“When writing these standards, many of the authors shared stories of important events and holidays, from earliest childhood memories to recent celebrations and transitions. The one commonality of all the events was food – the food we brought, the food we made, the food we ate and the food we shared. We all had a favorite meal. All of us had at least one dish that helped define a time period or sense of identity. It is from this experience that we create the first Pilot Light standard – Food connects us to each other. It is unlike any other aspect of personality – it welcomes, comforts and sustains us in a way that no other aspect of life does. It has the power to make you understand the world and yourself a little better with each bite.”

– Chandra Garcia-Kitch, Pilot Light Mentor Teacher

Expectations

Articulate that people from all cultures and backgrounds are connected by their use of and shared experiences around food.

Grade-Specific Competencies

  1. Participate in food sampling from different cultures/areas of the world, developing understanding of connections through the identification of common ingredients.
  2. Share how the foods students eat reflect the area in which they live and/or their cultural backgrounds.
  3. Explain the ways students’ families use or produce food and how family meals and food traditions benefit them (physical, emotional, cultural, familial, etc)

Real World and Community Experiences

  1. Guided field trip to grocery stores to learn about foods from different cultures.
  2. Inviting community members to talk about cultural food dishes.
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Grade-Specific Competencies

  1. Write about a specific food memory detailing the importance of food and sharing an understanding of how that food relates to students’ identity.
  2. Analyze the commonalities of ingredients across cultures, using migration patterns to map ingredients from different countries/regions/areas.
  3. Demonstrate the importance of food to all people and how food is used to keep us healthy, return us to health, and show connections (e.g. soup when you are ill, comfort food, food after major events).

Real World and Community Experiences

  1. Compare menus from different restaurants, noting common ingredients across cultures.
  2. Field trip to grocery stores to analyze available foods and make connections between cultures.
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Grade-Specific Competencies

  1. Trace the ingredients of a given recipe back to the ingredients’ country of origin.
  2. Compare and contrast the symbolism of foods eaten in various religious and cultural groups.
  3. Analyze how one food (ex: staple ingredients such as rice, noodles, bread) is found and used in multiple cultures.

Real World and Community Experiences

  1. On-site chef visits
  2. Community discussions about foods/ cultures
  3. Visits to cultural landmarks/museums (Swedish American Museum/ Instituto de Cervantes/ National Museum of Mexican Art, etc)
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Grade-Specific Competencies

  1. Map the movement of ingredients within a given recipe from its country of origin throughout the world.
  2. Analyze foods used within various cultural realms in order to draw connections to their own lived experience.
  3. Identify a food/recipe that has been passed down through generations of their family and narrate the history of this food/recipe and how it reveals/illustrates their family history.
  4. Create, market, and disseminate a recipe or meal to promote cultural diversity.

Real World and Community Experiences

  1. Host a community meal in which students cook a dish for family and friends and create infographics on the recipe, the culture from which the recipe derives, and the geographic and historical origins of each ingredient.
  2. Dine at a restaurant whose cuisine students have little to no experience with.
  3. Use StoryCorps to interview elders about family recipes.
Download the Full Standards PDF

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