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Foods and Languages of the World - Project Children L.E.A.D. - Learning Early to Appreciate Diversity

Student Teacher: Venneasha Davis
Project Children L.E.A.D. Director: Dr. Vincenne Revilla Beltran
Subject Area: Diversity
Grade level: Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Length of Lesson: 60 minutes

Learning goals based on the Pennsylvania Academic Standards:

Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

1.6 Speaking and Listening

1.6.8. Grade 8

B. Speak using skills appropriate for formal speech situations

- Adjust volume to propose and audience

  1. Contribute to discussions

- Ask relevant, probing questions

- Respond with relevant information, ideas, or reasons in support of opinions expressed

- Clarify, illustrate, or expand on a response when asked

  1. Participate in small and large group discussion and presentations

- Initiate everyday conversation

Academic Standards for Geography

7.3 The Human Characteristics of Places and Regions

7.3.6. Grade 6

  1. Describe the human characteristics of places and regions by

their population characteristics.

- Spatial distribution, size, density and demographic characteristics of population

- Causes of human movement/ mobility

  1. Describe the human characteristics of places and regions by their cultural characteristics.

- Ethnicity of people at the county and state levels (e.g., customs, celebrations, languages, religions)

- Spatial arrangement of cultures creates distinctive landscapes (e.g., cultural regions based on languages, customs, religion, and building styles)

  1. Describe the human characteristics of places and regions by

their economic activities.

- spatial distribution of economic activities in the local area (e.g., patterns of agriculture, forestry, miming, retailing, manufacturing, services)

- Factors that influence the location and spatial distribution of economic activities (e.g., market size for different types of business, accessibility, models of transportation used to move people, goods and materials)

Academic Standards for Science and Technology

3.2. Inquiry and Design

3.2.7 Grade 7

  1. Apply process knowledge to make and interpret observations.

- Measure materials using a variety of scales.


Students will be able to learn about certain countries and places around the world such as Africa, Japan, Brazil, and Israel. Most of their learning will come from each other, and their own personal findings from selected questions and given text. Students will also be introduced to some of the foods, languages, and music these countries have to offer.



Look What Came From Africa written by Miles Harvey

Africa written by Dr. Jocelyn Murray updated b Sean Sheehan

Japan Enchantment of the World written by Ann Heinrichs

Japan City and Village Life written by Nick Bornoff

Japan the Culture written by Bobbie Kalman

Brazil in Pictures written by Tom Streissguth

A family from Brazil written by Julia Waterlow

Israel the land written by Debbie Smith

Israel in Pictures written by Margaret J. Goldstein


“The Best of World Music”, Africa by Putumayo

“I Got Shoes”, by Sweet Honey In The Rocks

“Afro-Sambas”, by Paulo Bellinati and Monia Salmaso


Fou-Fou, to prepare this African dish you need, water, salt, cornmeal, pan, hot plate or stove, spoon, butter, large pot, soap.

Other dishes used for lesson are Sushi, Baklava (pastry)





Adaptations and Accommodations:

There is a variety of literature that can be used for this lesson depending on grade level and preference. Depending on the age of the student and the assistance that you may have in the classroom from an aid, cooking in the class may not be feasible or safe. In a normal classroom setting student groups may consist of 4 or 5 people. The teacher can ask students and parents if they could bring in a dish that represents their assigned country.



The teacher will ask students, if they could visit any other country other than in the U.S. where would it be and why? Has any of the students traveled outside the U.S if so where? Has any one ever tasted food that is from another country that has not been Americanized. The teacher should then begin the lesson right away because the lesson may consume the entire class period.


The teacher will have student’s pair up in two. Each pair of students will pick one folded piece of paper out of the bag that will read the country that those specific students will study for this lesson.


  1. The teacher will pass out worksheets and specific books based on country.

  2. The students will work in pairs to find out answers to the given questions provided on the worksheets. They will find these answers by skimming through the specific reading material.

  3. After the completion of the worksheets, the teacher will ask ach student to assist her in preparing the Fou-Fou. One student will be asked to measure 2 cups of water and pure it in the pot. Another student will add 1tsp. of salt, someone will add 1 cup of cornmeal and some one will stir as the mixture thickens and add butter.

  4. The teacher will ask students to guess what country this dish might be from.

  5. Students will sit in a circle and eat the prepared dish with there hands as they do in Africa. The teacher will play a song from the cd “I Got Shoes”. While eating, students that researched Africa will then tell us about that country, pertaining to their worksheet.

  6. The teacher will then play a song from the cd “Afro-Sambas” (track 4) and take the students into another culture asking the students what instruments do they hear when listening to this song. How does this song make them feel? What country is this music from and the students who studied Brazil will now tell us about what they have learned from their worksheet.

  7. The teacher will then ask students to sit indian style, and will pass out Sushi then chop sticks explaining a little about what they are going to see and taste. The teacher will ask students about the taste and the smell. The teacher will ask students to name this country, and the students that studied Japan will tell us what they have learned from their worksheets.

  8. The teacher will then pass out the pastries. The students that learned about Israel will also explain what they learned from their worksheet. The teacher will ask students about the taste of the pastry and have they tasted anything similar to what we had today.

  9. Students and teacher will know clean up.

  10. The students and teacher will now reflect on what they have learned during the lesson and their likes and dislikes.


  1. The teacher should be walking around looking at the student’s worksheets and seeing if they are completing it with ease, or if someone may need assistance.

  2. The students will be learning from their worksheets as they present their country to the class.

  3. Students will learn from each other by using listening skills and asking questions.


In a normal classroom setting the teacher could ask students to write a short paragraph on what they have learned about another culture comparing and contrasting certain aspects of that country that us in the United States also may see or do. (e.g. Religion, food similarities, traditions ect.)


The teacher will close by telling students that these where just a few countries and cultures that we looked at today and there is so much more to learn; not just about these cultures, but about the world. After doing this lesson is there a place that they may like to visit someday?


I. Web Site

Olson, T.(2004) “ACommon African Food: Fou – Fou.” Retrieved October 20, 2004, from Utah State University, Adele and Dale Young Education Technology Center Website: http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/tlresources/units/byrnes-africa/treols/index.html

II. Literature

Goldstein, J. Margaret (2004).Israel in Pictures. Minneapolis, MN: Learner Publications Co.

Kalman, Bobbie (1999). Israel the Land. NewYork, NY : Crabtree Publishing Company.

Waterlow, Julia (1998). A family from Brazil. Austin, TX: Raintree Steck-Vaughn.

Streissguth, Tom (2003). Brazil in Pictures. Minneapolis, MN: Learner Publications Co.

Kalman, Bobbie (2001). Japan the Culture. New York, NY: Crabtree Publishing Company.

Heinrichs, Ann (1999). Japan Enchantment of the World. Connecticut, CT: Children Press.

Bornoff, Nick (1997). Japan City and Village Life. Austin, TX: Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers.

Sheehan, Sean, Murray, Jocelyn, Dr. (2003). Africa. New York, NY: Facts On File.

Harvey, Miles (2002). Look What Came From Africa. New York, NY: Franklin Watts.

III. Music

Bellinati, Palo(1997). Afro-Sambas: CD. San Francisco, CA.

Putumayo,(1993). The Best Of World Music Africa: CD. Los Angeles, CA.

Reagon, Toshi (1994). I Got Shoes: CD. Redway, CA.

©2003 Project Children L.E.A.D.

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