“It is fun to cook with the teachers. It’s kind of hard to plan. You know they like the food when everyone says, ‘It’s an awesome meal’.” – Walker
The Five Oaks Academy Upper Elementary classroom involves all of the members of its community in as many classroom activities as possible. One of these activities is the weekly community lunch. Each week, two Upper Elementary students plan a menu, organize, shop, and prepare a meal for the entire Upper Elementary class, visiting Lower Elementary students in the third grade, and the Five Oaks Academy Faculty. This exercise is an extension of the students’ practical life curriculum and is designed to foster independence, as well as expand the breadth of food experiences for the children.
“It was fun and interesting. It was really yummy.” – Maddie
Two student orchestrate an entire meal from its beginning stage of planning all the way through to the end stage of serving. The chosen “chefs” research menus, make a shopping list, and go to the grocery store. Part of the grocery store list involves budgeting for items and looking at nutritional values. The average meal servers over 50 people each week. In guiding the students, the teachers emphasize a variety of cooking methods and ethnic styles.
“It is fun to go shopping and to experience cooking with other people that you normally would not have an opportunity to work with.” – Kaitlyn
As the students research needs, they are asked to look at fresh and holistic ways to prepare the items. This fall, for example, instead of boiling store bought noodles for fetuccini alfredo, the students made whole wheat pasta by hand.
“I Like to cook. It was fun! We made eggrolls, veggie fried rice, and sweet and sour chicken.” – Carson