Bizarre Mystery Food Project

On occasion I have shown episodes of Chopped in my classes. My students and I are often amazed at the unusual foods that are selected for the challenges; many, students have never heard of. Knowing that these foods piqued my students’ interest, especially junior high, I decided to create an assignment around bizarre mystery foods that could be used as bell ringers, fillers for when class ends early or even as a before holiday or spring break activity to keep students engaged and interested! This assignment not only provides information on curious, bizarre foods, but also helps students navigate the world by showing where in the world these foods originate via Google Maps and helps build confidence during oral presentations as they WOW their peers with unique food curiosities!

Set

  • Begin to work through the Mystery Foods Presentation found in the attachments below by viewing the dinner scene YouTube clip from the Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom movie. This dinner scene introduces students to some very bizarre foods that especially gross some of the students out! Junior high student antics are worth it–while they “ooh and ahh” over the grossness of the foods. They don’t fool me– they love every minute of it! Preface the video clip by asking: How would you react if you were invited to this dinner? Would you eat? Explain why or why not. Discuss after viewing.

Materials

  • Laptops or iPads
  • Projector & Screen
  • World Map (optional)

Activities

  • Show students the picture of Andrew Zimmern and ask who he is and what he is known for? (Included in the presentation below.)
  • Ask students what the weirdest, most bizarre food or foods they’ve ever eaten are? Share and discuss…I include mine as well!
  • Pose the quote “One man’s weird is another man’s wonderful” and ask students what it means. Share and discuss.
  • Show student an interview clip of Andrew Zimmern about adventurous eaters. During the video there is reference to psychological food fears. Following the video, ask students if they have any psychological food fears and share it with their shoulder neighbor. Ask for some examples with a whole group sharing. I also share my food fear with students!
  • Now it’s time to introduce the Bizarre Mystery Food project with students. I provide students with a template in Google Slides in addition to the guide sheet and sample for them to reference.
  • Students select a bizarre food to investigate. If students struggle to find a food, I will offer them some suggestions, but I try to leave it up to them so they have an invested interest in their investigation. I have included a list of bizarre foods below just in case!
  • While researching this food, students have to find out physical characteristics about their food along with interesting background information and trivia so they can pose 2-3 “I’m Curious About…” questions. Students must also include a picture of their bizarre mystery food. On the second slide, they provide the answer to the food and curiosity questions. Finally, a map of where the mystery food can be found or where it originated should be included along with cited sources..
  • After students have created their projects, I have them share with the class. Students may share these with their peers as a bell ringer activity. or at the end of a period or lab. It’s a great way to fill those last few minutes of a class!
  • If you have room in your class for a large world map, have students tape their food name and picture to it’s location to see how much of the world gets represented. My junior high classes rotate every 6 weeks so by the end of the year, I could potentially cover a lot of territory! No room for a large world map? Give students their own world map using this TPT Freebie and help them learn about geography while learning about bizarre foods!

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