Although teachers have a lot on their metaphorical plates, the evidence between health and learning is overwhelming.
Classroom teachers are uniquely qualified to make deep and explicit connections between food and core academic subjects.
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Common Core Cooking

A Whole Kids Foundation Innovation Grant Project

Hands Holding Wooden Plate

​In this lesson, students rate the taste of a raw carrot coin compared to a cooked carrot coin. They read about how communities come together to create soup from whatever ingredients are available and then write a recipe for a classroom stone soup. 

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9: Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

​In this lesson, students investigate spices from around the world and mix six different sweet or savory toppings for fresh-popped corn. They read about how to plant a corn field and the value of hard work. Finally, students develop a campaign to make popcorn a more popular snack. 

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.3: Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Bread Basket

In this lesson, students explore the cultural and historical significance of bread. They taste a traditional challah and then shape a sweet bread dough in the form of the sun. They then read about Rosh Hashanah, discuss the meaning of bread, and write a list of various holiday customs.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.6: Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

In this lesson, students taste three different kinds of tomatoes and rate the taste of each. They read a story in which a brother and sister imagine their vegetables as unusual and enticing foods that they are willing to try. After they brainstorm new names for unfamiliar fruits or vegetables, students orally tell make-believe stories. 

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

​In this lesson, students compare the taste of fresh, frozen and canned peas. They read a story about a boy who turns into a veggie monster at the slightest taste of peas. They discuss their most and least favorite fruits or vegetables and draw what happens to them when they eat that food.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2: Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Photo Credit: © Jorge Royan / / CC BY-SA 3.0

Nutritional Cooking

Liz Corey,

3rd Grade Teacher

I learned that students get VERY excited when they work with food. Food brings students together and they learn about traditions and cultures as well.

Cooking Tools

Carrie Strohl, The School Garden Doctor

Eat-Read-Talk-Write is a classroom-tested approach to that puts food at the center of literacy instruction to connect food literacy themes with Common Core State Standards for ELA/Literacy.

Family Cooking

Kim Floyd, TK Teacher

I feel like I hit the jackpot!