Cooking with Sra. P


Spanish 2 is learning about healthy food choices and meals. I love this unit because it really reinforces other curriculum areas, especially health and nutrition. It always amazes me how little they know about the foods they eat.

Today’s goal was “I can explain how to make a snack.”


To give them some context, I showed PARTS of this cooking video. I skipped the outside scene at the beginning and the outtakes at the end. I thought the young men were more entertaining and relatable than a cooking host to my high school students. Please let me know if you hear any inappropriate words. I didn’t hear any that I recognized, but I don’t know all of them!

Then it was time for some interactive learning. Each student had a bowl, some plastic flatware, and little pictures of some basic ingredients for tacos. I showed a picture of Tacos al pastor to show a little culture. Tomorrow I’ll do a similar activity, but with gazpacho.


I picked a few generic “cooking verbs” (cut, mix, put, cook, etc.). I asked them to do what I said with the props and pictures as I modeled. We cut the tomatoes. We cut the chicken. We mixed them in the bowl. We cooked them by putting under the table. We removed them. We put cheese. Then I did it again and added some sequence words like first, next, and last to bump up the proficiency level. I had a little fun doing the recipe out of order and they corrected me. I told them to put food on people’s heads. Then I showed them the words.


The last step was they explained how to make their favorite snack or meal. We have iPads so some found pictures to demonstrate what they were saying. They presented them in small groups and graded each other with the proficiency rubrics. I loved hearing them give each other positive feedback and advice (something I have trained them to do). They said they needed to work on intros and adding more details, so tomorrow we will add that information to improve their first attempt.

The main reason I shared this lesson was to show how I teach grammar. Technically they learned how to do commands today; however, I never gave a conjugating lesson. When they looked up new verbs that they needed, they figured out to just drop the “r”. I never told them. Some made mistakes, but I corrected them like a mom repeating it back correctly. They corrected it and moved on.

How do you teach grammar in a performance-based lesson?

Idea #96: What’s for lunch?


Today was a day that I saw great progress with the students so I will share this lesson plan.

The goal was I can describe school lunches. I gave them copies of the monthly school cafeteria menu which has breakfast and lunch, but we only focused on lunch for today. I was glad to see they were interested in talking about lunch.


Next I described a menu for a day in the target language focusing on reusing “on Tuesday”,” “For lunch,” “there is” and “and/or/with/of.” They guessed which date I was describing. You can use dry erase boards if you want.


Next they were in small groups with a bucket of Jenga blocks with numbers 1-31. You could use any set of numbers. Each student took a turn. They drew a number, looked at the menu for that date, and described as much as they could in the target language. If they drew a non-school day, they just drew again. I gave them key phrases like “For lunch” to help them make beautiful sentences. I was happy to have them ask me how to say what they needed but didn’t know. We talked about simplifying (say “chicken sandwich” instead of “breaded chicken patty”).


Afterwards, I gave them a practice assessment where they could use notes. They were very confident and eager to add more details like “there is always pizza on Tuesdays” and “there is salad and rolls every day.” Finally they were expressing what they really wanted to say. That’s what we want them to do!