"When we invest in our students' identities, we can experience a return on this investment in th form of increased student engagement and higher performance, not to mention potentially more joyful teaching and learning." ~ Sarah Ottow #LanguageLens
I wholeheartedly agree with the quote above. Investing in our students' identities is so important, and it pays off.
To invest in our students' identities and create lessons around students' cultural interests, we must invest time to know our students.
I have a student who loves cooking. Every once in a while he'd send me videos and messages about what he is cooking. He loves telling me about the ingredients and the cooking processes. He knew it didn't bother me since I was always asking questions about his cooking.
This student was the influence for this lesson - Our first ESL Class' Recipe Book --
The Cooking Lesson
We started our lessons analyzing the image in this NewsELA article - "Library program builds confidence through cooking.".
We made a list of objects we saw and made predictions.
The article is fascinating. Students were interested in learning about a library program that helps individuals learn English and develop literacy skills.
This is how I introduced our recipe project -- I explained to students how cooking and following a recipe can help them develop literacy and English skills. This introduction was an instant buy-in! Especially for the student who loves cooking. I also highlighted the fact that they had an opportunity to show a recipe from their home county.
Because I teach newcomers, and most of my students are in the beginning stages of second language acquisition, I had to provide several scaffolds to ensure their success in this project.
Step 1: Brainstorming
Students began brainstorming on this great worksheet I found on Twinkle - You can download it HERE
Several students began brainstorming and writing on their instructions worksheet using home language. This allowed the writing process to be more relaxed and less overwhelmed trying to use the English language.
Step 2: Checklist
During the draft process, students just listed the ingredients, equipment to use, and indicate some of the cooking processes.
However, I wanted to make sure students had all the details needed for their reader to follow their recipe. Hence, I provided my students with a checklist. This checklist included step by step what they needed to include and the points worth each detail provided.
Step 3: Google Slides
I created a Google slides presentation with 10 pages where all students had to do was to enter in the information they already had.
I met with each student as they were entering their information to ensure they were doing it correctly. It also allowed me time to provide individual feedback and practice reading and pronunciation. Click HERE to make a copy of the presentation each student gets for their recipe.
As students turned in their "finished project", I provided the checklist with the grade given based on what they had turned in. Some students didn't like their grades so they continued working on it until they received 100%.
Here is our ESL Class' Recipe Book - Class 2021-2022
Step 4: Our finished project
Their final work is amazing! I am so proud of their dedication and hard work. They were so proud to share their favorite meal. Some provided a recipe from their home county, others provided a recipe of their favorite food. Overall, this was a favorite lesson thus far.
Please, take some time and check out the slides below. I curated all their recipes and created one presentation. They enjoyed looking at each other's recipes and learning about different foods.
If you find this lesson interesting and decide to do it with your students, please let me know. I'd love to share with my students how they've inspired others to do what they did.
Thank you for reading!