Category: Professional Development

Teaching About Vegetables

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)

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You Be the Dietician–Breakfast Foods

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!

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Ideas for Teaching Color Schemes

Whether teaching about fashion or interior decorating, color is an important concept to include. Believe it or not there is a lot of depth and meaning associated with choosing color and using it in design and decorating. Check out the resources below for some colorful ideas!

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The Laundry Room Breakout

Another breakout here…this time with laundry!  Laundry can be so dry and boring to teach that I wanted to put together something interactive and a little challenging for students to apply the information they learned.  This is in keeping with my other breakouts as the challenges involve completing activities that lead to four digit codes that unlock succeeding boxes, ultimately, reaching the final prize box!  I was not disappointed as students really worked well together in their randomly assigned teams, utilizing their knowledge and a little technology as they competed and collaborated to solve the challenges in under 43 minutes!

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Food Origin Project

In the Ethnic Foods class, students study all of the regions of the world. The course begins with “Why do we Eat the Foods we Eat?” This lesson was created to stimulate the ‘investigative minds’ of students, encouraging them to ask questions and seek answers. In the study of American Culture, each region is celebrated with an authentic foods lab. This project was created to get students to understand the influence of other cultures on our own American favorites.

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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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Nutrient Stations

When I created QR Code Stations in my child development class to learn about newborn care, I had no idea that they would be such a hit! My students really like getting out of their seats, moving from station to station in order to learn about various topics. So, I decided to give it a try with the essential six nutrients and the results proved to be successful once again. So, below you will find a new lesson about the essential six nutrients, utilizing the infamous QR Codes!

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The Thrill of the Grill: A Comparison Shopping Project & Chicken Kabob Lab

Not sure if this happens to you are not, but when I have guys in a foods class, their foremost requests are “Can we cook meat?” and “Can we go outside?” So in the spring of the year, when we are nearing the end of the school year, I try to honor these requests. But to make it practical, I give them a comparison shopping assignment, shared with me by FACS teacher Amanda Swallow. Students have to investigate gas grills and make a decision as to what they’d purchase. After all, it is a large item purchase so they wouldn’t just want to buy the first model they see. Following that project, we do discuss the difference between indoor and outdoor grilling, including pros/cons, options and safety before preparing a Chicken Kabob lab! So, how do you teach grilling in your classroom? Please share ideas in the comment section below.

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Teacher of the Month: Donna Cabrera

Congratulations to this month’s teacher of the month, Donna Cabrera, a Family & Consumer Sciences Middle School teacher from Pennsylvania. While this is her first year teaching FACS, she is no stranger to the classroom, having taught Special Education for 10 years.

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Spin a Stir-Fry Lesson & Lab

Need quick cooking recipes for your foods labs or dinner at home on a busy night? I know I do! That’s why I teach about stir-fry cooking! Not only is stir-fry cooking quick and easy, but it’s nutritious, colorful and fairly easy to clean up. So, after students investigate some basics of stir-fry cookery, they get to spin themselves a unique recipe for the class to sample. Try spinning yourself a stir-fry. Who knows, you might just find a new favorite, easy-to-go-to dinner!

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