Category: Life Skills Resources

Deciphering Apartment Lingo

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!

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The Job Interview TV Series

If you teach anything about job interviews, you may want to consider using an episode from the television series The Job Interview. This show takes an inside look at potential employees as they interview for a specific job. Students get to see firsthand what the interviewees are wearing, how they act and how they respond to specific questions and problems. Employers react and discuss how each candidate’s mannerisms and answers impact their decisions. This show offers many great discussion points and easily holds the attention of high school students.

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The Laundry Room Breakout

Another breakout here…this time with laundry! Laundry can be so dry and boring to teach that I wanted to put together something interactive and a little challenging for students to apply the information they learned. This is in keeping with my other breakouts as the challenges involve completing activities that lead to four digit codes that unlock succeeding boxes, ultimately, reaching the final prize box! I was not disappointed as students really worked well together in their randomly assigned teams, utilizing their knowledge and a little technology as they competed and collaborated to solve the challenges in under 43 minutes!

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Charitable Donations Mini-Lesson

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!

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Teaching About Food Waste

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!

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Saving Money on Food Activities

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.

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College Dorm Shopping Project

Shopping for a dorm is a necessary task if you are heading to college, and can be quite a daunting experience if you’ve never done it before! It seems like college students today need a lot more as incoming freshman than what I ever needed in four years of college (many moons ago)! I discovered this when preparing to send my first born off to college a few years ago and as we look forward to repeating it with child number two next summer. Having that experience prompted me to create this project to help students see what colleges suggest they bring and the cost involved. It also allows them to discern between what they will truly use and need versus what they don’t, eliminating a lot of excess spending! This is a real eye-opener for students as they prepare for moving into dormitory living!

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Food Safety Actions: Breakout Notes Activity

I think I love breakout activities almost as much as my students do! So, I thought I’d try my hand at another one, using it as a way for students to acquire their notes regarding food safety actions. In this breakout, students must put the puzzles together that form their notes, complete the notes form and scan for a number to help them eventually open their box. In this breakout, only one box per group is used and within it contains a scenarios activity that utilizes the notes students just spent time obtaining. The boxes also contain a small treat that students may eat while completing their scenario assignment. How do you use breakouts in the classroom? I’d love to hear your ideas, so please share in the comments section below!

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The Thrill of the Grill: A Comparison Shopping Project & Chicken Kabob Lab

Not sure if this happens to you are not, but when I have guys in a foods class, their foremost requests are “Can we cook meat?” and “Can we go outside?” So in the spring of the year, when we are nearing the end of the school year, I try to honor these requests. But to make it practical, I give them a comparison shopping assignment, shared with me by FACS teacher Amanda Swallow. Students have to investigate gas grills and make a decision as to what they’d purchase. After all, it is a large item purchase so they wouldn’t just want to buy the first model they see. Following that project, we do discuss the difference between indoor and outdoor grilling, including pros/cons, options and safety before preparing a Chicken Kabob lab! So, how do you teach grilling in your classroom? Please share ideas in the comment section below.

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The English Muffin Challenge

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!

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