LEARNING STRATEGY: Group/Classify
STANDARDS: Cultures 2.1, Connections 2.2, Comparisons 3.1, 3.2

MEALS IN MEXICO

Language:Any language. Example in Spanish.

Proficiency Level: Beginner

Brief description of the activity: Students will discuss typical meals in the US and Mexico. Students will group pictures of food according to which foods are eaten at which meals in each culture.

Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to use vocabulary associated with meals.
  2. Students will be able to identify which foods are commonly eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  3. Students will be able to organize terms into groups in order to learn and remember new vocabulary more easily.

Language focus: Speaking, Vocabulary

Materials:vocabulary lists; pictures, drawings, or vocabulary cards; overhead graphic organizers; meal charts.

Procedures:

  1. Introduce the content
    Tell students that you are going to present vocabulary associated with meals. What do people in the target culture eat for breakfast? For lunch? For dinner? Distribute an alphabetical list of vocabulary items that refer to foods commonly eaten in the target culture.
  2. Introduce and model the learning strategy
    Take two sets of five vocabulary cards each that represent American foods and mix them up. Show the students how you would separate the cards into three groups according to meals in order to learn the vocabulary better.

    Tell students that an effective way to remember vocabulary items in the target language is by grouping them into categories. Explain that although sometimes vocabulary words - in this case foods - fit into more than one category, they can choose which is the best fit in their opinion.
  3. Practice
    Give groups of three or four learners three sets of American foods to categorize according to your example.

    Show illustrations of the Mexican foods, pronounce the word, and tell when the food is usually eaten. For example, show a picture of a quesadilla and say, "This is a quesadilla. In Mexico people usually eat quesadillas for dinner." Then divide your students into pairs and distribute an empty meal chart to each pair. The chart will be divided across the top into three categories: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Some words may appear more than once.

    Give the learners cards with the Mexican foods on it and have them complete the chart (using their best guesses). Then have them check their answers using the chart provided below.

    At the end of class, ask students whether grouping was helpful for learning vocabulary. Encourage them to group all new target language words on their own.

    The final chart in Spanish filled out by the students might look like this:

    Las Comidas en México

    (EL) DESAYUNO(EL) ALMUERZOES
    la comida más grande del día y puede incluir varios platos.
    (LA) CENA
    Generalmente después de las nueve de la noche, se come algo ligero.
    (los) frijoles refritos (la) ensalada(la) sopa de tortillas
    (los) huevos rancheros (las) verduras(la) quesadilla
    (el) café(el) pescado(las) empanadas de carne
    (el) chocolate (la) carne(las) empanadas de fruta
    (las) tortillas (las) carnitas (la) fruta fresca
    (el) pan(la) fruta frescala) limonada
    (los) quesos(el) agua de fruta
    (la) limonada
    (el) agua de fruta

    Note: Siempre hay una selección de salsas, picante o no muy picante, en la mesa.Normalmente a cada comida se sirven frijoles refritos.

    English translation of the chart (with names of foods and drinks left in Spanish):

    BREAKFASTLUNCH
    This is the big meal of the day and will include several courses
    DINNER
    This is usually a light meal, eaten sometime after 9pm
    (los) frijoles refritos (la) ensalada(la) sopa de tortillas
    (los) huevos rancheros (las) verduras(la) quesadilla
    (el) café(el) pescado(las) empanadas de carne
    (el) chocolate (la) carne(las) empanadas de fruta
    (las) tortillas (las) carnitas (la) fruta fresca
    (el) pan(la) fruta fresca(la) limonada
    (los) quesos(el) agua de fruta
    (la) limonada
    (el) agua de fruta

    Note: There is always a selection of salsas, both hot and mild, on the table. Also frijoles refritos are usually served at every meal.

Expansion

  1. For homework, have learners create a three meal plan based on their own preferences and eating habits.
  2. Students can use Group/Classify to group any new vocabulary items into categories, for example, animals (domestic and wild), clothing (men's and women's or summer and winter), or beverages (hot and cold).

Teacher Resources (to help teacher enhance activity):
Authentic restaurant menus in the target language, recipes in the target language



Adapted from an activity submitted by Doris Ortiz, Prince George's County Public Schools, Maryland. The worksheet was prepared by Sheila Cockey, King George County Public Schools, Virginia.