Author: K.Graybill

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

Reclaiming the Kitchen with Casseroles

When I ask my students what they or their parents typically make for supper, I get a lot of similar responses. Most tell me they make and or eat whatever is easy, comes out of a box, comes out of the freezer, can be made in the microwave or picked up from a fast food restaurant on the way home. It’s so sad that convenience foods are so heavily relied on instead of preparing foods from scratch. This is one of the reasons I like teaching about casseroles! Not only are they easy to make, include a variety of foods and nutrients, but they can be made in advance, put in the freezer for future meals and convenience and because they get us in the kitchen cooking and using a lot of staple ingredients from the pantry. Way to go casseroles!

The Freshman 15 Game Board Project

During my unit titled “Off to College”, we talk about a variety of topics related to college living and dorm life. One of these topics includes the “Freshmen 15”. Students always wonder if it’s true and if so, how does it happen. Since students were curious, I decided to let them figure out the answers by having them research the topic and create a game board that incorporated all of the information they learned in a fun, creative and competitive way. Students took turns playing each others games, providing feedback and learning something about the “Freshman 15”!

Differently Abled Children & Toys

While I teach lessons on birth defects early in the year when talking about pregnancy, I like to spend more time at the end of the year in a special topics unit teaching about special needs children. This is one of those areas that I love to teach and students really need to be more aware and understanding about because they never know if this will be something that will affect them as future parents or with a family member or something they will need to know because of job or career interests in day care, education or even therapy.

Whole Grains & Fiber Label Reading Activity

MyPlate encourages us to make half our plates whole and the dietary guidelines also recommend we increase our intake of whole grains. This is all great and seems like it should be relatively easy to do, when in reality it is often difficult to know what is truly a whole grain and what is refined. Because whole grains are typically a good source of fiber, I decided to marry the two topics into one mini-lesson and activity where students become sleuths and decode a variety of grain products in order to determine which are truly excellent sources of both fiber and whole grains and which don’t make the grade (even if their labels are deceiving).

No-Sew Bean Bag Project

I have a confession to make…I am fascinated with silly monsters! They are just too stinkin’ cute! So when I wanted my students make no-sew bean bags in my Child Development class for activities to do with toddlers to help develop their large motor skills and balance, I couldn’t resist using silly monsters as my theme. Students not only enjoyed making the bean bags and applying their creativity, but also had fun participating in the activities they created to go with them!

Cookie Genetics: An Edible Review

When I begin my unit on birth defects and prenatal care, I like to review the basics of genetics especially when we talk about inherited diseases. A fun and tasty way to do this is to have students participate in the cookie genetics edible review activity. Not only do students review and apply their Punnett Square knowledge, but they have fun making and eating their creation!

Hot Cocoa Mix Comparison Lesson

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!

Body Shapes & Redesigning Barbie Project

We all come in different shapes and sizes so why shouldn’t Barbie? As early as March we will be seeing different shapes and sizes of Barbie on toy shelves in stores across the country. This lesson and project is not about which body shape is best, but about the diversity in body shapes that exists and the beauty in all of them.This lesson and project look at the various body shapes and has students designing their own realistic version of Barbie complete with outfit just like Mattel did. Who knows, students may see themselves sitting on those shelves in the future if they submit their ideas to Mattel, as they continue to reinvent the product in this ingenious marketing strategy that’s been a long time coming!

Project Brainstorm: Let us help you! This month’s topic is Nutrition Across the Lifespan

We are going to pose a topic and ask you to “help us help you” by just sharing one thing you did whether it be an activity, a video clip, infographic, reading, TPT product, etc. when teaching that topic. We believe everyone will win in the end as you’ll have a new lesson or at least a lot of new ideas and resources to pull from. Check back often as this page will be updated as resources come in.

Design a Tile Project

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!