use them with your students in an interactive way, using the graphic design Canva App or website. A big thank you goes out to Linda Hayes, a FACS teacher from Pennsylvania, for her time and efforts spent collecting the running quotes for various FACS topics that you will find below and sharing them with us!

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Gidgee Gadget Lesson

I spent time this past summer browsing on the internet and reading teacher comments on Twitter. One of my favorite things is to watch TedTalk videos. I kept coming across ideas that what we teach students will be obsolete in 40 years, many future careers have not been invented, how fast knowledge doubles, advances in artificial intelligence, brain research, etc. So, what’s a teacher to teach? Or more importantly, what is it that students must be able to know and do to thrive in a future world full of unknowns? You may have additional thoughts but some of mine are students must be literate, be adaptive, be problem solvers, be able to think-outside-of-the-box, use technology, communicate effectively with others, work with others, and re-invent themselves in the workplace. Then, for the first time in my long career, my school adopted a partial block schedule with the first 2 days of the school year being block days. Students need to have positive experiences so they want to come back the next day plus I didn’t want to bore them. So, I wrote the Gidgee Gadget lesson. Take a look below to see what it’s all about!

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College Dorm Shopping Project

Shopping for a dorm is a necessary task if you are heading to college, and can be quite a daunting experience if you’ve never done it before! It seems like college students today need a lot more as incoming freshman than what I ever needed in four years of college (many moons ago)! I discovered this when preparing to send my first born off to college a few years ago and as we look forward to repeating it with child number two next summer. Having that experience prompted me to create this project to help students see what colleges suggest they bring and the cost involved. It also allows them to discern between what they will truly use and need versus what they don’t, eliminating a lot of excess spending! This is a real eye-opener for students as they prepare for moving into dormitory living!

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