What is it about cooking challenges that gets students so excited? In my Career & Consumer Sciences class, my students always want to know if we are going to cook! In order to prepare them for adulthood and living on their own, I do incorporate some survival cooking! I try to teach them basic skills, preparing foods or meals that have a lot of versatility or options! My students love chicken tenders and so this challenge was well received and gave them some different ways of preparing chicken tenders using the same four ingredients. Of course, you don’t have to limit this challenge to one specific class or age group as it would work well with junior high level students too because of it’s simplicity!
Did you know that January is National Soup Month? Soup is the perfect comfort food for a typically cold, winter month or any other day for that matter! To celebrate this meal which has so much to offer in the way of health benefits, versatility in its types, and cultural ties, I’ve created a Hyper-Slide of activities to help students learn more about soup. Read on to see how you can add a mini soup unit and lab to your repertoire!
There are a ton of documentaries out there related to Family & Consumer Sciences. I’ve compiled a list by content area and included links to both the documentary and a viewing or discussion guide, if it was available, for easy access. Documentaries can make great sub plans especially when you know you are going to be gone for a few days! Please share, in the comment section below, any documentaries that you use that you do not see listed and I will add them along with any viewing or discussion guides.
Students always want to bake cakes! Maybe it’s because the cakes they get at home are typically prepackaged or out of a mix! Don’t get me wrong…those are great once in awhile and have saved me on more than one occasion, when time was at a premium! However, when talking to students, I get the impression that most only get scratch baked cakes in rare instances or on very special celebratory days! I guess I was lucky growing up because my family baked cakes often, as desserts were a delicious way to end the evening meal! Because of this, I was fortunate to be exposed to a variety of different cakes. The funny thing is that while growing up, I thought there were tons of different types of cakes, but in reality there are only a couple! This lesson focuses on a cake overview of history, types, solving cake problems and includes some labs, focusing on the two basic types of cakes!
On occasion I have shown episodes of Chopped in my classes. My students and I are often amazed at the unusual foods that are selected for the challenges; many students have never heard of. Knowing that these foods piqued my students’ interest, especially junior high, I decided to create an assignment around bizarre mystery foods that could be used as bell ringers, fillers for when class ends early or even as a before holiday or spring break activity to keep students engaged and interested! This assignment not only provides information on curious, bizarre foods, but also helps students navigate the world by showing where in the world these foods originate via Google Maps and helps build confidence during oral presentations as they WOW their peers with unique food curiosities!
Want a fun, creative and competitive way to incorporate Halloween themes into your foods class? Check out the project shared by Beth Beattie, a FCS teacher from Missouri who incorporates various parts of Halloween Wars into her Food Science class at Montgomery High School. It started as a way to showcase professions within the program and after viewing Halloween Wars, students decided they wanted to make it a competition!
Have you ever needed a short activity to fill time due to a “surprise” assembly, early dismissal or one class finishing before another? This activity can be stretched or shortened depending on your needs! Hangry is a real concept that most of us have experienced at one time or another and because of this, it can be a very relatable topic for students to talk about and make connections to. I’ve included some activities that work well with this topic, so, pick and choose or do them all!
It does my heart good to see young children helping out in the kitchen! Back in the olden days, children learned to help out in the kitchen and even cook and bake at a fairly early age. Today’s children, not so much! One thing that I have noticed about my incoming 7th graders is that their culinary skills are severely lacking! Sadly, many students aren’t allowed in the kitchen to cook or experiment with food preparation, others simply can’t be bothered because “convenience” is easier and has become a way of life. Lastly, many may want to learn, but have no role models in their lives that can or will teach them as their parents and even grandparents just don’t cook! This lesson combines literacy and food prep as students learn the importance and benefits of why young children should be in the kitchen, helping to prepare foods with their parents. It also shows them how creating fun recipes can be an extension of the very books the children love to read. So, take literacy and food prep to a whole new level and show students how they can enjoy a literary feast!
The trend in education is to create student led activities, projects and presentations! After being inspired by a literary term assignment that my son had to create and teach to his AP Literature class, I thought, why not do this with food preparation terms and kitchen tools, letting students compile the information in a presentation and teach each other the materials! This easily became a template that I could share with my students via Google Classroom, keeping entire presentations together. Since students had to orally, present their term or tool, I could grade as they presented, making my life easier at the end of the day!