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How to Adopt The Cultured Chef for Your Classroom

The world is changing rapidly through global pandemic, political upheaval, and financial crisis. We as a society are quickly realizing the importance of learning, understanding, and appreciating diverse cultures as it plays a major role in creating communities that thrive. We learn effective problem-solving, conflict resolution, and new ways to enjoy our lives.

I really feel strongly about producing educational materials that encourage students to approach subjects through multiple points of entry. Developmental psychologists describe this approach as attempting to enter a room with multiple doors. Students can access the room through whichever door is most compatible with their favored method of learning. This strategy provides motivation for learning, and offers multiple perspectives on the topic being studied.

The Cultured Chef addresses world culture and diversity by providing students multiple interactive experiences. Through reading exercises, interactive cooking projects, crafting, creative writing, music and dance, students are given a comprehensive glimpse into life in other cultures.


Students learn through reading and writing. The Cultured Chef offers many folktales and stories students can read, as well as multiple suggested writing exercises.


Students learn though visuals and audio. Great care has been taken to produce a book that is full of engaging watercolor illustrations. In addition, we suggest additional music and video resources online that enhance the educational experience.


Students learn through deductive reasoning or computation. The math and science of cooking is rather precise and provides opportunity for analysis if the desired results aren’t met. In addition, statistics about world population and historical data can be addressed.


Students learn by responding to broader concepts or ideas. Discuss philosophical concepts related to world culture and history with your students. What are the long term effects of Apartheid in South Africa, for example.


Students learn through hands-on activities. Each country in The Cultured Chef has a recipe associated with that region, as well as crafts and exercises that provide for a very tactile experience.

FAQs Regarding Educational Use

How do I incorporate this book in the classroom?

This is more than a list of lesson plans; it is a springboard for your own unique style of teaching based on the students you have in your classroom this year. All the activities and ideas are aligned with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts using both literary and informational text.

What is a literature-based educational approach?

Literature-based reading instruction involves teaching reading through exposure to literature. In other words, students learn how to analyze texts by reading and analyzing texts. The focus of literature-based instruction is to help children develop literacy skills through having real-life literary experiences.

Does the book meet NCTE Standards for English Language Arts?

The National Council of Teachers of English believes that literacy growth begins before children enter school as they experience and experiment with literacy activities: reading and writing and associating spoken words with their graphic representations.


-Read texts to acquire new information.

-Apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret and appreciate texts.

-Conduct research on interests by generating ideas and questions, and gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources.

-Read texts to build an understanding of oneself and the world’s cultures.

-Develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions and social roles.

How do I assess Culinary Skill levels?

We’ve prepared several documents with information regarding age-appropriate tasks in the kitchen. Use caution when operating kitchen appliances, especially when high temperatures are concerned.


DOWNLOAD PDF – Age Appropriate Skill Levels

DOWNLOAD PDF  – Ten Steps for Success in the Kitchen

How do I incorporate grades k-2?

Focus Activity:

Have students create a “T Chart” listing their favorite foods on one side and foods they might not like as well on the other. Help them locate some of their favorites in the ingredients lists from the recipes. This could be the basis for many different types of activities or lessons across the curriculum. For social studies, you could show familiar cross-cultural characteristics. In reading, you could create a comprehension lesson using compare/contrast skills. For math, a graphing activity could focus on “which cultures use how many of your favorite ingredients?”


Other Ideas:


–Use this resource as a picture book. Read aloud the vignettes from each country to encourage curiosity about different cultures around the world.

–Use the rich visual format of this book to engage children in recognizing colors, shapes, numbers, amounts, letters, letter sounds and words.

How do I incorporate 3rd Grade students?

Focus Activity:

To help students rethink text in a different genre, create or locate a Found Poetry activity where they can spend some time locating words or phrases from a section of The Cultured Chef. Perhaps they will create a poem around gardening, art or music. Or they might choose any of the represented cultures. After students choose words and phrases that appeal to them, they can create a line for a class poem to which everyone contributes.


Other Ideas:

–After students choose one of the cultures represented in the book, have them create a KWL chart to guide their thinking and learning. Students can research the country they chose and fill out the chart as they go. If you want to encourage students to continue their learning and becoming experts, they could write reports, create presentations, etc.


–In some school districts across the nation, third graders participate in a “Culture Fair.” For this project, they begin researching the culture of their heritage at the beginning of the year, adding to their knowledge as time goes on. In the spring, all third graders convene in an agreed upon area to display their presentations of learning.

How do I incorporate 4th Grade Students?

Focus Activity:

Incorporate the gardening pages by having students learn about helpful and harmful insects. In groups, students could brainstorm short lists of bugs they’ve seen in vegetable or flower beds. Then they could each choose an insect for research to determine what the different functions of these bugs are in gardens and how they affect plants and other aspects of a “growing habitat.” Expert group share-out presentations could include posters, PowerPoint presentations or other creative visuals.


Other Ideas:

–The above activity could be a springboard to other science topics such as heredity, adaptation, behaviors and structure; it integrates more than one discipline (reading, writing, science, technology and/or art) into the activity.


–A focus on science could include many geography and ecosystems activities with emphasis on climates, terrains and growing seasons. A focus question for many of these activities could be, “How does the geography of a place affect the culture of that region?”

How do I incorporate 5th Grade Students?

Focus Activity:

Use this book to help students understand units of measure. Have students choose recipes in the book that sound interesting and delicious to them. Ask them to write down how many cups, for example, of an ingredient is needed. Then ask them to convert that measurement to pints or fluid ounces. You can extend this activity by asking students to find equivalencies in many different units of measure.

Bonus: Because most countries use a different system of measurement, have students convert their standard measurements to metric.


Other Ideas:

–Use the “Figuring Costs” activity as a classroom math project. Have students create the recipe and enjoy it in class afterward.


–Recipes are a natural for teaching and understanding fractions. Use those found in this book to connect your math lessons to social studies or science content you may also be teaching.


–Write word problems based on the recipes and/or vignettes in the book.

Additional Questions?

If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We appreciate your interest in The Cultured Chef, and would like to make your experience as as enjoyable as possible.