Category: Health & Wellness

Kids in the Kitchen with Children’s Book Inspired Recipes: A Literary Feast!

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!

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Food Influences Intro Group Activity to Culminating Home Scavenger Hunt Portfolio Project

Why do you eat what you eat? For some this is an easy question and for others it’s a bit more complex. After all, there are many things that influence our food choices and they may be completely different from one person to the next! When I teach about food influences in the junior high, it’s often one of my very first lessons with them. This introductory group activity is a great way to get students up, moving around and communicating with you and their peers right away. The middle of this lesson consists of an overview of the influences and application activity. Finally, the culminating project is a scavenger hunt portfolio that students complete outside of class and can be digitally or hand-generated but gets students sleuthing around their homes, looking for some of the influences as they relate to their own families.

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Healthy & Positive T-Shirt Messages

What I love about this assignment is that it can be adapted to almost any topic that you want students to walk away with messages promoting positive thoughts, actions, and attitudes! I initially created this to use when teaching about healthy dating relationships and after using it thought of umpteen other lessons that I could use it with. So let me give you some background and suggestions for implementing this and then let your students have at it as they develop their own original slogans, messages and images about whatever topic you assign. This is also a great template to use when running a design contest or for club t-shirts or fundraisers!

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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!

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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.

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Stress & Coloring: Good Idea? Bad Idea?

Students love to doodle! Children love to color! Adult coloring books are everywhere! The theory behind this phenomenon is that it is a way to relax and decompress, in addition to being a creative outlet. So, is this really a good way to deal with stress or just a trendy way to promote a product? This lesson focuses on stress, and has students investigating this theory by researching and application before deciding whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea!

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Periodic Table of Fruits & Vegetables

Looking to incorporate the “farm to table” concept into the fruit and vegetable unit of her 9-12 Basic Foods class, Liz Odle, a teacher at North Platte High School, Nebraska did just that by creating the Periodic Table of Fruits & Vegetables project! A colleague helped her iron out the details and the project was created to accommodate new standards as well as 90 minute periods. This lesson is not only informative, but engaging, and when complete, creates a large periodic table display that is hung in the hall for all students to view! See how she teaches this entire unit below.

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You Be the Dietician–Breakfast Foods

Do you teach an Advanced Foods and Nutrition class? Looking for a rigorous assignment for students who have a strong understanding of the nutrients? You are in luck as Nikki Heflin, a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher of Indiana shares this breakfast lesson, several lab ideas and concluding assessment, placing students in the role of the dietician. Check out her lesson below!

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Sleep Safety & SIDS Lesson & Activities

This is such an important topic to teach about, one I’ve honestly struggled with over the years. However, when teaching about infant safety this school year, I decided it was high time I put my trepidation aside and created the below lesson and activities. I’m not sure I’ve given the topic the justice it deserves, but it’s a start! As always, if you have additional ideas, please share in the comment section.

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SKITCH: Food Label Information–Mandatory or Voluntary?

One of the first apps we were introduced to when our school went 1:1 was SKITCH. I liked the labeling abilities of this app directly on images and thought it would be a great addition to my junior high lessons. So, I developed this activity around mandatory and voluntary label information that allows students to practice applying the information from their notes directly onto a photo label, showing me they understand the concept. This activity also allowed me to go more paperless as this lesson only uses a half-sheet of paper per student. So, if you’ve never tried this app, here’s an opportunity for you to do so!

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