Cooking With Your Spanish Students, 5 Tips & Hints

April 26, 2017 admin

Are you brave enough to try a cooking day with your Spanish students, but wondering where to start? Here are a few tips & hints I’ve learned along the way!

Cooking with students is a fun way to bring culture into the classroom! 

I love cooking with my students during the foods unit. As a department of one, I had to learn some of these tips & hints the hard way (trial and error). I hope that by sharing these tips & hints with you, you can avoid some of the mistakes I made the first few times & just have fun on cooking day! Once you have one cooking adventure under your belt, each consecutive time runs much more smoothly.

1. Know your school’s rules.

The first place to start is to know what is allowed & what isn’t allowed at your school.

Where can you cook?

Some schools don’t allow cooking to be done anywhere but in the FACS classrooms. If your school has this rule, you will need to coordinate with your FACS department to schedule a time that works in their schedule.

What can you cook?

Do you have students with allergies? Perhaps students have dietary restrictions? You can choose recipes that work for everyone in your classroom.

How will the supplies be paid for?

You may need to discuss this with the head of your department or the business office at your school. Will it be part of your language department budget? Will students fundraise to pay for the supplies? Are you allowed to ask students to pay a flat fee as ‘classroom supplies’ for the ingredients? Do you need to know the exact cost of the groceries and divide the cost evenly between each student participating? All of these things need to be known in advance (or you could be the one who ends up footing the bill!). 

2. Choose a recipe (or recipes!).

How you choose the recipe is up to you!
Is a recipe mentioned in a novel you read with your students? A great way to bring the novel alive for your students would be to cook the recipe as a class!

Do you have a heritage speakers in your classes who would want to share a family recipe? Have your students bring in recipes and decide as a class which recipes would be doable in your classroom.

Are you addicted to Chef KiwiLimón videos on YouTube (like I am)? There are some super simple recipes on Chef KiwiLimón’s channel that would be a fun place to start!
*Also* Test the recipe in advance! Try it at home and make sure it is a smooth process before handing it over to your students.

3. Keep in mind the cooking time.

Are you on a block schedule? Or do you only have 45 minute classes? Do you meet with your students every day or every other day?

Keep in mind the cooking time as you prep with your recipe. You may be able to cook the entire recipe in one class period, or you may need to split it into two days – Prep Day and Cooking Day (for example).

4. Target Language Goals

I suggest teaching a lesson (or several) in the Target Language related to the recipe itself.

There are fun opportunities for TPRS here! Have students act out the steps of the recipe using props. Pretend they are contestants on Iron Chef. Have some fun, but most of all make sure students understand all of the recipe language before attempting the recipe itself.

5. Call in the reinforcements.

Consider asking for parent or community member volunteers on cooking day.

I have been able to coordinate with my school’s FACS department for cooking days. Because of the layout of the room (4 kitchens in one room), I can’t be everywhere at once to answer questions or give suggestions. Inviting a member of the community to come in and help on cooking day was a great way to give support to my students while sharing the language learning love with the community.

There you have it! My five best tips for cooking with your students!

Do you have any suggestions or lessons learned along the way? Please share your tips or stories with us below!


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