LEARNING STRATEGY: Personalize
STANDARDS: Communication 1.1, 1.2, Cultures 2.2; Comparisons 4.2

OLIVE OIL IN THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

Language: Any language. Examples in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese

Proficiency Level: Advanced

Brief description of the activity: Students will fill in the blanks of two recipes - target culture and American - as the teacher presents the recipes. The class will discuss the use of olive oil in the diet in the target culture (Spain, Italy, Portugal, or Greece), and compare and contrast it with the use of olive oil in the U.S.

Objectives:

  1. Students will explore cultural differences regarding target culture culinary practices.
  2. Students will develop oral communication skills.
  3. Students will be able to relate new information to their own ideas, knowledge and experiences in order to understand and remember it better.

Language focus:Listening and speaking

Materials:Copies of a recipe in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, or Greek that calls for olive oil; copies of a recipe in English that calls for butter or margarine; pictures of olive groves

Procedures:

  1. Introduce the content
    Tell students that they are going to help you complete two recipes by filling in the blanks as you talk. Ask the students why they think the people in the target culture use olive oil while Americans more frequently use butter or margarine. Show them pictures of olive groves in the country. Ask them how often they see olive groves in the U.S.
  2. Introduce and model the learning strategy
    Explain that comparing traditions in another culture to your own can help you identify with and remember the new traditions more easily. Tell them that this is one way to use the learning strategy Personalize. Personalizing can help us understand and process new information.

    Explain that comparing traditions in another culture to your own can help you identify with and remember the new traditions more easily. Tell them that this is one way to use the learning strategy Personalize. Personalizing can help us understand and process new information.
  3. Practice
    Give each student a copy of a Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, or Greek recipe with key words left blank. Have them complete the activity as you act out your food preparation. Go through the motions of preparing the dish, using pictures or actual ingredients. (Try to have a real bottle of olive oil from the target culture.) Emphasize the use of olive oil. Then go through the motions of preparing a similar dish that is popular in the U.S. Emphasize the use of butter or margarine.

    Explain that what people eat varies from culture to culture. Learning about foods in another culture gives flavor to language study. Ask learners how personalizing the new information helped them learn about the target language in the recipe and the target culture.

Expansion

  1. Students find additional recipes from target language-speaking countries that use other ingredients that are not common in most American recipes.
  2. Students practice personalizing new information to complete another language learning activity. Have them talk about how the learning strategy personalize could help them with social studies or language arts.

Teacher Resources (to help teacher enhance activity):

Adapted from an activity submitted by Marisel Pérez-Castellanos, Arlington County Public Schools.