Everyone is connected to a family in some way, shape or form! The roles and responsibilities within each family may differ, as do the functions they provide for their members. So, when teaching about the functions of the family with my senior high classes, I like to engage students with a station activity where they have to figure out how the items at each station relate to one of the functions the family provides. Later, students connect the functions to their own family as they create a family crest.
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?
There’s so many extension activities you can do with children’s story books! Linda Foca Mitten, a FACS teacher from Danbury High School, Connecticut shares this creative game board project that her Early Childhood Workshop honors class designs and utilizes when they teach at both an onsite preschool program and at the elementary level. Linda shares that her students have entire teaching days at their onsite program that they are responsible for and the themes are usually based on children’s books. Therefore, it seemed only logical that the project be connected to a popular children’s book and played during free play time at the center.
Ramen noodle soup packages have been around forever and seem to be the “go to” snack or meal for most young adults because they are cheap and easy to make. I wonder how many have actually read the nutrition facts label and ingredients list? Scary! I set out to prove to my students that Ramen noodles could be reinvented to be nutritious without sacrificing flavor.
You’re babysitting or you’re a parent and you’ve got a misbehaving child or children on your hands. What’s the best method to handle the situation; guidance or discipline? Sometimes students have a difficult time knowing the best way to handle a misbehaving child. So, this game was created by Laura Vaske of Linn-Mar HIgh School in Marion, Iowa because she wanted her students to be able to think about when to apply certain techniques in misbehaving situations. She also wanted them to think about more than just HOW to implement the technique and more about WHEN to implement a technique. So, check out her game and give it a try the next time you’re teaching about guidance and discipline!
My junior high classes rotate every six weeks which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to cover all the material that I need or want to. Because of this, I find myself trying to piggyback multiple concepts and standards into a lesson or activity. So when I teach about how to calculate unit prices and read package labels, both ingredient lists and nutrition facts, it makes sense to combine the two into a hands-on hot cocoa mix taste testing lab. Not only does it get the students into the kitchen, but it ties back to everything we covered so far in the rotation, helping them to review the concepts previously learned. In the lab students determine which product they think tastes the best and then in the follow-up students use the product labels to compare everything from unit price to ingredients to nutrition. Do students know their brands like they think they do? Can they determine the healthiest brand for their dollars? This lesson helps them find out!
What do you do when your custodian has leftover tiles from various school projects? Ask him if you can have them for a class project! That’s what Laurie Hagberg, a FACS teacher from Mankato West High School, Minnesota did. Laurie uses these tiles in a refurbished coaster project in her Interior Design class that not only reinforces the color schemes, but show’s her students how they can recycle items into gifts for their future homes, apartments and/or dorms. Students enjoy this creative, hands-on project and are excited to take them home!
Students spend a lot of time researching and making comparisons on various colleges from location to majors offered and cost, so it only makes sense to spend some time looking at options of financing their ambitions. While I am no expert, going through this process with my daughter last year has at least upped my comfort level with the material and terms (at least a little bit). Because of this I wanted a simple way for students to learn what options were out there to help them afford college so they could at least have a starting point. This assignment asks students to take an article on college loans and not only read it, but create a graphic organizer around the theme to help them become more familiar with the information. While students often have additional questions specific to their circumstances, our school also offers a financial aid night for students and their parents which allows them to ask those questions and get the answers that I cannot afford them.
Every once in awhile I find myself without technology access due to school wide testing and I need an alternate assignment. This was how the mini-book project came to be. You could consider this an interactive foldable where students must use class notes and resources to complete. The beauty of these is that they can be used with any age group and can be as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be. Below you will find a few ideas on how mini-books can be used with FACS related topics.