As the students arrive for class, I ask them to put their dishes on the tables. We have a sweet and savory table. No one eats until we go around the room and everyone shares what they brought and why it is important to their family and/or culture. While they eat, they can discuss the similarities and differences between how their families celebrate and prepare dishes (SL 9-10. 1).
Students choices and reasons for sharing dishes sometimes surprises me. However usually they bring something they love such as homemade tortilla chips or Mexican style hot chocolate. Often students bring food that reflects celebrations in home like arroz con leche. The foods may also represent favorite holidays. Easter is the next significant holiday for many of my students so they share foods connected to how their family celebrates with chocolate strawberries. Finally, so kiddos bring what they enjoy making and sharing with others. When a student says, "I like to bake." The class is sure to get something everyone will gobble up.
I also ask students to write down the ingredients on a 3X5 card so that if anyone has a food allergy, is a vegetarian, or has any food restrictions they can avoid eating items that may disagree with them.
Community, culture, the celebration of each individual's uniqueness within a culture tie all my instructional units together and shape how I develop my instruction. This class provides an opportunity for students to share another aspect of themselves and find the common bonds that bring our learning community together.
I give the students a 10 minute warning. It is time to clean up. Once the trash is in its proper container and the students have collected their containers, I give them a heads up on the next unit. I hope they are excited for rhetorical precis!