Whenever I’m teaching my students about healthy food choices, the topic of junk food some how finds its way into the discussion, especially with junior high students. When I ask them for reasons as to why they don’t eat more healthy, nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, they tell me it’s because they don’t like the taste. In comparison, junk food tastes so much better! I promptly explain that it’s made that way, on purpose! So, when the January 2017 issue of Scholastic Choices came out with an article on just this topic, I was super excited to share it with my students! I also wanted to include a tech project associated with it, as I saw cartoon/comic strip written all over this. Below, you will see how I turned something students wanted to discuss into an educational, interactive assignment. The end results are so cool, like something out of a real comic book–your students are sure to enjoy the technology! Oh, and, did I mention that it’s free and super friendly and easy to use?
Many people have a difficult time discerning between portion size and serving size when they dish out their snacks and meals. Teenagers are no exception! This lesson utilizes Goldfish snack crackers to discover what happens to their nutritional intakes when the portion size goes beyond the serving size. Along the way, students learn the causes, impacts and strategies to deal with increased portion sizes. Additionally, students enjoy capturing Pokémon characters as they try to match everyday visuals with common food amounts. Give it a try and see if your students don’t enjoy learning about portion sizes vs. serving sizes too!
Teaching the changes associated with pregnancy and the developing baby can be challenging! You know that if you just give students the information to read, they won’t! But, if you create an assignment that combines technology with hands-on that forces them to interact with the information, it’s a win-win for all! Thus, the Pregnancy Tower project was created!
Sometimes the non-school related blogs I follow do a blog hopping where they share other people’s blogs. I thought that would be a great idea to do this with Family & Consumer Science teachers who write their own blogs. The featured blog in this post belongs to Kayla Pins, a Health and Family & Consumer Sciences teacher, who hails from Iowa and teaches grades 7-12 at Cascade Jr.-Sr. High School. I email interviewed Kayla some questions about her blog…so read on to learn more and see some of the impressive lessons she has to offer!
Recently, I mentioned that my school was now 1:1 and I have been updating some of my lessons as time permits, to make them more student directed, as well as incorporate technology. Teen pregnancy, in my opinion, can be difficult to teach. I’ve tried teaching it in so many ways over the years, with success, but nothing I would really write about. This lesson was different, not only because it was self-directed, but because students really cooperated, collaborated and communicated in a way that produced a creative A to Z project. The way they worked both individually and collectively as a group made me super proud of them! So much so, that I couldn’t wait to share this update with all of you!
You never know when you’re going to need a relatively quick and simple appetizer for entertaining that looks like you’ve spent hours preparing! Crostini to the rescue! I like to teach students that party foods don’t have to be super difficult, expensive or time consuming to pull together. The self-directed mini-lesson provides some background information about crostini and how to make them and then students get to pretend they have to pull together a few crostini appetizers for entertaining, using ingredients they have on hand. The creative possibilities are endless! As a tasty finale, students prepare and sample some hot and cold crostini in the lab! Yum!
In need of more stations to accommodate her large class, Megan Piechowski of Centennial High School, Circle Pines, Minnesota developed additional activities with new topics to use with the newborn care lesson. The new topics are in keeping with the original lesson which includes the use of technology via QR Codes. Many thanks to Megan for graciously sharing her newly created materials!
As part of my unit on nutrition and young children in my Child Development class, I feel very strongly that childhood obesity needs to be addressed. Students need to know that this is an epidemic that is not going away any time soon. In order to understand the causes, concerns and consequences of this issue, I put together the following lesson and activities to help promote awareness to this pandemic disease in the form of a live news report.
The goal of this assignment was for students to write a story or fairy tale that encouraged young children to eat all of the food groups on MyPlate. I really wanted this to be student driven so I introduced the project, shared an example and let the creativity flow. My role was to walk around, monitor progress, address any technology issues and answer questions as they came up. It was kind of like a flipped classroom, although I’ve never technically done this. Anyway, the results were very impressive and students were highly engaged for the entire project!
Water is one of the six essential nutrients that is often overlooked and forgotten. Water is so important to our health and after viewing the Fed-Up documentary, I wanted to show my students why it’s a better alternative to their sugar laden soda and juices. This lesson can be used as a follow up to sugary beverages or it can be used as a stand alone lesson. Either way, the emphasis is on the role and importance of water in our diet, using Memes as a fun, humorous way to generate the message.