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.
The trend in education is to create student led activities, projects and presentations! After being inspired by a literary term assignment that my son had to create and teach to his AP Literature class, I thought, why not do this with food preparation terms and kitchen tools, letting students compile the information in a presentation and teach each other the materials! This easily became a template that I could share with my students via Google Classroom, keeping entire presentations together. Since students had to orally, present their term or tool, I could grade as they presented, making my life easier at the end of the day!
Fusion Cooking was a term that I was not very familiar with. I had heard it referenced in an old Learning Zone Express video titled The History of American Cuisine several years ago, but that was the extent of it. However, it was recently brought up again in an email conversation I was having with Minnesota FACS teacher, Coleen K. Guhl who has supplied the majority of fusion cooking resources below that she has shared with me and/or uses with her students when studying regional foods and cuisine. So, a big “thank you” to Coleen for helping me learn more about this unique blending of regional and global cuisines!
Years ago, I took a class on edible flowers with my local extension office. Not only was it pleasing to the eye, but it was tastefully pleasant as well! Recently, I was reminded of edible flowers when meeting up with a former student and dear friend; Ashten Swartz. She shared with me that she developed recipes for GRIT magazine around the theme of edible flowers…you’ll find her recipes linked below! Anyway, one thing led to another, and we ended up getting together to experiment with edible flowers in one-pot meals. Ashten developed the below recipes and I must say they looked and tasted amazing! I plan to share these with my students in hopes that they utilize edible flowers in some of their recipes as they experiment in the kitchen.
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.
After teaching this unit last year, I knew I had to update my vegetable lessons and activities, especially since we are a 1:1 school with iPads! So, I’ve spent the better part of six months trying to figure out how to make this unit more engaging, both with and without technology! I am super pleased with the results, as are my students! These lessons focus on students’ preexisting knowledge of vegetables, the consumption of vegetables (habits as well as reasons to consume), nutritional value and subgroups and vegetable classifications. Because knife skills are used in the lab options, be sure to cover that information prior to the lab(s)
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!
In the Ethnic Foods class, students study all of the regions of the world. The course begins with “Why do we Eat the Foods we Eat?” This lesson was created to stimulate the ‘investigative minds’ of students, encouraging them to ask questions and seek answers. In the study of American Culture, each region is celebrated with an authentic foods lab. This project was created to get students to understand the influence of other cultures on our own American favorites.
When I created QR Code Stations in my child development class to learn about newborn care, I had no idea that they would be such a hit! My students really like getting out of their seats, moving from station to station in order to learn about various topics. So, I decided to give it a try with the essential six nutrients and the results proved to be successful once again. So, below you will find a new lesson about the essential six nutrients, utilizing the infamous QR Codes!
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.