This is a topic I’ve wanted to teach for a long time, not only because I practice it, but think it’s an important lesson for everyone to know and implement in their lives! However, that said, I was also a bit nervous introducing this lesson because I didn’t know how my students would receive it. Would they think it interesting and practical? Would they think it old-fashioned and a thing of the past? Would they even engage? Well, I can honestly say that my students were totally with me throughout this entire lesson! They shared personal stories and examples! They embraced the topic and were quite interested in the articles and stories I had them use, as well as the projects they were assigned! In the future and for the record, I will definitely be teaching this unit again, but this time with complete confidence!
Interestingly, students requested that I teach about coupons and techniques to help save money when food shopping. I happily obliged by putting together some engaging activities and resources to help students get started, but then flipped and put them in the driver’s seat to investigate and come up with solutions to their own request. See below for more details and if you have any interesting ways to teach this topic please share in the comment section below.
One of my classes was on the small side this year so I asked them if there was anything in particular they wanted to learn about regarding food. They very promptly provided me with a list! I wish I could get some of their assignments that quickly! LOL! Anyway, one of the items on their list was salads…in a jar! Having been to a salad in a jar party where each person brought an ingredient to share, I thought this would be a fun lesson and lab to put together. I also thought I’d try my hand at putting the lesson together as a HyperDoc where students could work their way through the background information in an independent, self-directed way. Even if you don’t feel comfortable giving students the HyperDoc, I find it’s a great way to keep myself and my resources organized!
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!
I’ve been trying to update some of my lesson plans and activities to make them more student directed, as well as incorporate technology since we are now a 1:1 school. While I liked the large group decision making activity I did in this post, I wanted to build on the decision making process and use I-messages as a way to reinforce what students learned in previous lessons, but also make it a smaller group activity to encourage more discussion from all students and include technology. So, as a way to introduce teen pregnancy, I came up with a new way to meet all of the criteria mentioned above and the results were amazing! As I circulated the room while students were completing this assignment, I couldn’t believe the levels of discussion I was hearing about each of the options, including the process of actually deciding on the best option and reasons to support it. Students really got into this assignment and told me how much they liked it compared to the original format. So, give it a try and let me know if you get similar results from your students!
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.