Cooking with Students Workshop

Weather: Cloudy; High 65°F/ Low 48°F

Last Thursday, October 20th, was the Cooking with Students Workshop presented by Jamie Stoneham, FarmChef Owner. The presentation was focused on leading students in preparing, cooking, and eating food harvested from their school garden. Jamie demonstrated a version of the Sweet Potato Fritters lesson from the Growing Minds website. The Growing Minds program provides lesson plans with materials, step-by-step directions for cooking the dish with students and curriculum connections.

Jamie altered the Growing Minds lesson by adding strategies that enhanced student management and increased student engagement and collaborative work. Prior to completing the lesson with students it is suggested that teachers recruit available colleagues or volunteers to help and to read through the recipe to ensure you have all necessary materials and to complete any cutting or other preparatory steps that might help things move swiftly so students stay engaged and are successful!

When implementing the lesson, the first thing Jamie did was pass out papers with all the directions for the recipe on them and we went around the room taking turns reading one step each. This gave us an idea of what to expect. Next, Jamie split us into groups, ideally 4-6 students. To each group she gave a condensed set of about 3-5 directions. She explained that usually she has about 2 groups working on the same set of directions (ex: steps 1-5) and 2 other groups working on the same set of directions (ex: steps 6- 11).

What each group would be doing was then demonstrated for everyone and the groups then completed the steps while Jamie walked around assisting when necessary. After the groups were finished the products from the different groups were combined. The cooking was then completed by Jamie, or an adult in the classroom. It was highly recommended that the teacher or parent volunteer complete all cooking and cutting steps.

Lastly, we all enjoyed eating our sweet potato fritters made from local ingredients! Delicious!

This workshop was a part of the School Garden Series. Resources and tips for cooking with your students can be found here. Additionally, check for future workshops in the School Garden Series here. We look forward to seeing you at future workshops and in your school gardens! With questions or comments, please contact us at youtheducation@civicgardencenter.org.

Be sure to checkout Jamie’s amazing organization, FarmChef, as she has many amazing programs that support teachers, students, families and communities in healthy, local, and sustainable cooking and eating!

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