How To Teach: Kitchen Safety

functional life skills how to teach life skills special education teachers transition Feb 07, 2022
Importance of Kitchen Safety
The kitchen is now the heart of the home. So, your students are likely in and out of their family kitchen multiple times a day, to grab a quick snack, eat a meal, or get a drink of water. However, the kitchen CAN have many hazards that could put students at risk of getting hurt or sick. Therefore, students should understand how to be safe in the kitchen.
-Safely using a knife and microwave
-Using gloves when using hot appliances (oven/microwave)
-Touching raw food
-Purpose of soap and keeping hands clean
-Keeping electrical appliances away from water
Why Focus On These Skills
Safety is top of mind for all families and while they want their student to be safe, they also likely want them to be independent in getting a drink of water or preparing a simple meal or snack. Students don’t need to be capable of staying home by themselves to learn kitchen safety. They can learn how to safely handle themselves in the kitchen regardless of their level of independence in meal preparation.
When To Teach
If possible, try to pair this lesson with advocacy or problem solving in the event that the student DOES encounter an issue. Try to teach kitchen safety BEFORE lessons on preparing a meal so the basics are already addressed.
I’ve created a complete lesson unit of materials for teaching this topic. The materials are comprehensive (5 full lessons) and most appropriate for life skill lessons at the middle school, high school and transition level students. Below are some lesson unit highlights!
Students will identify sharp edges and how to be safe when using them.
Students will identify ways to prevent fires and burns in the kitchen.
Students will identify how to stop the spread of germs through handwashing.
Lesson Vocabulary
burn, fire, knife, prevent, microwave safe, mitts, oven, oven mitts, safe, sharp, soap
  • Pre and Post assessment
  • 1 page narrative explaining the skill with and without visual text supports (to incorporate functional reading)
  • 5 skill practice activities to learn and/or reinforce the focus skills
  • Game for students to practice their skills (because learning is fun)
  • Boom Cards for practice or assessment
  • Student learning reflection worksheet (thumbs up or down)
  • Encouraging on-topic quotes (use as a classroom poster or starter for each class period)
  • 5 strategies for success (tips for being successful with the focus skills)
  • Coloring page with on-topic graphics
  • Skill mastery certificate for positive recognition and reinforcement
  • Data collection sheet on specific focus skills
  • Homework sheet to encourage students to practice the skill outside of the school setting
  • Word search of key vocabulary terms
  • Visuals for focus skills with age appropriate colors and graphics
Ultimate Goal
Knives, microwaves, and ovens are the top safety issues when students are in a kitchen. Teaching them how to properly handle or keep away from these tools and appliances should be the main goal of the lesson.
Links to Curriculum

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