This summer, Growing Chefs! joined the THINK&EATGREEN@SCHOOL Summer Institute at UBC to teach a workshop called "How to Bring the Kitchen into the Classroom". Our goal was to help and support teachers wanting to bring food and food literacy into their classroom conversations. We shared how we manage to teach cooking in a classroom without an actual kitchen and we did a few of our favourite classroom activities. During the workshop, we gave examples how cooking can mirror and build on current curriculum already taught in the classroom.
Cooking can teach children (and adults too!) so many great skills. Here are a few examples:
Reading, writing, and verbal communication through recipes.Increases vocabulary and introduces children to other languages (sauté - French / bagel - Yiddish / ect.).
GEOGRAPHY AND CULTURE
Explore where different types of foods are from, diets of different cultures, mapping the food miles of a meal, and the path food must travel to our plate.
AGRICULTURE AND SUSTAINABILITY
How and where different foods grow. Discussing food miles, how to reduce waste (packaging and food waste).
Following a recipe includes counting, fractions, and measuring. Many kitchen skills relate to shapes and spatial reasoning (cutting, plating). Opportunities to introduce budgeting.
Parts of the plant, parts of an animal (cuts of meat). Making observations and exploring food using our five senses. Opportunities for experimenting and making predictions. Chemistry - physical and chemical reactions in the kitchen (bread rising, bread to toast, emulsification etc).
What people ate in the past and why. Opportunities to explore different food preparation methods/tools and how this has impacted our diet.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Understanding nutrition, food safety, and cleanliness.
Exploring new foods, creating recipes, food as art (plating).
Responsibility, cooperation, sharing, self-esteem, and patience.