Cultural Cuisine is a historical cooking unit outline for grades fifth through eighth, developed by Marie MacPherson, one of the leading developers of our vendor Into Your Hands, LLC. This product consists of a 32-page PDF with a description, overarching goals, teacher preparation, and assessment summary. There are seven weekly lessons.
Here’s an excerpt from the “justification section”:
Everyone needs to eat. White people, black people, the poor, the rich, the handicapped. Everyone can relate to some aspect of this unit plan. In our day and age, with obesity becoming an epidemic, it is important for students to learn how to cook their own healthful meals, not just buy frozen pizzas at the grocery store. More and more, both parents in a family work (if there are two parents present) and aren’t able to cook meals for their families, much less teach their children how to cook. Cooking is becoming a lost art. This unit resurrects it.
Cultural Cuisine is academically unique in that it teaches children a skill that is important by itself (cooking), but uses that topic to integrate nearly all subject areas, even focusing on some skills that are included in standardized testing. It breaks gender barriers by including boys and girls in all aspects of the cooking process. All three learning domains are represented in Cultural Cuisine; all of Gardner’s multiple intelligences can be utilized through this progressive experiential learning unit. By teaching cooking, educators equip students to make life-long healthy decisions, in and out of school. By teaching historical eras, students gain an appreciation of diversity and are exposed to cultures and foods which they might not otherwise know. Working in groups to complete their final project, students will be motivated by a sense of team-spirit, and make life-long memories as they cook with the whole class.
A teacher choosing to execute Cultural Cuisine doesn’t need to be a chef, but must be comfortable working in a kitchen. It was developed with schools in mind (public and private), but this is certainly suitable for homeschooling and co-ops.
Materials needed are basic, including a bread pan, food processor or blender, and simple ingredients.