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3 Ideas for Absent Work for Culinary Arts and FCS Teachers

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Sub Plans for Middle School and High School

Have you been in the position of a student telling you that they will be absent for the next week and they would like the work ahead of time? Or, they just return from an absence and missed a cooking lab and now you are in the position of trying to find a grade for the missed lesson?

Teaching a course such as Culinary Arts and other CTE courses it is especially tricky to catch students up when they get back to school because they are hands-on courses. When students miss a cooking or baking lab, they miss the grade, the skills learned, and the experience.

So, what can we do as teachers? Here are some ideas for “catching kids up” on lost instruction.

Sub Plan Ideas that Will Make Your Life Easier

1- Assign students a Google activity – We use this Free “While you Were Out” activity to have students choose between cooking or baking a recipe at home by clicking on the links or watching a cooking video and answering questions. This is a nice option because you can also sign it ahead of time if a student knows that they will be out. It can also be assigned when they get back from an illness to work on within a time frame that you give them.

2- Assign students a “Choice Board”- Having an ongoing choice board for students to complete when they finish work early or when they are absent is another way to have students complete something at home while they are out. If they are out for an extended period of time, you can have them choose 3 or more items on the choice board to complete either while they are gone or when they return. This blog post discusses choice boards more in-depth.

3- Research a Dish or Chef– Doing research on a dish, cooking method or chef is another alternative assignment that you can assign a student who has been absent. They can choose perhaps a famous chef, answer questions about them, and create a slideshow. You can take it a step further and have them present the slideshow to the class, bonus…lesson filler!

According to a study done in 2019 “high school absenteeism was associated with lower academic achievement in high school, high school completion, and graduation from a 4-year college.”

So how do you keep them learning when they are out?

Here is a free emergency sub plan for your culinary or Family Consumer Science class that you can assign right in Google, including an answer key.

FCS sub plans for high school
Grab these Free Emergency sub plans for culinary arts and FCS

If you are teaching international foods and they missed a Mexican dish, you can have them choose one, answer questions about the dish by researching, and create a slideshow about the origins of the food, the cooking methods, the part of a menu it would be found on, variations of the dish, etc.

famous chef project for family consumer science and culinary arts
We have this famous chef project in our Teachers Pay Teachers store that has students choose a famous chef, research questions, create a slideshow using the rubric, and more!

Digital Sub Plans that are No-Prep

Digital Escape Rooms are another great sub-plan idea. Students move through a Google Form to crack clues about a specific topic to continue. We have a few in our store, including a free family and consumer science digital escape room!

Edpuzzles– Edpuzzles are a great, free option for sub plans. You sign up for an account and find videos related to the topic that you are teaching. You can use the questions that previous teachers have made or you can make your own questions.

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