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Recipe for a Region
https://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/explore/ice/activities/ice_earth/recipe-region/

Lunar and Planetary Institute, Universities Space Research Association

Students consider the ways their climate affects their region, by identifying a type of food unique to the region and selecting (and possibly cooking) a recipe that features that ingredient. Optional activities to make the food are also provided.

This activity will take approximately 30 minutes as an imaginative exercise. If recipes are cooked, it will take longer and/or need to be done as homework.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»


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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Teachers can choose to do this activity as an imaginative exercise where students create recipes and share them all together in a banquet. Or teachers can assign it as a larger activity and ask students to cook recipes to bring into class.
  • Many schools no longer allow home cooked dishes so teachers should check with administration if they plan to have students throw a real potluck. Likewise, a class-wide banquet is probably difficult to orchestrate due to food safety/allergy concerns.
  • This activity would work well in a learn-from-home setting, but adult supervision would be necessary.
  • In a learn-from-home setting students could be asked to record themselves cooking the food as part of a "cooking show", then students present the videos they produce. For a challenge, students could work in teams, cooking the same dish and edit their videos together.
  • There is background information and facilitator's notes provided for the teacher within this lesson.
  • There is a CLEAN resource called "How Much Energy is On My Plate" that could tie in the energy requirements of different foods.
  • It may also be worth having a discussion about how the regional food may differ as the climate continues to warm and change.

About the Science

  • This activity has students create recipes for various regions based on specific foods that are native to those regions (wild plants, animals/seafood, crops, etc.).
  • The activity ties this recipe back to climate and explains how regional differences in climate affect the regional food ingredients.
  • It encourages students to consider what about the region's climate (latitude, elevation, relationship to oceans, lakes, mountains, etc.) makes it ideal for that food ingredient.
  • Finally, there is a box that may help students consider what is the difference between weather and climate.
  • Good fit for NGSS element on regional climates, but this activity alone does not address deep content on regional climates. So this activity could be a follow-on after some related content on regional climates. It could be tied into the amount of energy consumed by shipping of foods from long distances.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • In this activity, students consider how climate impacts their region through the recipe activity. They then can write the rest of the recipe on the card and share with other groups to create a 'banquet'.
  • Prior to teaching this activity, ideally the teacher could discuss some basics about local foods versus 'exotic' foods that are commonly available but are not from that region, i.e. mangoes.
  • Teachers can describe regional agriculture, foods that are grown in that region, and what climate factors determine what foods can be grown. This can be tied in with cultural lessons about regional cuisines and traditions.
  • This is adaptable to younger grades (K-2) with supervision.
Entered the Collection: August 2020 Last Reviewed: June 2020

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