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Food for Thought, or Around the World in 45 minutes

In our interconnected world, it is hard to teach without speaking about the world. Eight grade students in Mrs. Covarrubias’ ESL Class had an opportunity to learn more about foods around the world through a Content and Language Integrated Learning.


“To increase cultural knowledge and enhance cultural awareness, I chose this topic on purpose while teaching informational text to my 8th graders,” says Mrs. Covarrubias. “Food is an essential part of any culture. I wanted my students to learn more about international food etiquette and people’s experiences with foreign foods.”
Mrs. Covarrubias and her students shared information about their native culture cuisine and demonstrated their knowledge about native heritage. Learning about foreign foods also teaches our students tolerance and respect for other cultures. “I think, if you don’t like food from other countries, you can simply say “No, thank you!” instead of being rude and disrespectful,” comments Wendy Vazquez. “When we teach our school children about tolerance, we teach them the culture of peace, values, and necessary skills of “living together” in a diversity and deal with global challenges,” adds Mrs. Covarrubias.


As students were reading the text that conveyed information about foreign cuisine and manners, they learned that Hindu religion forbids eating meat from cow; some Chinese people put chemicals on fresh eggs to change their colors and appearance; people in Japan do not leave their chopsticks standing upright in their rice bowls because this practice is associated with funerals.


The lesson was aligned with NC Common Core Curriculum and Standards reflecting and recognizing multiculturalism and diversity in education.

Written by: Iryna Covarrubias, ESL teacher
Posted: Dec 03, 2014 by Susie Jones

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