Author: K.Graybill

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

Family Dinner Matters

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!

Groceries to Your Door: Compare & Contrast–Convenience Worth the Cost?

Have you ever made the statement “I wish I didn’t have to go to the grocery store!  I wish my groceries could be delivered right to my door!”  According to the media, online grocery deliveries are expanding and on the rise.  This was a recent feature in our local Sunday paper and it caught my attention!  I thought it a great way to have students investigate, research and analyze how cost effective the convenience of these services actually are.  So, check out the activities below and if you have any suggestions, please share in the comment section below!

Importance of Motor Skills

There seems to be a lot of concerns about motor skill development or the lack thereof when it comes to children being school ready.  Normally, I teach about motor skills and the difference between fine or small and gross or large to my students.  This year I took it a step farther and had my students explore the connection to academic success and motor skills.  Below, you will find the lesson and activities that I used with my students to open their eyes to the importance of motor skill development in relation to a child’s academic success.

Fusion Cooking

Fusion Cooking was a term that I was not very familiar with. I had heard it referenced in an old Learning Zone Express video titled The History of American Cuisine several years ago, but that was the extent of it.  However, it was recently brought up again in an email conversation I was having with Minnesota FACS teacher, Coleen K. Guhl who has supplied the majority of fusion cooking resources below that she has shared with me and/or uses with her students when studying regional foods and cuisine. So, a big “thank you” to Coleen for helping me learn more about this unique blending of regional and global cuisines!

One “Pot” Pourri Meals with Edible Flowers

Years ago, I took a class on edible flowers with my local extension office. Not only was it pleasing to the eye, but it was tastefully pleasant as well! Recently, I was reminded of edible flowers when meeting up with a former student and dear friend; Ashten Swartz. She shared with me that she developed recipes for GRIT magazine around the theme of edible flowers…you’ll find her recipes linked below! Anyway, one thing led to another, and we ended up getting together to experiment with edible flowers in one-pot meals. Ashten developed the below recipes and I must say they looked and tasted amazing! I plan to share these with my students in hopes that they utilize edible flowers in some of their recipes as they experiment in the kitchen.

Coping Skills Toolbox

If you teach about crisis or mental illness, then this culminating activity shared by Michelle Overman, a FACS teacher from Greenville Central High School, Indiana, is one for your “tool belt”.  Below you will find a variety of activities that Michelle uses when teaching this topic to her Human Development class with some additional ones that I’ve added.

Design a Salad Bar: TableScape Project

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.

Young Children & Screens

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!

Families Throughout the Decades–Magazine Project

Reading through some magazine publications such as Reminisce and Good Old Days gave me the idea for this project. Call me strange, but I love studying and learning about families throughout time. So, I thought it might be interesting for students to see how the family has evolved and changed throughout the decades.  While television gives us a glimpse into this via movies, documentaries and television shows, I thought creating a magazine would give them a chance to actually research history and practice their writing skills as they put together an issue focusing on the family during a specific decade. Not only does it help their writing skills, but this project is great for developing collaboration, communication and creativity skills as students complete this as a group!  Students think it’s pretty interesting to see all of the changes that have taken place with the family as they compare and contrast one decade to another!  Who knows, maybe your students will find this aspect of history pretty interesting too!

FCS Related Careers Game

To help boost exposure and interest in FCS related careers, I developed this interactive game to help students explore careers and related careers within our field. This is an interactive, small group activity that can be very competitive and fun, especially for junior high level students! All you need are some dice, a game board and optional electronic devices.  This is a great activity to do when you need to fill a day before school breaks, between units or changing class rotations!