Part of Course: Culinary Arts 1 and 2 Model
Unit Overview / Details
American regional, national trends, world-wide and cultural food history and techniques are some of the key lessons in this unit.
- 5 Days
Content / Concepts
A. Understand how food applies to culture
B. Plan, implement, present and critique a project
C. Understand the local, national and global implications of food
Lessons in this Unit
This lesson introduces the concepts of food and culture and how they are tied together. The basic concepts of geography are explained, and students will be asked to think through how each of the 5 themes of geography affect food in a culture.
Throughout this series of 4 lessons, students will become acquainted with many cultures and their food, and become well versed with one country (of their choice) in particular. An extensive group project on a chosen country includes a written report, map, flag, poster, presentation and ending with a prepared 3 course traditional meal from that country. Library or computer lab recommended. Can be used as a final lab project.
- 1 class period
- 50 Minutes
(Lesson 3 of 4 - The introduction and execution of this part of the project will take place over 1-2 weeks depending on what facilities are like at the library, computer lab,etc; May also use class time for students to work on non-report parts of the project after days in library, or have students work at home.)
Explain Cultural Foods Project: share examples of all components – report, map, flag, poster and pictures of successful table settings from past classes (attach pictures, documents, etc. here).
The 3-course cultural meal will also be planned during this time, with the execution taking place over a 3-5 day span from shopping to prepping to eating. (Detailed in Lesson 4 of 4)
Hand out project guideline, have groups choose 3 countries that they would want to research for their project, guaranteeing they will get at least one of their 3 choices.
(Teacher note: I have groups turn in a piece of paper with 3 countries listed in order of preference. Number them as they are turned in so that the first group to request a specific country gets it, any duplicate requests get their 2 nd or 3rd choice)
Groups break up to work among members – divide out who will write which part of the report, they all have to write part of it. (I have them sign next to their part on the rough draft so I know who did what and can grade accordingly) There are also enough other projects - flag, map, table setting, poster that each person can be in charge of one of those in addition to their written part.
Announce the countries that each group will be researching, encourage them to start researching and bring materials with them to class in following days as we meet in the library (for next 3 - 4 days).
- Introduction/group planning
- 50 Minutes
- 3-4 class periods of research in library
- 50 Minutes
How does the location, culture and history of a country or region affect the food that they eat?
Students learn new information through reading, and share what they have learned with their group. The idea is that students are exposed to as many different cultures as possible so that they can make an informed / educated decision as a group about which region or country they might want to choose for their final project (Lesson 3 in this series)
- 1 Class Period
(4-5 days) Culminating lab event where students get to make the 3 course meal that they chose during their research.
Prior to the week of cooking, students will have planned (and teacher will have approved) a 3 course meal that is authentic to their country - a starter or side dish, a main dish and a dessert. I always remind students that it is not enough to choose 3 dishes that they think look great, but that the dishes should "go" together flavor-wise, come from the same region if the country / area is so diverse that is relevant, and of course budget is a factor (halibut is too expensive, they would get whatever white fish is in the budget if that is what they want to make).
The week before cooking week, students will turn in a lab plan to include: tasks for each dish, who will do these tasks, how long they project it to take, and on what day the dish will have to be finished. Some dishes have to be completed the day they are consumed, which makes things a little tricky, but I try to be available before school and if kids can come in and work in the adjoining kitchen classroom to get working during the period just before them I allow that. But for the most part, all prep and cooking has to be done during each of the class periods prior to "serving" day.
Along with the lab plan, students have to turn in a shopping list broken down by area of the store (produce, meat, frozen, etc). It is always interesting to see where some things pop up! I offer extra credit the day I shop for students who meet me at the grocery store to help me shop, and I break down the list and send the kids off to gather their part of the list, this is always fun. I offer additional extra credit to those who follow me back to school and help me unload!
- 3-5 Class periods
- 50 Minutes