Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Cooking a Few of my Favorite Things

Joyce Sewell
Bay District Schools


In this activity, students learn about the nutritional value of foods, calculate the measurements, and prepare a healthy recipe for the class. Then students publish a class cookbook with their recipes.


The student reads and organizes information for a variety of purposes, including making a report, conducting interviews, taking a test, and performing an authentic task.

The student produces final documents that have been edited for-correct spelling-correct use of punctuation, including commas in series, dates, and addresses, and beginning and ending quotation marks-correct paragraph indentation -correct usage of subject/verb agreement, verb and noun forms, and sentence structure and -correct formatting according to instruction.

The student speaks clearly at an understandable rate and uses appropriate volume.

The student solves real-world problems involving length, weight, perimeter, area, capacity, volume, time, temperature, and angles.

The student solves problems by generating, collecting, organizing, displaying, and analyzing data using histograms, bar graphs, circle graphs, line graphs, pictographs, and charts.

The student knows the nutritional values of different foods.


-Children informational books and literature about food and nutrition, including children's cookbooks
-Dole Foods Internet site (
-Measurement chart that shows common conversions
-Measuring cups and spoons
-Cooking cart (optional)
-Word processing software
-Spreadsheet software, such as Data Wonder by Addison-Wesley
-Resource people to include, but not limited to, room mothers or volunteers to supervise measuring, cooking, quality control and cleanup while cooking
-Measurement chart handout, one per group (see Associated File)
-Overhead transparency of Measurement chart (see Associated File)


l. Collect books related to food, cooking, and nutrition.

2. Collect charts relating to the food pyramid.

3. Find a measurement conversion chart in a recipe book and enlarge it to chart size.

4. A Cooking Cart is optional for this lesson, but makes cooking easier to manage. The Cooking Cart contains a microwave, toasters, pots and pans, serving utensils, and measuring cups and spoons. If you don't have a Cooking Cart, you can gather these items from around the school perhaps or your home.

5. Arrange for adult supervision during the cooking, perhaps a room mother or other school volunteers.

6. Make copies and an overhead transperency of the Measurement Chart (see Associated File).


Prior to this lesson, invite a nutritionist, perhaps a nurse or lunchroom manager, to talk with the students about the nutritional value of foods and the food pyramid.

1. Divide the class into groups, one for each of the food groups as represented on the food pyramid. Each group researches to find the foods that belong to their food group. Use books or food boxes that display the food pyramid for research materials. Access the Internet site listed in the Resource section of this lesson. Students prepare a chart and a mini report that shows the foods in their group to share with the class.

2. Each group shares what they have learned about the foods in their category in an oral presentation. Each group then conducts a survey to answer the question -Which foods are the most popular in our food group with the students in the class?-

3. Students graph this information using a spreadsheet program. (This requires a lesson on how to use the particular spreadsheet program you choose to use.)

4. Groups then search for recipes that include foods from their group based upon the survey. They select one recipe to prepare for the class.

5. Next, model using problem-solving skills to plan how much food it will take to prepare their recipe for the entire class. Do this using the Measuring Chart (see Associated File) and a recipe of your choice that is consistent with the survey results. Model how to take each ingredient, find its nutritional value, and multiply the ingredient by the number of servings you will need for your class. This will give the total quantity of each ingredient needed to prepare the recipe.

6. Students are now ready to make a list of the ingredients necessary to prepare their recipe for the entire class. Groups also prepare a chart of their favorite recipe that is later shared with the class. (The chart needs to be in large print so students can read it as they cook. It should also contain information about the nutritional value of foods in the recipe.)

7. Students measure each ingredient as calculated and prepare their favorite recipe for the class under adult supervision.

8. Students share their illustrations or charts showing the foods found in their recipe and the nutritional value. They present their graphs to show the results of the survey about the most popular foods in their group. After the reports, have a tasting party to try out their cooking.

9. Compile the recipes into a class book.


A rubric isused to determine if students have completed each step in preparation of their presentation. Each student writes recipes to be shared in the class cookbook. Students receive a grade for their group presentations and for their efforts in the class cookbook.

4 Topic is clearly explained.
Charts, graphs, posters, and individual recipes for the cook book support the topic.
Presentation is well organized and interesting.
Food served is well presented and tastes good as well as supports the topic.

3 Topic is explained.
Charts, graphs, posters, and individual recipes for the cook book relate to the food group.
Presentation is organized.
Food served belongs to correct food group and tastes good.

2 Topic is stated but is not explained. Some charts, graphs, posters, and a few recipes to support the topic. Presentation is partially organized. Food is served from the correct food group but may not be prepared correctly.

1 Topic is not clear.
Few charts, graphs, posters, or recipes are used.
Presentation is disorganized.
Food may or may not belong to the correct food group. May have difficulty preparing food.

0 Little or no effort.
Incomplete supporting material.
No recipe or food for the tasting party.


This lesson is part of a unit on nutrition and a healthy body. It was an extension of a unit on body systems.

Web Links

Web supplement for Cooking a Few of my Favorite Things
Dole Foods

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