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Critics of Cuisine



Following Directions

Return to Following Directions


  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Health


3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

As food critics, students follow directions to create culinary delights and then critique the recipes and the flavor of their products!



  • select appealing and nutritious recipes to make at home
  • follow directions to create the dishes
  • write reviews of the recipes and their products.


following directions, cooking, measuring, review, food, writing

Materials Needed

selection of recipes, online or in print

Lesson Plan

Is the way to a student's heart through the stomach? This lesson seeks to capitalize on the healthy appetites of kids and their love of cooking to improve their skill in following directions. To get started, have your students talk about their cooking experiences, good and bad. What are the characteristics of a "good" recipe? What role does nutrition play? What is a nutritious food? For more information on nutritious foods, you may visit this resource, which includes information worth passing on to your students:

Explain that the students are about to begin a three-part activity that involves food, following directions, and writing.

Have each student choose a recipe, either online or in print, that is both appealing and nutritious. For younger students, you may use the resource FamilyFun Recipes. Older students may prefer All Recipes. Other recipe sources are available online, but students should be aware that all selections must be appropriate and easily made in a home kitchen. You may steer children toward recipes that require ingredients commonly found in the kitchen and those that do not demand expensive or exotic materials and tools. Instruct the students to print or copy their recipes so that they may make them at home, with parental assistance as required. Finding a recipe is the first part of the student work, and making it at home is the second.

When students select their recipes, and you have approved them, discuss the third part of the assignment -- the review. In a written composition, the students should evaluate the effectiveness of a recipe's instructions and its taste. Questions to be considered may include

  • Was the recipe clear and easy to follow?
  • Were all needed ingredients and cooking tools identified?
  • What additional information should cooks be given within the recipe?
  • Is the recipe truly designed for a beginner?
  • What is the most complicated part of the recipe?
  • How nutritious is this recipe?
  • Is it possible to calculate the approximate calories in each serving, or is the information provided?
  • Does the recipe offer variations for specific dietary needs?
  • How can the taste of the recipe be described? Was it good? disappointing? surprisingly better than expected?
  • Would you choose to make this recipe again?
  • Is this recipe one you would recommend?
  • Based on your experience, how would you rate the resource from which this recipe comes?

Reviews may feature the following elements, according to teacher preference:

  • a title
  • the student's name
  • the recipe's source
  • the title of the recipe
  • the author of the recipe, if provided
  • a rating of some type for the recipe, for example, one to five stars or a letter grade
  • an explanation of the rating
  • a critique of the directions and how they might be improved
  • a description of the taste of the dish
  • a general overview of the recipe resource
  • an overall opinion of the recipe, positive or negative.

Teachers may establish a reasonable due date for the assignment, which can be completed as homework. The writing portion might be done in class.


A composition that meets requirements in this assignment will contain all aspects of the review as selected by the teacher, will be based on an appropriate recipe, and will be presented in a manner consistent with student writing expectations.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Cara Bafile

National Standards


MATHEMATICS: Measurement


  • GRADES 3 - 5
    NM-MEA.3-5.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements

    GRADES 6 - 8
    NM-MEA.6-8.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements

    GRADES 9 - 12
    NM-MEA.9-12.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements


MATHEMATICS: Connections



  • GRADES Pre-K - 12
    NM-CONN.PK-12.3 Recognize and Apply Mathematics in Contexts Outside of Mathematics




  • GRADES K - 4
    NPH-H.K-4.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

    GRADES 5 - 8
    NPH-H.5-8.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

    GRADES 9 - 12
    NPH-H.9-12.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention





  • GRADES K - 12
    NT.K-12.5 Technology Research tools

Click to return to the Following Directions lesson plan page.



Originally published 08/16/2002
Last updated 01/19/2015