Dr. King Students Prepare Food to Enhance Their Learning
Published on 2/1/16
District News Dr King Elementary School
Through his 14 years teaching in the SCSD, Dr. King Special Education teacher Rashaan Listenbee has learned that the best way to enhance student learning is by letting the students take part a memorable—and self-guided—experience.
To help make this happen, Mr. Listenbee applied for a grant through the SCSD Educational Foundation that would allow students to connect with what they are reading about in class by preparing foods related to a book’s theme.
Each Friday, students learn to prepare and cook foods based around a theme, chosen by the book they are reading in class that week. For instance, while students read “Mahalia Jackson,” the theme was ‘lifestyle of a slave,’ and students prepared collard greens, smoked meat and cornbread. Students also explored a Civil War theme (beans, onions, green peppers and smoked turkey), Italian theme (pizza), Victorian theme (tea and crackers) and more.
“I liked the soldier food—rice and beans,” Trebor Rhodafox recalled. “Now I would know how to make these things at home.”
Mr. Listenbee said his own memories of school helped influence this creative lesson idea. “I got the chance to make food in class sometimes when I was in school,” he explained. “To this day, I can remember some of the things that I made. I believe that students will remember more of what they do than what they are taught.”
In fact, students have responded so well to the cooking projects that Mr. Listenbee said he may try to continue the program again next year with a new group of students. “Overall, the students are recalling the major details from the stories they have read,” he said. “This has been productive because it has given the students a chance to connect their learning to making food—and eating it!”
Thank you to Mr. Listenbee and his teaching assistants for bringing books to life for these students! This is one of 19 projects funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation in 14 schools this year, totaling $50,000. The SCSD Educational Foundation has funded more than $750,000 in SCSD projects since 2003.