Cooking Crepes in Ms. Stentella's French
http://teachnet-lab.org/ditmas/dstentella/crepes/crepes.htmlis a highly enjoyable interdisciplinary
program that helps students achieve performance standards in Foreign
Language, Art, Language Arts, Math, and Technology. The final product
is a class PowerPoint presentation designed and produced by the
students, who also make (and eat!) crepes. The program starts with an introduction
to French cuisine via a virtual tour on the Internet. The students
explore eating, cooking, and
life in France. Cooperative groups are used for the majority of this
lesson. By allowing the students to work in teams that are given
specific roles, they gain self esteem and leadership expertise.
Lessons cover table-setting vocabulary and restaurant conversational skills. After reviewing the crepe
recipe, students pair up and do a mini WebQuest on crepes and find cultural
tidbits about food in France.
How it works:
Once ample research has been done, the
class is ready for the hands-on portion of the lesson. The main goal is to cook, create, and eat
crepes. The class divides into teams, with each team given a task:
Recorder/Photographer, Preparer, Filling, Cooking, and Clean-up. All
tasks are written on large tablet paper and hung on a classroom wall or
easel. Each function is amply discussed and each team knows exactly what
their job is. Next, the mixing, preparing, cooking, filling, cleaning,
and--most importantly--eating takes place. For the final part of this
project, the class creates a PowerPoint presentation about the entire
experience. Digital photos are included as well as personal or
reflective essays about what the student has taken away from this
diverse cultural experience.
The students develop an understanding of French culture and language
through the use of many tools. They read, comprehend, and becoming
familiar with a variety of documents. They write, speak, listen, and
view in French, and become familiar with the language's
conventions, grammar, and usage. The students also address standards
in English/Language Arts, Mathematics/Geometry, Art, Cooking, and
Technology. Most importantly, the students take away
valuable life skills and an enthusiasm for learning.
The program requires the use of a French text book for vocabulary
purposes. It also requires a computer with Internet access and
PowerPoint and Microsoft Word software in addition to art supplies and a digital
camera. To institute the cooking part of the project, you might want to
cooperate with the home economics department and let the students
learn to make crepes in the school kitchen. If your school is not equipped
with a kitchen, you will need a portable range, frying pan, spatula,
plates, cups, napkins, and all supplies included in the recipe.
If you are looking for a cross-disciplinary lesson, the math teacher
may want to take a class trip to the supermarket and allow the
students to shop for the specific ingredients using a budget and
Bon Appétit was designed
for an eighth-grade special education class that consisted of 13
students from a variety of different countries. The students had
varied language and intelligence levels, as each of them has some sort
of learning disability.
Through the hands-on team structure of this project and the use of
technology, students become infused with useful knowledge and life
skills while developing a sense of leadership and self-esteem. They
also step "outside of the box" that they live in and examine
a different culture. The program also incorporates Gardner's Seven
Theories of Intelligences, which permits students to actually produce
something themselves, allowing for a creative and positive learning
process while integrating technology.
If you are working with a larger number of students when cooking, you
might want to divide the class in two and have two crepe station
setups. If your school is equipped with a kitchen or cooking
facilities, work with that teacher and create an interdisciplinary
lesson. Make sure to have adequate supervision!
About the teacher:
Danielle Stentella is a second-year French teacher at I.S.62 in
Brooklyn, New York. She is in the process of completing her master's
degree in education and is involved with many after-school volunteer
programs to help her students build leadership and life skills.