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.
Family & Consumer Science Teachers work harder than almost any other teacher, in my opinion, for many reasons. First, we have a lot of different preps that core subject teachers often do not have. Many of my core colleagues teach the same 2-3 preps all day long while I typically have 5. I know many of you have significantly more! Secondly, if you teach a foods class of any kind, you have additional planning and prep along with grocery shopping to squeeze into your day or week. I don’t know about you, but I am at the point in my teaching career that I would like to work smarter, not harder regularly so that I’m not only sane by the end of the day or week, but still have some patience and energy left to deal with anything that comes up at home or with family. And finally, not spend what seems like every waking moment of evenings and weekends dealing with school work whether it be planning, creating or grading. Since most of us learn best from each other, thus this new feature! Ideally, I’d like to continuously update this post, as well as pose other questions, that inquiring teachers, experienced or inexperienced, may have. I started by including responses I got from a Facebook post, but for this to really work, I’d love to hear from all of you and how you work smarter, not harder! Let’s help each other be more efficient in the classroom! You can share in the comments below or email me at email@example.com and I’ll update the post as new information is shared. Additionally, if you have a burning question that you would like me to pose to other teachers, share the same way and I’ll create a post.
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!
One tradition that my family practiced as I was growing up was eating family dinner together regularly! I have wonderful memories of that dinner table; the fun and laughter as well as difficult conversations that ensued between my sisters and parents. This important tradition continued while raising our own children! How my husband and I will miss this daily routine as we rapidly approach the empty nest stage of our lives. Below you will find a lesson that promotes eating together as a family and the benefits along with a variety of engaging activities and projects that can be implemented in the FACS classroom. Hopefully, students will carry this concept to their home life so it becomes a recurring practice and a potential tradition with both their present and future families!
There seems to be a lot of concerns about motor skill development or the lack thereof when it comes to children being school ready. Normally, I teach about motor skills and the difference between fine or small and gross or large to my students. This year I took it a step farther and had my students explore the connection to academic success and motor skills. Below, you will find the lesson and activities that I used with my students to open their eyes to the importance of motor skill development in relation to a child’s academic success.
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.
If you teach about crisis or mental illness, then this culminating activity shared by Michelle Overman, a FACS teacher from Greenville Central High School, Indiana, is one for your “tool belt”. Below you will find a variety of activities that Michelle uses when teaching this topic to her Human Development class with some additional ones that I’ve added.
Face it! There are just some food topics that are difficult to have a lab associated with them. Sometimes it’s because of the cost, the logistics, the equipment or the quantity/variety of foods you’d have to purchase in order to make the lab happen. When this happens, I try to do some kind of unique project in place of the lab. So, below you will see how I make the best of teaching about salad bars with a tablescape project in lieu of an actual foods lab. What are some unique assignments or projects you do in place of labs? Share in the comment section below.