Students love talking about food; it’s also one of the areas with the most misunderstandings. Unfortunately, showing students pictures or even giving them translations when it comes to food often just can’t capture the true experience of authentic American food. But in this lesson, I try my best to deepen at least some part of student understanding regarding American food. We walk through this PowerPoint, watch several short food & cooking videos, and usually have several demonstrations and taste tests right there in class as time allows. Some simple cooking projects that have been successful with students in the classroom are:
- peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
- mixed vegetable salad
- fruit salad with a simple honey and lemon sauce
- Coke floats
- salsa with crackers
American Society and Culture is an optional course at our college, so I usually keep the teaching of the course light. Most days we talk through a PowerPoint presentation together. The PowerPoints for this course contain lots of pictures and graphics for discussion and interest. I also show a huge number of video clips from YouTube to compliment each PowerPoint presentation.
I put these presentations together about two years ago, so a few of the statistics may have changed; however, the enduring cultural information is accurate. These presentations use simple English and often really simplify what can be some very complex topics. As always in culture classes, the teacher should emphasize that each country has many individuals and so we cannot and should not over-generalize; we can just notice trends and traditions practiced by large groups of a population.
Some of the PowerPoints for this course were made to compliment a textbook that we use in class; those portions can be easily edited out, however.
Please feel free to use, edit, and share them as needed.
To download the PowerPoint presentation for American Food & Restaurant Culture, click here: Food-Diet-RestaurantCulture