Most FACS teachers are familiar with the Dietary Guidelines and know that they are reviewed and revised, if necessary, every five years. Students, on the other hand, are not as familiar with this concept. Unfortunately, it can be a difficult concept to teach, not because it’s complicated, but because it can be “dry” subject matter! In the past, when trying to teach this concept, students would get this distant, glazed look over their faces indicating to me that I was losing them! This “look” prompted me to develop something more interactive and student driven before even attempting to discuss the dietary guidelines, especially since we are a 1:1 school. This post shares those activities so you too can avoid the “look”! If you have additional, activities for teaching this concept, please share in the comment section below.
One of my classes was on the small side this year so I asked them if there was anything in particular they wanted to learn about regarding food. They very promptly provided me with a list! I wish I could get some of their assignments that quickly! LOL! Anyway, one of the items on their list was salads…in a jar! Having been to a salad in a jar party where each person brought an ingredient to share, I thought this would be a fun lesson and lab to put together. I also thought I’d try my hand at putting the lesson together as a HyperDoc where students could work their way through the background information in an independent, self-directed way. Even if you don’t feel comfortable giving students the HyperDoc, I find it’s a great way to keep myself and my resources organized!
The English Muffin Challenge was a spur of the moment lab! One of our school clubs had two packages of English Muffins left over from an event that they generously donated to us. In addition, I had several left over ingredients from some other labs that I didn’t want to waste. So, I threw it all together for a challenge lab! Students had 40 minutes to create an aesthetic, edible product using the English Muffin and following the parameters of the challenge. Overall, the results were successful, albeit some interesting! However, students walked away knowing they could put together a filling dish, using only available leftovers. The beauty of this type of lab is that the challenge and follow-up assignment could revolve around any food you have an abundance of and wish to use up!
Whenever I’m teaching my students about healthy food choices, the topic of junk food some how finds its way into the discussion, especially with junior high students. When I ask them for reasons as to why they don’t eat more healthy, nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, they tell me it’s because they don’t like the taste. In comparison, junk food tastes so much better! I promptly explain that it’s made that way, on purpose! So, when the January 2017 issue of Scholastic Choices came out with an article on just this topic, I was super excited to share it with my students! I also wanted to include a tech project associated with it, as I saw cartoon/comic strip written all over this. Below, you will see how I turned something students wanted to discuss into an educational, interactive assignment. The end results are so cool, like something out of a real comic book–your students are sure to enjoy the technology! Oh, and, did I mention that it’s free and super friendly and easy to use?
Subscription boxes are all the rage! Why not bring the concept into the classroom, letting imaginations run wild with your students, while they develop new ideas for them around a wellness theme? Thanks to Katie Kensinger, a FACS teacher from Branson High School, Missouri, you can! See her awesome idea below, along with some student samples.
Need quick cooking recipes for your foods labs or dinner at home on a busy night? I know I do! That’s why I teach about stir-fry cooking! Not only is stir-fry cooking quick and easy, but it’s nutritious, colorful and fairly easy to clean up. So, after students investigate some basics of stir-fry cookery, they get to spin themselves a unique recipe for the class to sample. Try spinning yourself a stir-fry. Who knows, you might just find a new favorite, easy-to-go-to dinner!
Many people have a difficult time discerning between portion size and serving size when they dish out their snacks and meals. Teenagers are no exception! This lesson utilizes Goldfish snack crackers to discover what happens to their nutritional intakes when the portion size goes beyond the serving size. Along the way, students learn the causes, impacts and strategies to deal with increased portion sizes. Additionally, students enjoy capturing Pokémon characters as they try to match everyday visuals with common food amounts. Give it a try and see if your students don’t enjoy learning about portion sizes vs. serving sizes too!
Tired of having your students get up in front of the class and share presentations? Looking for a more engaging way to present materials to students without tying up days for presentations? This lesson not only has students learning about the role of vitamins and minerals in our body, but has them moving around, sharing the information in a conversational manner, with a technique referred to as “speed dating”. Read on for more details and give this technique a try the next time you need to share a lot of information quickly!
You never know when you’re going to need a relatively quick and simple appetizer for entertaining that looks like you’ve spent hours preparing! Crostini to the rescue! I like to teach students that party foods don’t have to be super difficult, expensive or time consuming to pull together. The self-directed mini-lesson provides some background information about crostini and how to make them and then students get to pretend they have to pull together a few crostini appetizers for entertaining, using ingredients they have on hand. The creative possibilities are endless! As a tasty finale, students prepare and sample some hot and cold crostini in the lab! Yum!
I have had some requests to share ideas for teaching about quick breads…so, here you go! One thing about teaching quick breads is that there are a plethora of ideas for labs so you can mix it up from one year to the next and secondly, the labs are pretty inexpensive to make so they won’t break your budget! Another thing I like about teaching quick breads is that it’s easy to include math and science concepts into your lessons and labs. Take a look below to see some things I’ve used over the years as well as some links to previous lessons and activities on the website about the topic.