One tradition that my family practiced as I was growing up was eating family dinner together regularly! I have wonderful memories of that dinner table; the fun and laughter as well as difficult conversations that ensued between my sisters and parents. This important tradition continued while raising our own children! How my husband and I will miss this daily routine as we rapidly approach the empty nest stage of our lives. Below you will find a lesson that promotes eating together as a family and the benefits along with a variety of engaging activities and projects that can be implemented in the FACS classroom. Hopefully, students will carry this concept to their home life so it becomes a recurring practice and a potential tradition with both their present and future families!
- Ask students: What are some of the most important things you can do as a family or with your future children? Brainstorm at least 5 ideas. Share and briefly discuss ideas. Hopefully, “Eating Dinner Together as a Family” was shared. If not, ask students what they think about it and if it should be included.
- Survey students as to the frequency of how often their own family eats together and discuss obstacles that may interfere.
- Ask students to think about their own family meals as they view this PSA and write down similarities and differences as they relate to their family’s dinners! Share as a group.
- Let’s explore why this time spent together is so important!
- Projector & Screen
- Laptops or iPads
- iMovie or Video Making Technology
- Provide students with the graphic organizer titled “Eating Family Dinner Together”. Students are to individually conduct an internet search to locate the information. For learning support students or those who may need direct guidance, you may want to consider providing specific links so time isn’t wasted in the search process. Possible resources may include:
- After students have individually completed the graphic organizer, have them form small groups (preferably 2-3 students) and share their findings with each other.
- Use all of the info to create a small group (2-3 people) Family Feature iMovie Trailer project titled, “Family Dinner Matters. The feature should include information from all group members, appropriate images and music. These will be used to promote the importance of family meal time. We use iMovie as we are 1:1 with iPads and use the pre-made trailer templates because they are easy to use.
- As a review and evaluation, students will share their group’s trailers with the class. The audience will complete a peer evaluation for the family dinner trailer using the provided guide sheet. Depending on the size of your class, you may want all students to watch the trailers but only complete a peer evaluation on one groups’ video. This keeps everyone engaged in looking for the content criteria, but only has each student filling out one form. I often grade the rubrics as I’m viewing and if I need to clarify something, I go back and review on my own.
- As a concluding activity, to reinforce the findings that students researched in the importance of family meals, have them view the Ted Talk titled, “The Importance of Family Mealtime”. There are a couple of questions that could be assigned if needed and they can be found in the attachments below.
- Eating Family Dinner Together Graphic Organizer (PDF)
- Family Dinner Matters–Family Feature Trailer (PDF)
- Family Dinner Matters–Meal Ideas Group Template (PPT)
- Ted Talk-Importance of Family Mealtime Questions (PDF)