Looking for interactive potato lessons and labs for your food and culinary classes? This lesson is packed full of engaging ideas for teaching about the infamous potato that can be used independently or in it’s entirety as a mini-unit.
- I introduce this topic and lesson by playing “What am I?” Begin by giving each student a white board with marker and wipe and spread them around the room so they cannot see each others board.
- Ask students to number their board from 1-10. As I give each of the clues (see attachments) they are to either write down the food I’m referring to and stop at the number they guessed it or they are to draw a line behind the clue number and keep going until they guess the food. Once the last clue has been shared, students turn their boards around so we can all see if they guessed the correct food and when.
- This just adds a bit of fun and mystery as to what our topic is going to be and it really can be done with any food….you just have to create the clues starting with the more difficult/vague and moving to the easier, more obvious ones at the end.
- iPad or Laptop
- Projector & Screen
- White boards & Dry Erase Markers (optional)
- To give students more background into the types, uses and nutritional value of potatoes, I have my students participate in a competitive, timed jigsaw style activity called “Iron-Chef” (similar in concept to the actual cooking show). Students are put into groups, assigned a potato type/color and then given instructions as to how to complete. Students are basically given the template and resource to complete their assigned slide within the slide-deck within a set period of time–like 10 minutes. This forces them to be focused on their assignment. They must also add a special ingredient. When the time is up the leader submits the slide deck and then each is presented to the class for notes. This strategy comes from the book The EduProtocol Field Guide: 16 Student-Centered Lesson Frames for Infinite Learning Possibilities (Amazon affiliate) by Marlena Hebern and Jon Corippo.
- From here I have students complete the “Preparing Potatoes 3 Ways” document, using provided resources. This helps them explore apply a variety of cooking methods that they researched in the “Cooking Methods Jigsaw Puzzle Project.” Students complete the Potato #1 section and then head to the lab and prepare mashed potatoes.
- Students also investigate responses to the “Potato Dilemmas” using reliable internet resources to learn more about selection, use and storage of spuds.
- After completing the Potato #2 section, students prepare baked potatoes and then make them into Twice Baked Potatoes with Ham and Cheese.
- Students then complete the assignment “Potatoes Dishes Around the World” to explore some ethnic/global types of potatoes and then students head back to complete the final section Potato #3 on the Preparing Potatoes 3 Ways document.
- For their final lab, students prepare and serve Latkes topped with applesauce.
- What am I? Bell Ringer (PDF)
- Iron Chef Jigsaw_ Potato Edition (please make a copy)
- YouTube Timer
- Preparing Potatoes 3 Ways (PDF)
- Potato Dilemmas (PDF)
- Potatoes Dishes Around the World (PDF)
- Mashed Potatoes (adjust amount to your class size)
- Twice Baked Potatoes