Have you ever needed a short activity to fill time due to a “surprise” assembly, early dismissal or one class finishing before another? This activity can be stretched or shortened depending on your needs! Hangry is a real concept that most of us have experienced at one time or another and because of this, it can be a very relatable topic for students to talk about and make connections to. I’ve included some activities that work well with this topic, so, pick and choose or do them all!
When I first started teaching about employability skills, my lesson was pretty dull, a real snoozer! Over the last few years, I’ve reworked the lesson to make it more interesting and engaging for my students. One of my all time favorite movies, The Pursuit of Happyness, is also incorporated into this lesson because it contains a ton of examples of employability skills in actiont! Check out the lesson below if you need to spice up your employability skills materials!
It does my heart good to see young children helping out in the kitchen! Back in the olden days, children learned to help out in the kitchen and even cook and bake at a fairly early age. Today’s children, not so much! One thing that I have noticed about my incoming 7th graders is that their culinary skills are severely lacking! Sadly, many students aren’t allowed in the kitchen to cook or experiment with food preparation, others simply can’t be bothered because “convenience” is easier and has become a way of life. Lastly, many may want to learn, but have no role models in their lives that can or will teach them as their parents and even grandparents just don’t cook! This lesson combines literacy and food prep as students learn the importance and benefits of why young children should be in the kitchen, helping to prepare foods with their parents. It also shows them how creating fun recipes can be an extension of the very books the children love to read. So, take literacy and food prep to a whole new level and show students how they can enjoy a literary feast!
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.
Are your students into fashion? Do any of your students sport a specific fashion style? This is a two part project, however, the second part could be optional. It’s an easy introductory activity to use at the beginning of a school year or course especially if your classroom is a revolving door with schedule changes. It could even be used as a sub plan because it doesn’t involve a lot of fashion lingo or background fashion information in order to complete. These assignments get students researching and creating immediately with some additional extensions that can be used to further add to the activity!
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)