Educator Resource: Bring Cooking to Your ELA Class

Several students pose for the camera while cooking sushi.
Matt Nazario-Miller

Try This: Cook Sushi in ELA Class to Explore Writing Skills

"Try This" is a series of blog posts geared towards educators that features smart but simple tips from KLS teachers. Our hope is that these bite-size ideas are something you can implement in your own classroom right away. We’d love to hear how it goes. Leave a comment or tag us on social media @khanlabschool if you try any of these strategies! 

Over the Summer Term, our teachers have found a creative way to bring cooking activities into their ELA lessons, and we wanted to share a quick overview of how our teachers implemented this in a unit exploring informative/explanatory writing skills.

Two students dressed as chefs cooking sushi for ELA class.

The sushi project: Over the course of one week, our IL3 teachers focused on ELA informative/explanatory Writing as their lesson objective. Students developed clear and concise writing skills during this fun lesson. Students also improved their sequential processing and crafted writing that has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and skillfully uses a variety of transitions to manage the sequence of events in a way that makes sense to a reader.

On Monday, students decorated aprons and chef hats, and began writing instructions to everyday activities (like brushing your teeth and tying your shoes).

On Tuesday, students learned more about how to write concisely and clearly, continued their directions, and swapped directions with a partner, trying to follow the other's instructions. Students had a blast fumbling their way through directions, and giggling at the flawed outcomes. Students then gave feedback to one another on what makes instructions clear and easy to follow, and what doesn't. Then, students practiced concise writing by editing down recipes from the internet, trying to get to the lowest word-count possible without actually changing the recipe.

Students ended class on Tuesday by watching a short video about the history of sushi.

A IL3 student showing the camera a plate of sushi.

On Wednesday, students then made sushi the entire day and had a blast while taking notes on their process! In Thursday's follow-up activities, students took their notes from earlier in the week and wrote clear and concise sushi recipes. Students then formatted their recipes onto graphically-pleasing bookmarks on Canva, which our teachers later printed out, laminated, and returned to students for future cooking.

What resulted was an engaging and yummy learning experience for our community of learners! 

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