Jay’s Galactic Espressions
Although I proudly represent Star Wars in the Classroom as Rogue 7, I don’t get a lot of opportunities to utilize Star Wars-themed lessons in my daily classroom setting. As a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at the high school level, I have incorporated a few here-and-there, including Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, in some of my lessons. However, this past May the 4th inspired me to take things to the next level!
As it turned out, May 4th was also during National Teacher Appreciation Week. My high school’s National Honor Society implemented a variety of activities, including “Star Wars Day,” which allowed teachers and students alike the opportunity to dress as their favorite Star Wars character, or simply wear a Star Wars-themed t-shirt. Of course, I jumped at the chance, and also supplied a couple of teachers on my staff – who did not own a Star Wars t-shirt *gasp* – with one from a plethora of choices from my personal stash.
I decided to utilize my X-wing pilot’s uniform. I modified a jumpsuit from our local county jail, to which I added the ejection straps and leg flares/holder (thank you, Alderaan base, for the tutorial). I originally wore the costume to the premiere of The Force Awakens, and it is the easiest of all of my costumes to wear for a full day of teaching.
Any student who came to my class without some sort of Star Wars gear was given a Star Wars sticker with which to adorn themselves. Actually, ALL of my students were given the chance to take a sticker! Gotta spread the love, right?!
Let the adventure begin: In my advanced culinary course, titled Global Foods, we have spent the semester studying various cuisines around the world. With that in mind, I decided to take a lesson to another world this year, namely Jakku, and have my students make Rey’s Green Bread as a lab! We also drank blue milk to wash down our mug cakes.
For two days leading up to the lab, we watched The Force Awakens in class. I had several students who had NEVER seen ANY of the Star Wars movies, and absolutely loved it! I had one student who was even inspired to go out and buy a Kylo Ren t-shirt to wear for Star Wars Day!
I did have a live Periscope broadcast of my afternoon class, but it was my first time ever using Periscope, so I didn’t realize I needed to set the video to “archive.” This meant I couldn’t go back and watch it myself, but I did have a few viewers that seemed to have fun while it was live! I was so nervous that the whole thing wasn’t even going to happen, because we actually lost all electrical power at the high school earlier in the day. As a matter of fact, my poor mid-day class had to eat “Rey’s Green Mush” because we didn’t have the use of our microwaves…! The students didn’t seem to mind, though, and said they really liked the batter uncooked!
Since we didn’t have any power, and that class was “stuck” with me until power was restored, I played Star Wars Headspace on my phone with the help of a Bluetooth speaker! My students and I had a great time, jamming out to the dubstep/trap-inspired music!
One disclaimer I will make about the recipe – I originally tried it at home, but I quadrupled it and used a large ramekin rather than the single mug-sized serving. I did find that the single-serving is a bit too small of a portion (ha-ha) to cook correctly in the microwave, so if you decide to try it at home, I would at least double the recipe. Other important things to note about the ingredients: matcha is a green tea powder, common in Japanese cooking. I got a larger bag at World Market, but also found single-serve packets at Wal-Mart. Also, it’s important to use cake flour, because it has less gluten (protein) than all-purpose, making the mixture less dense. However, if you do use all-purpose, the rule of thumb is one cup of cake flour = one cup of all-purpose flour, minus two tablespoons.
In my Child Care and Development class, we’ve been studying the benefits of play, as well as several aspects of physical development. So, I decided that we would make Blue Butter and Wookiee Cookies!
The butter was made by mixing blue food coloring with heavy whipping cream. When the cream is put into a baby food jar and shaken…and shaken…and shaken… eventually, you can pour off the whey (the liquid), and voila – blue butter!
For our second fun child-centered activity, we made Wookiee Cookies. I chose a VERY simple version – we used Star Crunch cookies (the larger size), some edible eyes, and colored frosting. I have a small class, so every time we do an activity like this, we gather around a table together. The students love it, and it builds a lot of rapport among them, being so close together!
The final activity was “Serve Like a Jedi.” Inspired by Star Wars in the Classroom, it involves having students choose a community service activity. As a co-curricular club adviser of the national organization F.C.C.L.A. (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), my student members decided that they would team up with our school’s Student Council to beautify the school
grounds. We completed the activity this past weekend (May 14), so not exactly part of Star Wars Day, but it was our way of keeping the celebration going. We spent that Saturday weeding, mulching, and planting. All aimed at the goal to help give the high school a “facelift,” and lift our own spirits as well.
I really enjoyed everything we did for May the 4th, and beyond! I feel extremely fortunate to be able to be part of the education of a new generation of Star Wars fans. My hope is that they will move forward in the spirit of community to give back to others as well. If nothing else, I think they had fun…!
Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I’d love to hear your feedback!
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