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Rice Is All Around Us!

Design a box to hold yummy recipes from diverse family food traditions. Collect them in the classroom and around the world.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Everybody comes home asking, "What’s for dinner?" but the answers that kids get can be very different depending upon family food traditions. In Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley, Carrie samples a wide variety of meals being cooked in her neighborhood. Families are from Vietnam, China, Haiti, Puerto Rico, India, Barbados, and Italy. Although the ingredients and favors are very different, each household is cooking with rice.
    2. Collect recipes: Invite students to talk about the origins of their families’ food traditions. What common foods, such as rice or bread, can be identified?
    3. Students select favorite family recipes to share with classmates. On an index card, students copy the family recipe with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Encourage them to also draw the country’s flag associated with the recipe next to the dish’s name. Students share their recipes with classmates. Invite students to Copy several other students’ recipes that look enjoyable.
    4. Design a recipe box: Students cut brightly colored paper with Crayola Scissors to cover a recycled tissue box. Use Crayola School Glue to attach the paper.
    5. Draw cooking utensils, food sources, and flags. Cut them out and glue them on the recipe box.
    6. Continue to garnish the box using Crayola Washable Markers and other decorative materials such as aluminum foil (to carry out the cooking theme). At home, students ask family cooks to make several new recipes.
  • Standards

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators, e.g., by creating common denominators or numerators, or by comparing to a benchmark fraction such as 1/2.

    MATH: Explain why a fraction a/b is equivalent to a fraction (n × a)/(n × b) by using visual fraction models, with attention to how the number and size of the parts differ even though the two fractions themselves are the same size. Use this principle to recognize and generate equivalent fractions.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Identify roles as learned behavior patterns in group situations such as student, family member, peer play group member, or club member.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

  • Adaptations

    Invite a local chef into the classroom to speak with the students about recipes, how ingredients are combined, etc. Prior to the meeting, students suggest questions for the guest. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.

    Students interview family members about the history of a selected rice recipe that is a family favorite. Prior to the interviews, students compose questions to be used when conducting interviews. Students take notes while interviewing and either create a written document of the interview or an audio file for sharing with classmates.

    Students investigate how rice is cultivated. Is it grown in your hometown area? Why or why not? Research the various types of rice and discover which is the healthiest for you.

    Students organize their recipes into a booklet format. Include with each student-written recipe an original sketch of the food, a symbol that represents the culture the recipe comes from, or the flag of the country where the recipe originated. Print enough copies for each student in the class.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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