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.
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!
Breakout games are so much fun! It’s hard to imagine that something so fun can also be educational! Breakout games encourage students to work together, against the clock to complete challenges associated with a topic you are covering in class. Breakout games can be used as a way to introduce a lesson or unit or it can be a culminating review activity before a test. Either way, students love them! I tried my hand at creating one for reviewing manners, calculating tips and how to set the common table. Give it a try and I hope your students like it as much as mine did! Warning: This can get extremely competitive!
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.
Many schools are encouraging their students to read beyond the English class. This can easily be done in the FACS classroom as there are so many great books that can be incorporated into the various content areas of family consumer sciences. Below you will find a compiled list of books recommended by content area. If you have any additional “reads” that you use in your FACS classroom that should be included, please add them in the comment section below.
Ramen noodle soup packages have been around forever and seem to be the “go to” snack or meal for most young adults because they are cheap and easy to make. I wonder how many have actually read the nutrition facts label and ingredients list? Scary! I set out to prove to my students that Ramen noodles could be reinvented to be nutritious without sacrificing flavor.
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!
Once upon a time in my school we had what were called “Activity Periods” that altered the normal school schedule for one day a week, allowing students to join clubs that met during that period. Another teacher and I ran what we called “The Give Back Club” which was basically a club where we did community service projects that “gave back” to the community. Those activity periods gave way to more class time due to state testing long ago, but I still like to involve my students in community service projects throughout the year, depending on the topics, lessons and units we are covering. Below are a variety of easy, inexpensive projects that students can create to help give back to their communities. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know in the comment section below.
When teaching about families in crisis I like to specifically focus on a select few that often vary from one year to the next. quilt.blocks. However, I also like students to be aware that there are a multitude of crises that families can face throughout their lives. In order to make them aware, I like to have students select a crisis and find an article about it to read and summarize. After summarizing and connecting their feelings to the issue, I like to have them make a classroom quilt square depicting their selected crisis. When put together, it makes a statement about specific crises and draws others in to make them aware of issues facing families today.
When I ask my students what they or their parents typically make for supper, I get a lot of similar responses. Most tell me they make and or eat whatever is easy, comes out of a box, comes out of the freezer, can be made in the microwave or picked up from a fast food restaurant on the way home. It’s so sad that convenience foods are so heavily relied on instead of preparing foods from scratch. This is one of the reasons I like teaching about casseroles! Not only are they easy to make, include a variety of foods and nutrients, but they can be made in advance, put in the freezer for future meals and convenience and because they get us in the kitchen cooking and using a lot of staple ingredients from the pantry. Way to go casseroles!