Reviewing nutrition by using a “What I eat in a day?” YouTube video

Iida Harvala, Pihla Pohjankyrö, Emmi Rajala & Tea Tarvainen


The teaching experiment was done for the course “Teacher as a researcher of one’s job”. The goal of the course was to design, implement and develop a virtual teaching session. We wanted to try and develop a new kind of virtual and applied teaching method as well as strengthen our pedagogical skills. In addition, we were able to familiarize ourself with various opportunities that distance learning has to offer, and at the same time we were able to develop ourselves while operating outside our comfort zones.

The teaching experiment was carried out in a middle school in Helsinki for three different groups of 8th graders in March 2022. The duration of a teaching session was 60 minutes and the lessons were held during one week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The lessons were held remotely: students were at their own classroom with their own teacher. We, the teachers, were projected on the screen in the classroom. Students and the classroom were projected to us through the teachers’ computer. Communication happened over Teams. The students were encouraged to come and ask us for help over the computer if they needed it.

Our distance teaching point. Picture by Tea Tarvainen.

Our topic was nutrition. The lesson was built on the basis that the students had already worked with the topic earlier; the aim of our lesson was to repeat and deepen the topic. Additional goals for the teaching experiment were to develop listening and conversational skills, to consider time usage, and to utilize information and communication technology in learning. We built the lesson around a YouTube video we had filmed. Our “What I eat in a day” YouTube video featured YouTubers Mirkku and Pirkku. The video consisted of clips of the youtuber’s meals throughout the day. After each clip, students carried out tasks related to the clip in groups. They answered questions using Google Forms. Links to these forms were placed on the Flinga platform, where students were instructed to go in the beginning of the lesson.

View of Flinga. Picture by Tea Tarvainen.

Concepts of learning behind our teaching experiment

Constructivist and socioconstructivist concepts of learning formed the basis of our teaching. In constructivism, learning is considered as an active processing of knowledge, where learning is related to action. The learner interprets new information through their previous knowledge and expectations. Learning is always situation-dependent and a result of interaction. (Tynjälä, 1999, p. 37–38.) In socioconstructivism, important things, such as asking for and receiving help, are learned together. Information is not born out of nowhere and it’s not created alone, but shaped together with others, based on existing information. (Jyrhämä, Hellström, Uusikylä & Kansanen, 2016.)           

The Finnish national core curriculum (POPS, 2014, p. 17) is also based on the concept of learning, where student is an active agent, who learns to set goals and strives for problem solving independently and in interaction with others. Learning is both about doing things together and alone as well as planning, thinking, researching, and evaluating these processes. The students are instructed to integrate what they have learned with what they have learned in the past, allowing them to learn new things and to deepen their understanding of what they have learned. Learning of knowledge and skill requires long-term practice and it is cumulative. (POPS, 2014, p. 17.) We wanted to teach with positive pedagogy by praising and encouraging students. A communal, positive culture and social relationships support the inclusion, learning and well-being of children and young people (Kumpulainen, Mikkola, Rajala, Hilppö & Lipponen, 2014, p. 228).

Development of teaching experiment based on feedback

Teaching was developed based on reflection and feedback from students and teachers. After the first lesson, we changed Flinga’s editing features so that students could not edit the view. The students had added their own comments to the Flinga wall and removed links from it while the editing rights were enabled. We also edited Flinga so that links can be opened only after watching the video, because the teachers had told us that some of the students had already opened the links and started the assignments while watching the video. Before the first lesson, we assumed that the time might run out. To our surprise, we realized that 60 minutes was just enough time to process the subject. We even had time to complete the homework assignment during the lesson. This increased the interaction with the students, as they had to present their answers to us in front of the camera.

One area of development was also to make the Kahoot quiz more difficult and to come up with additional questions. The students had pointed out in the feedback that the quiz was too easy, which we had also thought about earlier. In addition, we received feedback from teachers that it is important for the beginning of the lesson to be clear. This way students will better focus on the teachers and the teaching through Teams.

The changes made after the first teaching clarified and improved the teaching. After the second lesson, we got feedback from the teachers to show the answers related to the YouTube video. Answers were added to every question on the PowerPoint slides. This resulted in students to focus better on reviewing of answers. After the third lesson, we received feedback about stuttering audio in the videos. Some parts were not properly audible. At that moment, we could not impact the audio quality, but that’s something to consider when designing a virtual lesson.

The teachers found our lessons a refreshing variation. We also received positive feedback from students stating that the lesson had been fun and that they learned something new during the lesson. In our opinion, this development of the teaching experiment was successful, and we are satisfied with the implementation of the development work.


Jyrhämä, R., Hellström, M., Uusikylä, K. & Kansanen, P. (2016). Opettajan didaktiikka. Jyväskylä: PS-kustannus.

Kumpulainen, K., Mikkola, A., Rajala, A., Hilppö, J. & Lipponen, L. (2014). Positiivisen pedagogiikan jäljillä. Teoksessa L. Uusitalo (toim.) Positiivisen psykologian voima. Jyväskylä: PS-kustannus. 224–242.

Opetushallitus. (2014). Perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteet 2014. Määräykset ja ohjeet: 96. Helsinki: Next Print.

Tynjälä, P. (1999). Oppiminen tiedon rakentamisena – Konstruktivistisen oppimiskäsityksen perusteita. Helsinki: Kirjayhtymä. 

Well-being and food

Kilpi Laura, Liikanen Anne & Tiainen Karoliina

Well-being and food: what kind of connection is there between them?

Our didactic development project was all about the connection of comprehensive well-being and food. The topic of our teaching experiment was: Well-being and food – physical, mental and social point of view. As sources we used examples such as nutrition ABC from Martat (Martat, 2021). The comprehensive aim of this project was to develop ways of teaching home economics by internet connection in distance learning and also to develop our own and the pupils’ distance learning and technology skills. The development of distance learning is a topical subject, because the worldwide pandemic caused rapid changes in primary schools and distance learning had to be brought into use at short notice (Ilomäki & Lakkala, 2020). Our topic was given by the upper comprehensive school teacher. The topic was quite wide, so we needed different ideas to experiment with different kinds of teaching methods. Our intention was also to broaden the pupils’ conceptions about the connection of well-being and food so that they could recognize their own resources concerning overall well-being.

Developing hands-on skills

The main part of this didactic development project was to focus on developing the teaching of hands-on skills by distance learning. We wanted to focus on the basic hands-on skills that the pupils need in their everyday life. The hands-on skill was part of the physical well-being field. We wanted to teach the pupils how to handle different kinds of fruit and make a healthy smoothie, so they can take that skill to their everyday life and make healthy snacks. Our teaching method for this was to use a video. We filmed our own teaching video by using the Stop Motion Studio application. This application was free and it was easy to use. The idea is to make stop-motion movies, where the movie is made from photos. We think that it was a very good and simple way to make our own video and it could be used in many different ways, also by the pupils. Here is a link to Stop Motion Studio tutorial video.

Have you ever thought of meditation as a teaching method? Picture: Shahariar Lenin Pixabaystä.

Methods and digital applications

We implemented our didactic development project in a class of 7th graders in secondary school. Before teaching, we shared an introductory video with the pupils. In the video, we told who we are and what we are going to do with them. The lesson was 75 minutes long and we were only able to complete it once. The reason was the changing circumstances caused by the pandemic. In this project we utilized the socio-constructivist concept of learning, which focuses on the pupil’s own learning to learn (Kauppila, 2007,  37–39).  As teaching methods of the didactic development project, we used group work, inquiry-based teaching, teacher-led teaching, video, and meditation. We also utilized different digital applications and tools which you can see below in Table 1.

Table 1. Our project subjects and the digital applications used.

Opetuskokeilun aihe 🡪
Hyvinvointi ja ruoka,tarkasteltuna henkisestä, sosiaalisesta ja fyysisestä näkökulmasta
Mistä löytää?Digitaalinen sovellus/alusta:HenkinenSosiaalinenFyysinenYhteenvetoPalaute
Flinga.fiFlinga X   
Google Play, App StoreStop Motion Studio   X  
Canva.comCanva  XX Forms    X Classroom     X
Working in the classroom. Picture: Kotitalousopettajan sijainen
Working in the classroom. Picture: Kotitalousopettajan sijainen

How did we do?

The teaching experiment was successful. The chocolate meditation at the beginning of the lesson calmed the pupils down and they liked it very much, probably because it had a sweet twist;) During the lesson the pupils participated actively and answered our questions and they focused on the Prezi presentation. There was a calm atmosphere in the classroom. The visual and animated Prezi presentation worked well in teaching. In the discussion task, the pupils discussed actively and added answers to Flinga very actively. We used the Stop Motion Studio application to teach the hands-on skill. In that video we demonstrated peeling and chopping of different fruits and the making of a smoothie. Finally, we summarized our subjects in the diagram made by the Canva application. This brought well together all the three aspects of well-being, namely the mental, the social and the physical. The interaction between the teacher and the student in the distance learning experiment remained quite limited because we did not see or hear the pupils very well. Home Economics is a subject that is characterized by an interactive learning environment, so we will need to further develop this area in the future.


Ilomäki, L. & Lakkala, M. (2020). Finnish upper secondary school students’ experiences with online courses. Education in the North, 72(2), 73-91.

Kauppila, R. A. (2007). Ihmisen tapa oppia. Johdatus sosiokonstruktiiviseen oppimiskäsitykseen. Jyväskylä: PS-kustannus.

Martat (2021). Ravitsemuksen ABC. Ravitsemus.


Stop Motion Studio tutorial video