Part of Unit: Herbs and Spices
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
In this unit students will identify, taste and understand the use of fresh herbs. During this lesson the students will learn to better understand how herbs differ from spice, where commonly used herbs originated, how to use and store herbs, and how to identify different herbs based on look, smell, and taste.
- 55 minute class period
- 2 Class Periods
California Career and Technical Education Standards
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
Objectives and Goals
- The student will be able to identify a variety of fresh and dried herbs based on sight and smell.
- The student will be able to identify where specific herbs originated and what type of food they are best used with.
- The student will develop a basic understanding of how to properly store fresh and dry herbs.
Activities in this Lesson
- Do you know the Herb? - Hooks / Set
Students will come into class and there will be samples of at least 10 different fresh herbs on their table with index cards with the name of the herb on them. They will be asked to work as their table group to match the cards with the herb. About 5 minutes will be given for them to work together to try to match the herb with its name.
Herbs I generally use include:
Parsley (curly & Italian)
After they have all of the cards matched up, I call on the groups one at a time and ask for their results. What was easy, what was difficult, how familiar are they already with herbs. Usually they can identify mint and bay, sometimes parsley, chive, basil and rosemary, but usually that is about all they know.
- Self Correction - Group Work
After sharing and comparing what they thought the herbs were, students are given handouts and a book for each table with pictures and descriptions of the herbs and asked to try once again to identify each of the herbs on the table.This time around most of the groups are successful. I walk around the room and assist as needed.
- Herb ID chart [ Download ] A handout I give the students to assist with herb identification
- Why herbs - Lecture
"So what is so special about herbs? Why and how should they be used?" Students will be shown a Powerpoint presentation and given a guided note sheet to take notes during the presentation. They are to use these notes to complete their herb chart following the powerpoint.
The Powerpoint/Notes are usually completed in one class period. The next class period will be working on their herb chart.
- Day 2: Herb Chart - Independent Practice
Have students get out their herb note sheet. A variety of books/resources are available on front table. A variety of fresh (and dried) herbs on the supply table. Each herb is labeled with its name. Students are to select nine of the herbs from the table and tape them down to their chart. I usually bring in a few rolls of packing tape as the width works very well for this project. Using their notes and other classroom resources (books, computer, charts), they are to record information about the chosen herbs. The completed chart will be put into a plastic sheet protector and stored in their notebook. This activity usually takes one class period.
I follow the activity up with a lab in which each group adds a different herb to a basic dinner roll. Students can then taste how different herbs change the flavor of a like product.
- Herb chart [ Download ] Chart for students to attach herb sample and fill in information.
- Example of completed herb chart [ View Image ] [ Download Original ] This is an example of what a completed herb chart might look like
- Student handout about herbs [ View Image ] [ Download Original ] I give this to my students as an additional resource for completing their chart.
- Book of Herbs [ View Image ] [ Download Original ] Book that I use as a reference for students edited by Dawn Titmus
- Complete book of Herbs [ View Image ] [ Download Original ] Book that I use as a reference for students by Lesley Bremness
- Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs [ View Image ] [ Download Original ] Book that I use as a reference for students edited by Claire Kowalchik
- "Ingredients" book by Loukie Werle [ View Image ] [ Download Original ] Book that I use as a reference for students
- Assessment Types:
The assessment for this lesson is the completion of the herb chart. I follow up this lesson with a lab in which each group uses a different herb as an ingredient in a standard dinner roll, then tastes each of the different rolls for comparison. At the end of the unit there is an identification quiz to ensure that the students can pick out the most common fresh herbs.