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Home » Elementary School Ideas » The Way to their Hearts is Through...

Please use this forum to share ideas, materials, and methods for teaching about Asia that are appropriate for elementary children. Please also note the social studies, literature, and other discipline-specific threads in the "Asia in My Classroom" forum.
9/1/2012 1:09:06 PM

vhaddad
vhaddad
Posts: 31
Subject: Don't Forget...
I think it is highly effective to include Asian food items when you teach about Asian culture.
I use this technique when I show foreign films in my after school class. First of all it lures students to my class like flies. Secondly, it's something they don't forget. Thirdly, food is as effective as lecturing in broadening their cultural limits. Many times my students' only access to foods of a distant culture is through our class because of the limits and prejudices of their parents. Fourthly, it makes the day even more fun which is a great way to learn.

In the past I have brought simple stir fries with soba noodles that I keep warm in a crock pot...seaweed samples from Trader Joes (which some kids hate, some love), fortune cookies, a Mongolian rice pudding, rice balls, and a soup that has a black tea based broth which was really good (can't recall with certainty, but I think it was Tibetan). (Actually even here at the Salton Sea, most of my students are familiar with Chinese food because of the Chinese restaurant row in Mexicali where their grandparents live. It is when I show films from Iran, Switzerland, France, etc. that the food is unrecognizable to them.)
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12/28/2012 12:32:25 AM

nfong
nfong
Posts: 32
Subject:
I agree whole-heartedly! I teach first-grade and for several years, before cooking was banned in our classrooms due to allergies, we would make dumplings in class during Chinese New Year. I would prepare the dumpling filling (yes, raw meat) at home and in class, parent volunteers and I would teach the kids how to wrap the dumpling skins around the meat. After the kids were done wrapping the dumplings, we would throw them in a pot of boiling water and then eat them! The kids LOVED it, as did I! It was a fantastic cultural experience for our kids and a great way to get Asian parents involved in our classroom.
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1/3/2013 8:27:23 PM

abarker
abarker
Posts: 34
Subject:
I also agree that cultural cooking experiences are wonderful for all! Traditionally on Chinese New Year, I would have a classroom pot-luck, where families would bring in home made Chinese dishes, or bring in take-out Chinese food. However, I love the idea of making the dumplings at school, so that the children can participate in the preparation. The students would feel so much pride eating their own culinary results! And yes, it is also a great way to encourage Asian parents to be involved in their child's classroom.
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1/7/2013 9:35:48 PM

mapodaca
mapodaca
Posts: 36
Subject: food
Using food to teach different cultures is good and interesting tool to teach about other cultures. I can discuss whats going into the food and instructions how to prepare it. i can contrast and compare what foods that they are use to (for example the dumplings to a mexican quesadilla). People will always remember the things they eat if they love it or hate they will remember why.
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8/2/2013 6:55:12 AM

sho
sho
Posts: 30
Subject: Celebrating festivals with food
Interestingly, every Chinese festival comes with special kind of food. I used to offer snacks to my Chinese class students during Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat festival, Mid-Autumn festival, Chinese Valentine. Later some Chinese parents help me with that. For elementary school students I would suggest paper cutting and origami activities also.

--
Simon Ho
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11/25/2014 6:45:09 PM

egonzalez
egonzalez
Posts: 32
Subject: Teaching Culture Through Food
Helping children prepare an ethnic recipe is a great way to introduce them to customs and traditions of another country. If you can't prepare it in class, you could at least talk about its origins and bring samples of it to class for students to taste it. I found two great websites that go into great detail about how to introduce students to Chinese cuisine. The first website: http://chinesefood.about.com/od/resourceschinesecooking/a/teachingcooking.htm features sections titled "child friendly" recipes, Chinese table manners (including directions on how to use chopsticks), and symbolic foods associated with traditional Chinese festivals. In addition, it has links to a Chinese food glossary, Chinese ingredients and cooking terms.
The second website: http://www.china-family-adventure.com/chinese-culture.html#.VHTPQBxpFJk, is very child friendly. It has a section dedicated to Chinese Food for Kids. The best part is that it goes into detail about the five major styles of Chinese food: Sichuan and the West, Hunan, Beijing and the North, Canton and the South, and Fujian and the East.
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11/28/2014 10:43:39 AM


Guest
Subject:
I also agree that cultural cooking experiences are wonderful for all!!!!
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12/10/2014 10:59:45 AM

janetgarcia
janetgarcia
Posts: 31
Subject: parent involvement
Cooking or presenting multicultural food in a classroom is a good way to have parent involvement. I have noticed that many parents take pride and enjoyment in volunteering in the classroom and providing food from their culture. This is evident when introducing the unit of Chinese New Year in my classroom.
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1/20/2015 8:28:24 PM

kventuroso
kventuroso
Posts: 70
Subject:
I used to cook weekly in my classroom...I agree food is very effective and fun..Now I just buy premade cookies..etc..However we have been discouraged as well...
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1/20/2015 9:28:52 PM

zrichardson
zrichardson
Posts: 66
Subject: The Way to their Hearts is Through...
13. I agree with you, food is an essential part of teaching about any culture. Currently are doing the China unit-(now)- I bring an electrical rice cooker to the classroom and chopsticks with soy sauce. The unit on China cannot be taught or be accessible without integrating the food, regional cuisines and traditional universal dishes inherent to China. Culture and food are inseparable. Part of the unit on China includes engaging all the senses or total physical response, by smelling and sampling a variety of spices, including tasting ginger root, an excellent anti-inflammatory natural herbal remedy. For example tomorrow is Pasta day, where I bring pasta to share with my students, since it is another item introduced to Italy by Marco Polo from his travels to China. Food is an integral component to the unit and central to motivating students to engage in classroom discussions about the historical and ancient trade routes and Silk Road.

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Zrichardson
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