Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Project for Modern Living

In working with our Modern Living teacher, Debbie, we are trying to create within the students a vested interest in the obesity epidemic in America. Debbie has been doing a project for several years that draws attention to this problem and has updated the project to reflect changes that have taken place in the USDA's Food Pyramid, and attitude shifts in the mainstream.

The Challenge: Debbie's class is split into two parts for a large part of the class period, with one group in the kitchen and another group working on the written project. She is limited to three PC's in her classroom, a VCR player with no monitor, and limited access to the mobile laptop cart or computer lab. Our challenge is to design a project that is more differentiated during the gathering and research process, and one that offers varied outcome possibilities using technology.

The Solutions: We took what was an eight-part project and consolidated it into three sections that build from one to the next. The first section asks the students to gather information through identification of terms and explanation of concepts, while the second leads them into application and analysis of the food pyramid and how their diet and lifestyle compare to government recommendations. The final section engages the students in an evaluation of the changes that need to be made in their lives regarding diet and exercise and compels them to design a plan complete with menus, and exercise plans.

Methods and Strategies: In order to further differentiate the project, Debbie is going to vary her delivery and content through the use of learning stations. The stations are designed to include media in the form of DVD's from PBS ("The Diet Wars," and "Fat,), a list of websites compiled using Diigo that Debbie will annotate and comment on before passing along to the students to give them some guidance as they peruse, as well as other types of instruction that are non-traditional. For example, we are efforting to pull in several guest speakers from the fields of diet and nutrition and physical training. We hope this will show that the students that there is stock placed in this topics by their community at large.

Outcome: As this is a work in progress, it is yet to be deteremined.

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