Author: K.Graybill

Kim Graybill is a veteran Family and Consumer Science teacher who teaches both middle and high school in Pennsylvania.

Desserts in a Jar: Lab Ideas

Who would have thought that the age old canning jar would be perfect for dessert food labs! When choosing recipes for labs I try to select recipes so students get a nice sample to taste, but leave very little, if any leftovers. Not only does this cut down on waste, money spent on ingredients, but it also forces students to practice portion control and eliminates arguing over who gets the extras.

Recycled Sweater Challenge

Lately I’ve seen a lot of really innovative projects made out of old sweaters, especially on Pinterest. This got me thinking about what a great project this would be for my students to practice the concept of recycling or repurposing materials. So I visited my local thrift store and lucky for me they had a clearance rack of clothing, much of it old wool sweaters. I gathered as many as I could find into my cart and headed for the check out. The possibilities that could be made with all of these sweaters were endless! I couldn’t wait to challenge my students and see how creative they could be and teach them to recycle/repurpose as well as teach basic sewing skills at the same time.

Childhood Vaccinations: Where Do You Stand?

The recent outbreak of measles in Disneyland has sparked a lot of interesting articles, videos and debates about vaccinations. This lesson has students researching both sides of this important issue, looking at the pros and cons of each, and then taking a stand on their position and writing a letter of persuasion to the opposite viewpoint.

Thinglink in the FACS Classroom

Ever hear the saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Thinglink is a free, user friendly web-based technology that allows you or your students to tell a story or convey a message relating to an important concept. Thinglink is an interactive way to make your images come to life with video clips, text, images and more.

Social Media: Helpful or Harmful?

What do sharpie marker designs on fabric swatches and social media posts have in common? Can your social media profiles impact your future employment? This was an object lesson activity and question I posed to my new Careers class talking about employment and interviews. As with many topics, there are always two sides, positives and negatives, and this topic was no different. Needless to say it led to some very interesting discussion. This lesson explores both sides of the topic in more detail, challenging students to explore and evaluate their own social media activity and how it might potentially impact their future opportunities.

Parenting Styles

Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist, is known for her research on parenting styles. Parenting styles represent approaches to how parents manage their children’s behavior, which in turn influences their development. This lesson explores the four different approaches and used clips from television and movies to test students’ understanding of them.

Use This, Not That…Healthy Substitutions

A close family friend was recently diagnosed with some serious health problems and was encouraged to change his diet. He came to me looking for some suggestions on how he could adapt some of the recipes he already liked and was using. After researching, I realized there are a lot of healthy substitutions to be made with very common ingredients. This made me think that this knowledge could be useful for my students as well since it’s highly possible that they might need to use this information in the future for themselves or their own families.

Infant Development: Vision

Students are always amazed when I explain to them that infants are born very nearsighted. Normal vision is 20/20 but aBlack.and.White baby is born with 20/200 and 20/400 vision. Over the course of the first year a baby’s vision will improve and they will eventually see things the way everyone else does. This lesson has students independently exploring how sight develops in infants, the role caregivers can play to help stimulate it and finally, culminates with a mobile project fit for an infant!

The Mini-Book Project

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.

Promoting Science Activities with Young Children

Recently I had a student who was hired to babysit young elementary aged children ask me for suggestions of activities she could do with children. She wanted something that was fun, engaging, and would pique their curiosity. We talked about a lot of options that included arts, crafts, cooking and games. Finally after further discussion and investigation, I suggested science related activities that revolved around crafts.