Monday, March 17, 2014

A Tasty St. Patrick's Day!


I know that leprechauns and Lucky Charms are popular this time of year, but maybe you don't like leprechauns.  Or, maybe you're sick of graphing those crunchy, little marshmallows.  Why not try something different like hosting a Green Tasting Party?  


A colleague shared this idea with me several years ago, and I just love it.  It's different, it's memorable, and it's fun.   

What is a Green Tasting Party?
A Green Tasting Party is a fun experience where students sample a variety of green foods.  Don't worry, we can make it meet those standards.  Keep reading.

Here is a picture of the Green Tasting we had in our classroom today.  I decorated the table groups as shown and set out plates of green foods while my students were at their daily Special.  They were so excited when they walked in and saw everything!
 

Of course, fancy butcher paper table cloths and colored clover cut outs aren't necessary, but they do add to the fun.  ;)

What do you serve at a Green Tasting Party?
Anything that is green!  Seriously, anything.  If it's green, and safe for your allergy kiddos, serve it.

Our menu included:
  • Key Lime cookies
  • celery
  • green olives
  • green apple
  • sweet pickles
  • lime jello
  • sugar snap peas
  • broccoli
  • lime sherbet/Sprite punch (I called it Leprechaun Punch)
  • nopalitos
In case you aren't familiar with nopalitos, they are basically small pieces of pickled cactus.  They have a small kick (spice).  Most of the kids loved them!



The nopalitos are the "string bean" looking things on the upper left hand side of the plate. 


A few other green foods you could serve include:
  • kiwi
  • green beans
  • Lima beans
  • Key Lime yogurt
  • zucchini
  • cucumber
  • lettuce
  • cabbage
  • salsa verde
  • Key Lime squares
  • pistachio pudding

What if the kids don't like the different food items?
It is a tasting, so they don't have to like all of it.  They just need to taste all of it (but, of course, you could handle this however you'd like).

I told my students that the only rule was they had to taste every item, but they didn't have to like it, or even finish it.  They just had to try it.

What do you do after the tasting?
Make them write.  These days, everything must be tied to something academic (the standards), and we all know that writing about an authentic experience will help our young writers to produce quality work.  So, have them write about their Green Tasting Party. 

You could have your students write about the experience as a narrative, or they could write an opinion piece where they tell about which food they thought was the best. 

I'm sharing some writing pages you might find useful.  Click here to grab these for free.




What are the benefits of hosting a Green Tasting Party?
Well, since you asked:
  • It allows the students to practice good manners and etiquette
  • It gives students an opportunity to socialize within the learning environment
  • It makes for a memorable experience
  • It is fun - and learning should be fun
How do you cover the cost of the food?
Here are a few ideas on how to get those green foods:
  • ask students to send in food items that are green (one item per student)
  • ask students to send in $1 to help cover the cost
  • purchase the items yourself (if you are able to, and willing to, of course)

Our tasting was a lot of fun.  The students were willing to take risks and try new foods, like the nopalitos.  It was fun to hear them critiquing the food as they ate. This showed me that they were really into the experience.  And, at one point, I looked over at one table group and they were clinking their punch glasses together. So cute!

Thanks for stopping by today!
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4 comments:

  1. Green Tasting Party?! Genius. I am so stealing one more idea from you :) I can think of so many green things I could use. I love nopales and eat tons of them every time I go home. I think is super cute you call them nopalitos :)
    Thanks for sharing this fabulous idea!
    Tania
    My Second Sense

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    1. Too funny! I have called them nopalitos for the past 10 plus years because all the packaging calls it that. Maybe it's a regional thing? Weird! The kids sure do love saying that word, though. It was so funny to hear them say it over and over!

      The green tasting was a success, for sure. Definitely give it a try next year! I'm looking forward to St. Patty's falling on a Tuesday next year, and not a Monday...that's a tricky day to plan an "event" for!

      Have a good one!

      Aimee

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  2. Love this! I hope I can pull it off in my class this year :) Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jennifer! I hope you can too. It's lots of fun! Thanks for stopping by!

      Aimee

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I'd love to hear what you have to say!