Cooking show presentations (1st year, all levels)
Name of Teacher: Nicole Gallagher
Class/Grade/Language Level:First year SHS students; done with both Commercial and High-Academic students successfully.
Textbook and specific lesson:Empathy Textbook was used for the pre-activity, but not necessary.
Goal:students will learn how to talk about cooking something in English, and do presentations in English that integrates both listening, speaking, and gestures.
Preparation: Print out handout, find a suitable pre-activity from a textbook or make your own Handout: student worksheet
Class time: done over 2-3 classes depending on availability
I do this group presentation activity in the fall term at both my commercial high school and high-academic school. It's a popular lesson because the students generally love food, they get a chance to put on a performance, they are really challenged to speak clearly and work together, and there is an element of friendly competition between the groups.
Breakdown of the 3 classes:
Class one - Pre-activity, begin group work
Class two - finish writing recipes, check pronunciation, rehearse (if class time is unavailable, this can be set for homework)
Class three - final rehearsal, presentations, teacher feedback
1. Pre-Activity: I teach a few variations of recipes using the course textbooks I use at my school. These are activities which expose simple recipes, and conjunctions that are useful for cooking (ie. 1, First, turn on the heat to medium and put oil in the pan...) If you don't use a textbook, you could make your own information gap fill with a simple recipe for something like toast, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, pancakes, etc. It is important to teach a simple recipe which exposes students to sequence markers such as first, then, next, finally, etc, and highlights that they will need to use the imperative form for instructions.
2. Cooking Presentations Group Work: Students are divided into groups of 3 and they are told they will make a cooking show for the recipe of their choice (Cue handout!). They have to write the recipe and then think of accompanying gestures. Each student will take on a specific role in the presentation. Two of the students will be the narrators or readers, and one student will be a chef. The chef has to use gestures to demonstrate each point of the cooking process. This can get really fun! Big, exaggerated gestures should be encouraged. The beauty of the performance is that it helps make some of the language clearer to the audience (and to each other) who otherwise might lose interest and get bored from a lack of understanding.
Let the students know they will be marked on both their English and their overall performance. You can give some feedback about some great things they did at the end.
3. Rehearsal: Have the students rehearse their gestures with their English so as to ensure they understand WHAT they are saying. Important point! If the chef does not comprehend the English, the timing and gestures will be all off. Also, the students will need some help with the pronunciation of unknown words. I also helped them with their intonation patterns and putting stress on conjunctions and verbs (ie. FIRST, break an egg into the bowl.) If possible, students should be encouraged to memorise their recipes.
4. Performance:Students get a chance to perform for their classmates. Pep talks are really important here. If this is their first presentation in English, you should definitely give them some pointers on public speaking - head up, big voice, big gestures, posture, eye contact, smile! Make sure you announce the winner of the contest or top three. Winning is a big motivator!
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