Around February or March, Melbourne holds a huge food and wine festival with opportunities to taste various dishes, visit restaurants, bars, and food stalls, take part in classes with famous chefs, tour restaurants, and relax in a variety of dining experiences. We love all things food, so we decided to “travel” to Melbourne for our very own festival on one of our at-home dates this year.
Here are some ideas for creating an at-home Melbourne Food & Wine Festival atmosphere:
- Watch a commercial, documentary, etc. about the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
- Provide a spread of fun and/or fancy foods. We kept ours really simple, probably the kind of thing actual chefs at the real festival would cringe at, but it was good enough for us! We had shrimp with cocktail sauce, a small pizza, bruschetta and bread chips, some fresh blackberries that happened to be in season, and some bacon-wrapped asparagus.
- Watch some cooking videos. You can choose some of the videos that were filmed at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival or any other cooking shows or clips. If you want, have the ingredients laid out for cooking one or two of the recipes, and cook together as part of the date. There’s a huge variety to choose from. If you search for “Melbourne Food and Wine Festival MasterClass” on YouTube, you’ll get lots of hits.
- Our dress code was “kitchen classy/ hipster tourist.” We like to just choose a fun dress code and then look around the house and get creative in finding our costumes.
- If the cooking videos aren’t enough to keep you busy, find a movie with an Australian theme.
For each of the Culture of English-Speaking Countries course fact sheets, I’ve made a corresponding PowerPoint presentation that more or less follows the same line of content to be used as visual support during the fact sheet lecture.
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. Like the fact sheets, 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.
Please feel free to use, edit, and share them as needed.
To download the PowerPoint presentation for Australia, click here: BE Australia PPT
This PowerPoint presentation compliments the Australia Fact Sheet from an earlier post.
Here are some previews of a select few slides from the presentation.
In our English-Speaking Countries course, we discuss Australia around the middle of the term. We spend a lot of time trying to develop an appreciation for the aboriginal people, their culture, their background, and some of the struggles they currently face in a modernizing Australia. We use this article to briefly look into a time in Australia’s not-too-distant history where there was great mistreatment of the Australian aboriginals.
The article worksheet includes a number of key vocabulary words at the bottom of the page and some blanks for students to fill in using those key words. It makes for a good article for developing cultural understanding, reading comprehension, and sentence completion skills.
To download the ready-to-go worksheet, click here: Aboriginal Children Article
Here’s a preview:
During my Culture of English-Speaking Countries course, we overview basic facts and cultural points about the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Canada. Before reading other various articles and engaging in cultural experiences, we go through a fact sheet about each country. Since I as the teacher am the one doing much of the talking during this initial lesson, I have made the fact sheets with blanks for students to fill in missing words and help them focus as they listen. Students here get a surprising amount of entertainment from trying to guess the missing word and the lecture session turns into a fun challenge… kind of amazing!
Note: Also, in order to increase student interest and understanding, I try to load these lecture sessions with as many short videos as I can find on YouTube such as an introductory video showing sights around the country, videos showing highlights from a particular sport that’s mentioned, etc. Some of the lecture sheets also contain references to articles that can be read and discussed at given points in the lecture.
To download the fact sheet without missing words for Australia, click here: BE Australia Fact Sheet
To download the fill-in-the-blank fact sheet for Australia, click here: BE Australia Fact Sheet FIB
Here’s a preview (page 1 of a 2-page document):