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TeachNet Grant: Online Cookbook
Joshua Gottesmann

185 Ellery Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206

Grade/Subject: 10th Grade
About the Grant:

Subject Areas

Special education (autism spectrum), math, English language arts, vocational skills (cooking skills)

Grade Level

High School Grades (9-12), This may be appropriate for middle school and elementary school-aged children depending on the specific recipe.


  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Blog or Web site
  • Digital camera
  • Recipes
  • Cooking supplies (depending on the recipe)

For the recipe described in this lesson we used:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • ¾ lb of ground beef
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • fresh oregano
  • spaghetti (dry)
  • burner or stove
  • sauce pan
  • frying pan
  • large pot
How This Grant was Adapted:


Students will chose a recipe and cook it. The students will take pictures of each ingredient and each step of the recipe in order to post it online in a cookbook. Though the cookbook can be used by people at all levels, this online cookbook will utilize pictures in order for students in the autistic spectrum to duplicate the recipe at a later date. In this example, students will cook spaghetti and meat sauce.

How it Works

Students will cook a recipe, take pictures of each ingredient and step, and post it in the form of an online cookbook. Students will learn how to read a recipe, cook, measure ingredients and operate cooking machinery including burners and knives (please use digression based on students’ abilities). Students will also learn how to operate a digital camera and upload pictures onto a Web site or blog. Finally, teachers should incorporate a mini-lesson on kitchen safety into this lesson.

Final Project/Product

In this specific example, students will prepare a meal of spaghetti and meat sauce from scratch. Teachers may substitute recipes based on supplies and students’ abilities.

Overall Value

In addition to teaching cooking and the skills associated with it, this lesson can be part of a bigger unit on safety or nutrition. It will also teach students how to use basic technologies.

Tips for the Teacher

Teachers should be mindful of students’ abilities and dietary needs. Please keep in mind any specific allergies. Additionally, please be mindful of students’ abilities to use knives, burners and other potentially dangerous objects. Teachers can assist when necessary. This is a useful lesson because in addition to teaching reading and math in a practical and fun way, it also teaches cooking, which is an important vocational skill to know and a potential career of interest for some students.

Project URL

Project URL


  1. To practice reading skills; specifically following direction
  2. To practice math skills, specifically measurement skills
  3. To practice safety skills and following direction
  4. To learn cooking skills
  5. To learn how to operate a digital camera
  6. To learn how to develop a basic Web site
Websites Used

Food Network (for recipes)

Blog Web site

Google (to search for recipes)

Description: Measurement conversions

Standards Addressed:

Standard 1:

Students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding. As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.

Grade: 10th Grade
Subject: English Language Arts

Standard 2:

Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

Grade: 10th Grade
Subject: Information Systems

Standard 3:

Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.

Grade: 10th Grade
Subject: Technology

Standard 4:

Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.

Grade: 10th Grade

Subject: Interdisciplinary Problem Solving

Standard 5:

Students will understand mathematics and become mathematically confident by communicating and reasoning mathematically, by applying mathematics in real-world settings, and by solving problems through the integrated study of number systems, geometry, algebra, data analysis, probability, and trigonometry.

Grade: 10th Grade

Subject: Mathematics

Lesson 1:

Lesson 1 : Finding a recipe

Project Objectives

  • To learn what students’ favorite foods and what they may want to cook
  • To learn about any food allergies students may have
  • To discuss what kinds of cooking supplies are available and what recipes will work with those supplies


  • A cookbook or Web site to find recipes
  • Letters from parents containing any information on food allergies
  • A list of available cooking supplies


  1. Conduct a discussion on students favorite foods and nutritious foods
  2. Write out a list of the students favorite nutritious foods
  3. Ask students what a recipe is and what is needed for a recipe to be complete (directions, measurements, cooking time, etc.)
  4. Have the students go through Web sites to pick their favorite recipes
  5. Compare students favorite recipes against the cooking supplies available in the school


Before the lesson, students can brainstorm their favorite nutritious recipes and bring them to class. The teacher should also send home a note to parents that asks them to make the teacher aware of any food allergies or dietary needs.


The teacher must explain that students are going to cook this recipe, so a successful lesson would be one in which students and the teacher can agree on a healthy nutritious recipe to cook.

Lesson 2:

Lesson 2 : Grocery Shopping (this lesson may be skipped if the teacher prefers to buy the groceries by his or herself)

Project Objectives

  • To find the appropriate ingredients for the recipe
  • To make sure there is enough of each ingredient for the recipe


  • Permission slips for the students to leave the school
  • Money to purchase ingredients
  • Shopping list
  • Recipe for reference


  1. Students will go in an orderly fashion to a local supermarket
  2. Students will go aisle by aisle to find the ingredients
  3. Students will check each item of his or her shopping list and recipe
  4. One student will be in charge of holding the ingredients
  5. The teacher will be responsible for paying for the groceries
  6. The students will go back to school


Students must have a signed permission slip in order to leave the school.


This will be a successful lesson if students are able to find all ingredients necessary for this recipe.

Lesson 3:

Lesson 3: Cooking!

Project Objectives

  • To cook the recipe based on the ingredients
  • To operate a digital camera


  • Ingredients
  • Digital camera
  • It may be helpful depending on class size to have a list of roles and responsibilities.


  1. Students will follow the recipe in order to cook a meal
  2. One student (or several) will be responsible for taking pictures of each ingredient and each step of the recipe.

The recipe our class used for this lesson:

Brown ¾ lb of ground beef in a frying pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil.
Place to the side once cooked
In a large heavy saucepan, add the olive oil, garlic, pepper and onion.
Cook over moderate low heat for 5 minutes, or until fragrant.
Add a 28 oz can crushed tomatoes. Simmer and stir for 10 minutes.
Season with salt and your favorite chopped fresh herb (oregano)
Add beef to the sauce pan
Boil hot water in a large pot
Add spaghetti
Cook for 10 minutes until tender
Drain spaghetti
Pour sauce over spaghetti


This lesson is successful if the recipe is executed successfully and there are pictures taken of every ingredient and step of the cooking process.

Lesson 4

Lesson 4: Developing the cookbook Web site

Project Objectives

  • To develop a cookbook web site based on the recipe the class cooked
  • To construct complete sentences on a Web site


  • Blog/Web site (Blogger or another Web site template)
  • Pictures from digital camera


  1. Download pictures from the digital camera onto the computer desktop
  2. Step up a Web site via a Web site template such as Blogger
  3. Upload pictures onto the Web site
  4. Put descriptions next to each picture on the Web site so it reads like a cookbook
  5. Share the Web site with parents, so students can duplicate the recipe at home.

Joshua Gottesmann is a second-year New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching special education at P373K in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Gottesmann grew up in Brooklyn and completed his schooling through the New York City public school system. Gottesmann joined the New York City Teaching Fellows program shortly after graduating from Baruch College where he earned a B.A. in history. He hopes this experience will serve as a way to give back to the community and school system that helped shape him as a child. He is currently completing his M.S. in special education at Pace University.



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