The Friday Five: Food Safety

This Friday Five is dedicated to an important cause, food safety. (I was reminded of its importance late last week, I wish the restaurant that made the Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich I ordered investigated some of these resources. Perhaps I would have been able to blog sooner this week! :P) But I digress. Every FACS/food class and many health classes focus on food safety and food preparation safety. These free resources could easily come in handy either as individual assignments to explore, or in some cases, as resources to share and explore collectively.

Number 1: From Canada, this CBC Marketplace place resource has an interactive investigation of a coffee shop and key points to food prep safety consumers can watch for in any fast food place. This interactive also has links to  additional resources about food poisoning, news reports, and eighteen more pieces on food safety, some with videos.

Number 2:  Food Safety Mobile Game from the USDA. The USDA’s flash game has safety tips and questions on how to handle food safely with a focus on fighting “BAC” (bacteria).  The Food Safety Mobile Game would be great for elementary and younger middle school-aged students, though a high school student might enjoy it too (if no-one is looking).

Number 3 (probably my favorite): Food Safety Music from the University of California. 27 “downloadable” songs parody mainstream songs and all focus on food safety. The songs also have PowerPoint slide presentations with accompanying lyrics and clip-art, lyric files, Flash animations and in some cases concert footage. Pretty fun, really, check it out!

Number 4:  Food Hygiene Mission Control, an interactive series of quizzes, games and information aimed at young people ages 7-14 and their teachers/parents. The teacher resources includes two printable activities, a glossary, and links to more resources.

Number 5: From the American Museum of Natural History, the interactive “magazine” Infection Protection Detection. With articles, a game on cafeteria bacteria, an introduction to scientists in this field, links to related content on the web and more, the American Museum of Natural History created a user-friendly resource for students through at least grade 8.

And just for good measure, number 6: Curriculum on food safety for all grade levels. For K-3, a script for a skit on food safety, ideas for storytelling and other lessons focusing on food safety. For grades 4-8, experiments, games and activities focusing on fighting bacteria and food illnesses. And for grades 9-12, a link to the USDA’s food safety program for high school students including a free curriculum kit with video, teachers guide and lessons for the classroom.

Happy Friday and here’s to healthy, enjoyable dining! 🙂


The Music Industry and Technology

Technology changes just about everything. How is it changing the music industry? For years the profits of the music industry have been a topic of mainstream media, sites like Napster (historically) and Limewire let users share files with reckless abandon, and still my students smile and look to the floor at the onset of a discussion about ethics, music and file sharing. The Supreme Court has weighed in and lawsuits continue. Obviously technology, P2P capabilities and the ease with which files can be shared have had an effect on the music industry.  But how has iTunes changed the music industry?

According to this piece in Engadget, iTunes has killed the music industry. While I disagree with that, the article did make me think about an interview I hear this winter on NPR. The interview was unplanned as a scheduled guest was not available (I searched for it but to no avail or it would be linked here), but the discussion turned to how iTunes and the ability of everyone to download their favorite songs. The discussion focused on how artists once designed albums to be stories and how that is not as significant when people download only certain songs from an album, some people may never download an entire album. I had never really thought about that before.

Does it matter in education, perhaps to students interested in the music industry; otherwise, maybe it is just interesting and I’m on spring break and was thinking about it. Either way, I doubt Lady Gaga is complaining about iTunes…

Singing History

Love it! I just read an article from the Washington Post through which I learned about two talented teachers in Hawaii, Amy Burvall and Herb Mahelona (“historyteachers” on YouTube) who are making musical video parodies to teach about world history. From the Crusades to the Black Death, Gutenberg and more, the ideas are great and if I were to teach world history (haven’t done that for four? years now), I would be sure to incorporate these into my curriculum.  Thank you to the “historyteachers” for posting their creations!

Political Ideology…Song?

Music on the Internet is fun and music in the classroom can be a great way to connect with students. One of my colleagues absolutely loves Pandora, one of the free Internet radio sites still standing and while Pandora is fun, it is difficult to select the specific songs which come your way.

This morning I came across which allows anyone to set up a free account and put together a playlist of shared music. While I’m not sure about the copyright clearance of this, I love the idea so I started to think of ways my students could create a playlist that would connect with our studies and then post the list on our wiki (I played with the code and made this example). For US History, coming up with a playlist would be a piece of cake as there are thousands of songs that focus on history, but for US Government, my list was coming up a it short – yes, who doesn’t love I’m Just a Bill? (And the “updated take” on School House Rock for the Midterm elections is quite fun for a slightly older audience.) But I was thinking beyond School House Rock which took me to a search for political songs. This search led me to the Political Ideology Song on TeacherTube and I think I’m going to use it in my Political Ideology unit this fall.

Having students create a playlist or search for related content on TeacherTube and YouTube could help them extend their learning. On YouTube, however, some of the content may contradict that which is being taught in the classroom, so being prepared for a dialog with students about their findings would be wise.

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more about “Political Ideology…Song?“, posted with vodpod

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