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.
Several months ago a Texas FACS teacher, sent me a message suggesting that I create a lesson on this topic. I loved the idea and immediately had ideas swirling in my head. However, before sharing, I wanted to try it out with my own child development students to make sure everything went as I envisioned. Thankfully, The lesson and activities went according to plan and students had a lot to say about this topic and some great discussions ensued! If you have suggestions for future lesson and/or activities, send me a message and I’ll take a look!
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!
Finding an apartment, understanding the lingo and reading a lease should be skills that all young adults know how to do as they take on adulting responsibilities! I begin this lesson by having students decipher some common abbreviations that I’ve seen/heard used via an interactive game. Students then move onto deciphering actual apartment lingo, work with sample ads, read the classifieds (which may be foreign to some students) and eventually read and answer some questions pertaining to an apartment lease. This at least gives them an idea of what’s involved when the time comes for them to actually find an apartment!
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.
What child doesn’t like playing with toys? When my children were young, they received a lot of toys from family and friends. Some of those toys were appropriate and safe for their age and abilities and others were too advanced and were put back for a later time. To some people, toys are toys and safety, age and ability play no part in their selection. I like to provide my students with an overview of the types of toys recommended for each age and stage of a child’s early years. After discussing some criteria to keep in mind, the best way to evaluate or analyze a toy for age appropriateness is to actually play with them. So, the toy stations go up and the big kids “play” and utilize their resources to help them determine the toy’s age/stage and justify their answer. This is always a fun activity as students see and explore new toys they’ve never had or played with, along with reminiscing about those they did play with, as youngsters! No toys? No worries as I’ve included an alternate activity to accomplish the same thing!
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)
If you teach child development or a related course where students are learning about or developing materials for young children, you are most likely teaching about developmentally appropriate practice. We all know as educators that children and activities are not all created equal! This lesson introduces students to this concept with an interactive introductory activity and then continues with student exploration of the concept and what it entails. Students also explore what can happen when developmentally appropriate practices are ignored. Finally students participate in a variety of activity stations to determine if DAP or not!
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!
I’m finding that my students do better when they have a good balance of “hands-on” activities mixed with technology. So, in this feature you will find my version of a “pop-up” style activity that revolves around the family structures. Students work in small groups to complete a “pop-up” of their assigned family structure, incorporating additional information. The “pop-ups” are then displayed and students participate in a gallery walk to learn more about each of the unique family structures. See below for more details!