Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A cooking workshop in the ESL class

Carnival is a festival of immense cultural and historical significance

“There are many advantages in holding a nursery or school carnival event. It can hold the key to learning in many areas of the curriculum, provide all children with opportunities to contribute at their own level, connect to children experiences in their communities and create links between adults in the setting and experienced carnival practitioners and parents”
(from Carnival in Education:

I really recommend this web site, even if you are convinced of why should we teach children and teachers about carnival.

Apart from arts and crafts, designing costumes, reading or listening about carnival parties and so on, each country is very rich in traditions and celebrations. Some of them come from the popular imaginary, some other have a lot to see with the religious calendar, winter fests, parades or food.

In my country we do celebrate “Dijous gras” (Catalan term that refers to “Jueves lardero in Castilian” or “Fat Thursday” literally translated into English). Do not confuse with “Mardi Gras” celebrated in New Orleans (even though the translation from French would be “Fat Tuesday”!).

Every year we celebrate Carnival in the school and me, as the ESL teacher; take advantage of it.

There are many different cooking traditions (very fat and with a high protein and calories content!). One of them is to cook omelettes: French omelettes filled with a special egg sausage.

During the previous days of the celebration my colleagues have been preparing the costumes, songs, parades, masks, and so on. But during this special Thursday (Dijous gras), English language takes the leading role. We do omelettes and tomato bread, and we do it in English.

This is the full process in images.

You must strongly think on the idea to do some cooking projects in English. They are a great resource of vocabulary and grammar in a rich context, full of motivation, fun and hands on activities.

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