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.
Have you ever made the statement “I wish I didn’t have to go to the grocery store! I wish my groceries could be delivered right to my door!” According to the media, online grocery deliveries are expanding and on the rise. This was a recent feature in our local Sunday paper and it caught my attention! I thought it a great way to have students investigate, research and analyze how cost effective the convenience of these services actually are. So, check out the activities below and if you have any suggestions, please share in the comment section below!
Kayla Pins, a Family &Consumer Science teacher from Iowa, who was featured HERE, has been busy creating Collards & Sense: A free curriculum for high school students that helps students make wise choices with their food dollars. She has graciously given me permission to share this amazing 10 day curriculum that is full of meaningful, engaging and enriching lessons and activities! It is designed to be taught by any teacher and in any class, Family and Consumer Sciences certified or not, and kitchen setup or not. Activities are hands-on but require very little prep or purchasing for the teacher.
Food Trucks have been quite popular for the last couple of years with no signs of this trend going by the wayside any time soon! So if you’re like me and have always wanted to teach this, but didn’t have time to reinvent the wheel, look no further! Below, you will find a plethora of resources for teaching this topic and project geared to every grade level. It’s up to you to decide how far you want your students to go with it!
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.
Finding an apartment, understanding the lingo and reading a lease should be skills that all young adults know how to do as they take on adulting responsibilities! I begin this lesson by having students decipher some common abbreviations that I’ve seen/heard used via an interactive game. Students then move onto deciphering actual apartment lingo, work with sample ads, read the classifieds (which may be foreign to some students) and eventually read and answer some questions pertaining to an apartment lease. This at least gives them an idea of what’s involved when the time comes for them to actually find an apartment!
Over the past year I have viewed many articles about how to tell the difference between real news and fake news which got me thinking about the legitimacy of charitable organizations and donations. The consumer rights explain how we need to be informed so we can make wise choices. This is true of making charitable donations as well! After all, people want to make sure their hard earned money is truly going to the cause when they make their contributions! This mini-lesson shows students how to investigate their charities of interest so they can make an informed decision when making charitable donations!
This is a topic I’ve wanted to teach for a long time, not only because I practice it, but think it’s an important lesson for everyone to know and implement in their lives! However, that said, I was also a bit nervous introducing this lesson because I didn’t know how my students would receive it. Would they think it interesting and practical? Would they think it old-fashioned and a thing of the past? Would they even engage? Well, I can honestly say that my students were totally with me throughout this entire lesson! They shared personal stories and examples! They embraced the topic and were quite interested in the articles and stories I had them use, as well as the projects they were assigned! In the future and for the record, I will definitely be teaching this unit again, but this time with complete confidence!
Interestingly, students requested that I teach about coupons and techniques to help save money when food shopping. I happily obliged by putting together some engaging activities and resources to help students get started, but then flipped and put them in the driver’s seat to investigate and come up with solutions to their own request. See below for more details and if you have any interesting ways to teach this topic please share in the comment section below.
Capsule Wardrobes seem to be the latest trend in shopping and not just for the minimalists who strive to eliminate the excess! I decided to have my students explore this trend, create their own capsule wardrobe collection for a specific season and budget range as well as promote it through an infomercial using apps such as Polyvore and iMovie. Students were highly engaged as they looked for pieces to create their collection and somewhat frustrated as they had to revise when prices exceeded their budget range! Overall, a great practical lesson and project, simulating real life practices (except for the infomercial–that was just a fun, creative way to share their collections with the entire class)!