Category: Consumerism

Food Preservation Ideas

Many think of canning or preserving foods as an old fashioned way of life or hobby, but with more people venturing into organic gardening, cooking and wanting or needing to know what’s in their foods, canning has definitely made it’s way back into this modern era! If you are thinking about teaching food preservation in your FACS classroom, below are some ideas that may be helpful! Also, check out our book giveaway below!

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Activities for Introducing the New Nutrition Facts Label

You are you probably aware that the nutrition facts label has been updated, but do you think your students are aware of the changes made? My guess is that most students will have no idea that the nutrition facts labels have changed or why. So, with that mindset I put together some activities to not only show students the differences between the old and new labels, but to have them put themselves in the driver’s seat and create their own updated version of a nutrition facts label first. This gives them an idea, as a team, how to approach a problem, critically discuss possible changes based on what they know and then come up with a final revision. Finally, they will explore why actual changes were made to the current nutrition facts food labels.

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GMO’s

Genetically Modified Foods, known as GMO’s, are foods that have had their genes altered through science or genetic engineering, which is monitored through the EPA, the FDA and the USDA. Did you know that many of the foods found in our grocery stores contain at least one ingredient that has been genetically modified? Should we be informed as consumers when this process is affecting the foods we eat? Should genetically modified foods be labeled? There is a huge debate surrounding this dispute. How do your students weigh in on this topic?

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Differently Abled Children & Toys

While I teach lessons on birth defects early in the year when talking about pregnancy, I like to spend more time at the end of the year in a special topics unit teaching about special needs children. This is one of those areas that I love to teach and students really need to be more aware and understanding about because they never know if this will be something that will affect them as future parents or with a family member or something they will need to know because of job or career interests in day care, education or even therapy.

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Hot Cocoa Mix Comparison Lesson

My junior high classes rotate every six weeks which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to cover all the material that I need or want to. Because of this, I find myself trying to piggyback multiple concepts and standards into a lesson or activity. So when I teach about how to calculate unit prices and read package labels, both ingredient lists and nutrition facts, it makes sense to combine the two into a hands-on hot cocoa mix taste testing lab. Not only does it get the students into the kitchen, but it ties back to everything we covered so far in the rotation, helping them to review the concepts previously learned. In the lab students determine which product they think tastes the best and then in the follow-up students use the product labels to compare everything from unit price to ingredients to nutrition. Do students know their brands like they think they do? Can they determine the healthiest brand for their dollars? This lesson helps them find out!

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Body Shapes & Redesigning Barbie Project

We all come in different shapes and sizes so why shouldn’t Barbie? As early as March we will be seeing different shapes and sizes of Barbie on toy shelves in stores across the country. This lesson and project is not about which body shape is best, but about the diversity in body shapes that exists and the beauty in all of them.This lesson and project look at the various body shapes and has students designing their own realistic version of Barbie complete with outfit just like Mattel did. Who knows, students may see themselves sitting on those shelves in the future if they submit their ideas to Mattel, as they continue to reinvent the product in this ingenious marketing strategy that’s been a long time coming!

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Insurance: Mayhem Project

Teaching about insurance can get a bit intense and to be honest, sometimes boring. In order to make the insurance unit aMayhem.Project.Scene little more exciting and hands on, I had students create 3-D scenarios and scripts as though they were pitching new material for an insurance advertisement similar to All State’s Mayhem commercials. Students created some humorous, yet realistic scenes and then rotated through the stations to apply their insurance knowledge. How do you make teaching insurance more interesting and fun? Share in the comment section below.

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The True Cost of a Habit

Habits are a part of life. Sometimes they creep up on us and sometimes we have to work hard to achieve them. For example, we don’t think about the fact that we might stop for coffee on our way to work every morning, but we certainly know how difficult it is to eat clean or exercise on a daily basis. Some habits are free and the benefits are priceless, but others are costly, not only to our wallets, but also to our health, our emotions and our relationships. This lesson has students looking at the true cost of the habits that might be part of their lives now or in the future. Hopefully, this activity will help them to really think about the consequences associated with habits before they decide to continue them or help them form healthier ones.

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Consumer Rights & Panera Bread

Panera Bread has taken a stand to raise the bar and become transparent in their new campaign to offer consumers the best nutritional quality possible. They even put their promise out there for the whole country to see in the form of a letter, ads and commercials. As I read the letter and watched the commercials, I was impressed with the measures they are taking and think it’s a great example of our consumer rights in action. That’s why I am using it as a realistic way to reinforce the consumer rights with my students, as well as include non-fiction reading and writing into my curriculum.

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Baby Gear Comparison

When choosing baby gear to welcome home a new little one, there are many options. While some of these items are required by law,Baby.Equipment others are not. Therefore, choosing between high, middle and low cost models becomes an investigation to make the best decision based on one’s needs and budget. There are pros and cons to every choice. In this activity students will put their consumer skills to the test by using the internet to compare high, middle, and low cost versions of baby gear and then analyze the results.

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