Beacon Lesson Plan Library

What's for Dinner?

Farica King
Santa Rosa District Schools


In this activity, students use adjectives to describe foods listed in restaurant menus. In cooperative groups, students create menus and identify the adjectives used in the menu created by their group.


The student uses a prewriting strategy suitable for the task (for example, brainstorming, using a graphic organizer, listing ideas).

The student uses various parts of speech correctly in written work (including but not limited to subject and verb agreement, common noun and pronoun agreement, possessive forms, the comparative and superlative of adjectives and adverbs).


- Overhead projector
- Overhead markers
- Restaurant menus from a variety of restaurants (one per group)
- Paper for creating new menus
- Markers, colored pencils, etc. for graphic designs
-Thesauri/dictionaries if needed


1. Locate and collect restaurant menus for the cooperative groups.
2. Obtain overhead projector and markers.
3. Make sure overhead is working properly.
4. Gather paper, colored pencils and markers for cooperative groups.
5. Place dictionaries and thesauri in convenient location for cooperative groups.
6. Download scoring rubrics for menus for your assessment of students' work.
7. Download cooperative work rating checklist and make student copies, one per student.Obtain one copy per student.


1. Discuss how adjectives are used to describe people, places and things.

2. Show age/level-appropriate examples on the overhead or chalkboard.

3. Show students a sample restaurant menu and read aloud several of the items listed in the menu.

4. Select one of the entrees (such as roasted chicken) and write this on the overhead.

5. Discuss with the class how adjectives can be used to enhance the description of an otherwise -boring- item.

6. Brainstorm together on the overhead a list of adjectives that would make customers want to order the entree you have selected (such as grilled, sauted, fried).

7. After brainstorming the list, create a brief description of the entree using the adjectives on the overhead. (For example: Our succulent, roasted chicken, smothered in a delicious cream sauce, is served on a bed of heavenly angel-hair pasta.)

8. As a class, compare how the two descriptions differ based upon the use of adjectives.

9. Divide students into cooperative learning groups.

10. Provide each group with a copy of a local restaurant menu. (This works best if a variety of cuisines are used.)

11. Provide students with a dictionary or thesaurus to use if necessary.

12. Instruct the students to first select five entrees and two desserts to describe.

13. Next, have students brainstorm, as a group, a sample list of adjectives to describe these items. (This portion of the activity will probably be where the students pick up on day two.)

Day Two:

12. Pass out paper for creating menus. Distribute and discuss the Cooperative Worker Rubric and the Menu Scoring Rubric.

13. After reviewing their list of adjectives for the menu items from yesterday, , students are to write a short description of each item using the brainstormed adjectives or new ones. (A minimum of three adjectives is required for each item.)

14. After students have finished creating their descriptions, have the groups create their new menus using their descriptions.

15. When the descriptions are completed, the group must underline all adjectives used in their descriptions. (This is used to assess if students are using this part of speech correctly in their written work.)

16. Have students decorate their menus as desired using markers, colored pencils, etc.

17. Refer students to their copies of the cooperative worker rating checklist.

18. Have students rate themselves and their group members using this checklist.

19. Collect and assess all menus and rating checklists.


1. Collect and assess each group's final menu to verify that students are identifying and correctly using adjectives in their written work. (download sample rubric)
2. Collect and assess cooperative worker rating checklists to determine if students have exhibited behaviors of cooperative workers within the group.
3. Menus are assessed on proper use of adjectives, and rules of grammar, mechanics, and usage.


This activity also works well with clothing magazines or even sheets from the daily newspaper. Students can cut out the pictures of clothing they like and create their own magazine or catalog. Students complete a narrative of the outfit much like a fashion commentary in a fashion show. (Great opportunity for sharing! Students love this activity.)

Attached Files

Menu Scoring Rubric, Cooperative Worker Rating List     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.