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!
Consumption of fruit in the daily diet is important for all age groups! What’s to love about fruit? A lot actually! Fruit is available in many forms from fresh to frozen to canned and even dried. Fruit is a nutrient dense, low calorie food that can be eaten alone as a snack or incorporated into a meal or dessert. Fruits can be eaten raw or cooked and there are so many to choose from, some more seasonal than others! This fruit lesson focuses on the classification of fruits, how to select quality fruits and explores enzymatic browning. It also features delicious galette labs. Galettes are unique to most students and a little different than making pies, but they are easy to make and amazingly delicious especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!
After reading Tisha Richmond’s blog & book titled, “Make Learning Magical”, I wanted to give sketchnotes a try. The problem was, finding a good topic. In addition, I wanted to amp up the excitement to get my students to buy into the concept. Since there are 7 baking ingredients, I decided to call them the “Magnificent 7” because of how well they work together, similar to the characters in the movie of the same name. The first day of sketchnotes was met with mixed reviews….some students grumbled, while others really got into it. Later, some of the students who were a bit skeptical said they actually liked it and found it relaxing! I loved that my students bought into this concept and I have to admit they were fun to grade!
I am a big fan of Michael Pollan’s work! I especially like what he has to say about food in his documentary “In Defense of Food”. Even if I don’t have time to show my students the documentary in its entirety, I do like to focus on certain parts of it. One in particular are his 7 words that he uses to sum up healthy eating: “Eat foods–Not Too Much–Mostly Plants”. It’s a great way to introduce students to different plant based foods! Read on to learn more about how those 7 words equate to a lesson about beans and legumes.
Talking point lessons may just become a reoccurring series! I love when I stumble upon a topic that is both interesting and engaging, but doesn’t require a lot of time and effort. These types of lessons are great for sub plans, unexpected assemblies, early dismissals or weather delays that can wreak havoc on keeping classes on the same timeline. Many districts are requiring teachers to present their students with e-lessons on snow days. What better way to do this than with a talking points lesson that you can cater and adapt to your needs! This lesson and activity revolve around “mindful eating” because most of us often do the opposite! So, learn more about how you and your students can become more mindful of your eating! On a side note, if you have a topic that might lend itself well to a talking points lesson and/or activity, please let me know in the comment section below and I’ll see what I can do!
There’s a big push in education to incorporate more technology into the classroom! Because of this, Kara Emig of Oxford, PA wanted to develop a project that would be interesting to her students. She also wanted them to be able to add their own element of creativity. The fun and engaging food preparation video project she designed has students creating their own recipe videos just like the ones you see all over social media! Kara’s students created their videos during the cookie unit, but the beauty of this project is that it is versatile enough to use with any food unit!
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!
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!