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New Teachers Online: How-To Articles: Use New Technology to Reinforce Instruction

From Soup to Nuts: Creating a Menu
Ann Stephenson


Creating a menu is part of the From Soup to Nuts unit. The lesson is designed to teach the students how to write for a variety of purposes and audiences using technology to enhance the end product. It also demonstrates how to use a desktop publishing program, produce a brochure, manipulate graphics, research on the Internet, and use a digital camera and scanner.

This lesson allows students to be creative so they may show their finished product to parents and other invited guests at the culminating activity which includes a “taste of….” their country’s cuisine.

The food may be prepared at home with the help of the parents or donated by local restaurants. If funding is available, the products may be purchased at a grocery store and prepared at school.


A pack of semi-heavy printer paper, in pastel shades
Computers with desktop publishing software installed
Digital camera


From Soup to Nuts is a program that will allow the students to research, create and design their own “restaurants.” They will work in groups, choose a country and research the history of food from a general area within that country. They will learn about the climate and topography and be able to explain why certain foods are prevalent from that particular country. The students will “create” a restaurant by writing a “business plan” to a “bank” for start-up money and will make a spreadsheet on the computer depicting the financial details.

Members of the groups will collaborate to write a menu and ads for a newspaper. The groups will visit each others’ restaurants and order from the menus for a phantom lunch which will be paid for (including taxes and tips) using a cash drawer. Logos and placemats will be designed on the computer, laminated and placed on the tables.

As a culminating activity, the students will invite parents and local restaurant personnel in the neighborhood for a “soft opening” by hosting a “taste of” party. An ethnic dish from their restaurant will be served.


Download the rubric (Word document).

Do you have a question or comment about this lesson? E-mail me.


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