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Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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Eat Your Way through History


As a classroom teacher I always tried to incorporate art~ music and yes....foods of different cultures into units of study. Students would make the foods during study hall and the school cafeteria was very kind to cook those recipes needing an oven. The foods we made were always something the students remembered from a unit of study! Here are some ideas for you to try for your your students to Eat THEIR Way Through History!!
1.Researchers say that prehistoric people may have been the first to have a type of LOLLYPOPS. After collecting honey~ the sweet honey remains on the stick were licked clean.
2. Studying the Middle East? If~ so~ this sweet candy treat called marzipan is easy to make. Just make sure you give the students a small piece as it is very~ very sweet. It is thought that marzipan originated in Persia(Iran) and then introduced to Europe through the Turks. Eating this almond paste sweet is mentioned in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights.Also when studying the Middle East~ I go to the grocery store and purchase matza for the students to sample. Also called Matzo and Matzah~ this cracker-like bread is made of flour and water. I give the students two crackers(one plain and one(if they desire) with margarine). Since dates and pistachio nuts originated in this part of the world as well~ I usually bring these into class for students to sample.
3. Studying the Egyptians? Make Semit~ sesame bread rings.
4. When studying China~ Ive tried making fortune cookies(even though they were INVENTED in the USA).
5. Studying American history~ making butter is a simple and fun activity to try with your students.
6. A popular activity during a unit of study on the Middle Ages includes making pretzels. It is thought that the idea of pretzels dates back to 600AD the Middle Ages when priests made treats~ in the shape of hands in prayer~ to give to children who learned their religions lessons. They were called pretiola.
7. A flat bread~lucchi~ from India has been tried in my classroom during a short unit on India.
8. Study the Greeks? Baklava is a popular dessert which would be easier to purchase at a Greek restaurant than make in a classroom.
9. Studying Mexico? People since the ancient Aztecs and Mayans have been drinking hot chocolate. In fact~ in the early history of chocolate~ this was the only way to eat chocolate~ a word that comes from choco(foam) and lat(water). Archaeologists say that the first users of chocolate dates back to the Olmecs~ 1500-400 BC). The original hot chocolate of the ancients included hot chiles!
At my website for teachers/young people~ I give links to recipes.