Life Skills Resources

Food Preservation Ideas & Giveaway!

Jars.of.Food

Many think of canning or preserving foods as an old fashioned way of life or hobby, but with more people venturing into organic gardening, cooking and wanting or needing to know what’s in their foods, canning has definitely made it’s way back into this modern era! If you are thinking about teaching food preservation in your FACS classroom, below are some ideas that may be helpful! Also, check out our book giveaway below!

Community Service Ideas for the FACS Classroom

Give.Back

Once upon a time in my school we had what were called “Activity Periods” that altered the normal school schedule for one day a week, allowing students to join clubs that met during that period. Another teacher and I ran what we called “The Give Back Club” which was basically a club where we did community service projects that “gave back” to the community. Those activity periods gave way to more class time due to state testing long ago, but I still like to involve my students in community service projects throughout the year, depending on the topics, lessons and units we are covering. Below are a variety of easy, inexpensive projects that students can create to help give back to their communities. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know in the comment section below.

Family Crises Awareness Quilt Project

quilt.blocks

When teaching about families in crisis I like to specifically focus on a select few that often vary from one year to the next. quilt.blocks. However, I also like students to be aware that there are a multitude of crises that families can face throughout their lives. In order to make them aware, I like to have students select a crisis and find an article about it to read and summarize. After summarizing and connecting their feelings to the issue, I like to have them make a classroom quilt square depicting their selected crisis. When put together, it makes a statement about specific crises and draws others in to make them aware of issues facing families today.

Reclaiming the Kitchen with Casseroles

casserole.photo

When I ask my students what they or their parents typically make for supper, I get a lot of similar responses. Most tell me they make and or eat whatever is easy, comes out of a box, comes out of the freezer, can be made in the microwave or picked up from a fast food restaurant on the way home. It’s so sad that convenience foods are so heavily relied on instead of preparing foods from scratch. This is one of the reasons I like teaching about casseroles! Not only are they easy to make, include a variety of foods and nutrients, but they can be made in advance, put in the freezer for future meals and convenience and because they get us in the kitchen cooking and using a lot of staple ingredients from the pantry. Way to go casseroles!

The Freshman 15 Game Board Project

Game.Boards

During my unit titled “Off to College”, we talk about a variety of topics related to college living and dorm life. One of these topics includes the “Freshmen 15”. Students always wonder if it’s true and if so, how does it happen. Since students were curious, I decided to let them figure out the answers by having them research the topic and create a game board that incorporated all of the information they learned in a fun, creative and competitive way. Students took turns playing each others games, providing feedback and learning something about the “Freshman 15”!

Polyvore Home: Living Room Budget Project

Polyvore.Home

Many young people today think they are just going to go out there and have their “dream” apartment (like they see on TV), complete with top of the line furnishings, etc.  Realistically, most will find they will be grateful for any free or hand-me-down furnishings (although they don’t realize that now).  I wanted students to create a “dream” living room where money was no object.  Their furnishings were based on their personal style, using the web-based technology Polyvore Home and they had to keep a list of expenses. Then, they had to replicate the room on a reduced budget as closely as possible using online department stores, again keeping track of their expenses.  Not only did this project end up being an eye-opener for them in terms of cost, but they learned they could have a similar look, spending much less money. Oh, and did I mention, they also had a lot of fun “decorating and shopping” for a period or two!
 

Gifts from the Hands

Hands.of.Love

Some of the most cherished gifts our family has received over the years have been made by the hands of the people we love. In fact we look forward to those gifts every year as they’ve kind of become a tradition. Sometimes those gifts made with love were born out of necessity due to limited resources available to go out and purchase store bought gifts, but many times they were made and given out of love for the recipient(s) of the gift. For example, many years ago, very close friends of ours began making us a delicious candy-like treat that can only be described as “Christmas Crack” because once you start eating it, you can’t stop! We love the candy and our friends and look forward to that gift every year! After all, how can you look at, use or consume that wonderful gift without thinking fond thoughts of the talented person/people who took the time to make it for YOU! Why not teach your students how they can use their talents, time and resources to make gifts of love to give to those in their lives that they cherish most during this Christmas and Holiday season?

Insurance: Mayhem Project

Mayhem.Project.Scene

Teaching about insurance can get a bit intense and to be honest, sometimes boring. In order to make the insurance unit aMayhem.Project.Scene little more exciting and hands on, I had students create 3-D scenarios and scripts as though they were pitching new material for an insurance advertisement similar to All State’s Mayhem commercials. Students created some humorous, yet realistic scenes and then rotated through the stations to apply their insurance knowledge. How do you make teaching insurance more interesting and fun? Share in the comment section below.

Dry & Moist Heat Cooking Methods Lesson & Lab

Cooking.Methods

I find that most students don’t know the difference between dry and moist cooking methods. This lesson and lab help them to understand the difference and explore the various ways that the same food can be prepared using different methods. Students enjoy the interactive activities within the lesson as well as preparing and tasting vegetables as they practice and apply some of the techniques. This lesson also incorporates the vocabulary tool Quizlet which helps students learn their terms in an interactive way. Students actually ask me to use Quizlet on a regular basis to learn and assess terms.

Living in Poverty Lesson & Activities

unemployed man

While listening to the news on the radio, it was announced that in Pennsylvania 1 in every 5 children lives below the poverty level. I’m sure this number varies from one state to the next but I thought it to be a rather scary statistic. This lesson and the included activities has students learning about poverty, what causes it, and an engaging simulation to see how easy it could be for some to live in poverty no matter how hard they try to avoid it.