K6-4 Autumn Harvest Soup

Published July 26, 2016 | Updated November 2, 2017
Place of Learning: Kitchen
Resource Type: Lessons
Grade Level: Grade 6
Uploaded by:
Kyle Cornforth
Program Affiliations:

In this sixth grade humanities lesson, students prepare a soup with vegetables harvested from the fall garden while they practice knife skills and learn the basics of making stock.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Understand how to make vegetable stock
  • Demonstrate basic knife skills and care
  • Read and follow a recipe to make Autumn Harvest Soup
  • Taste the soup and adjust seasoning 

During this lesson, students will:

  • Prepare the vegetables for the Autumn Harvest Soup and sort the remaining parts for the stockpot or the compost
  • Choose the proper tool for the job
  • Follow the recipe to completion
  • Taste and season the soup 

For the Chef Meeting


For the Autumn Harvest Soup

  • Olive oil
  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Pumpkin
  • Winter Squash
  • Assorted greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Vegetable stock
  • Bulgur
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • Two stockpots
  • Strainer
  • Garlic peeler
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle
  • Chef knives
  • Paring knives
  • Cutting boards
  • Measuring beaker
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons


  • Stove
Before You Begin
  • Create the Visual Aid
  • Copy the Autumn Harvest Soup recipe to hand out
  • Prepare the vegetable stock (for the first class)
  • Soak the bulgur
  • Collect all the tools and ingredients, and then distribute them to the tables
  • Gather supplies for the Chef Meeting
  • Warm vegetable stock on the griddle

Timeline Overview

Total Duration: 90 minutes

  1. Invitation* (10 minutes)
  2. Concept Invention* (10 minutes)
  3. Application* (60 minutes)
  4. Reflection* (10 minutes)

At the Chef Meeting (10 minutes)

1. Invitation*: 

  1. Welcome students and introduce the Autumn Harvest Soup recipe.
  2. Explain that Autumn Harvest Soup is a seasonal recipe and that the largest harvest of the year is in the fall.
  3. Invite students to name vegetables that are in season.

2.Concept Invention*:

Students learn about the autumn harvest and making vegetable stock.

  1. Describe the difference between a recipe that needs to be followed precisely and a recipe like Autumn Harvest Soup, which is flexible.
    1. A flexible recipe can be adjusted with what is in the garden or on hand.
  2. Review that different vegetables and various parts of the same vegetable can cook at different rates.
  3. Divide vegetables into two categories, based on how long they take to cook.
  4. Introduce the term vegetable stock.
    1. Explain that cold water, heated slowly over low heat extracts flavor from the vegetables.
  5. Emphasize which parts of the vegetables will be used for the soup, for the stock, or put into the compost.
  6. Review the ingredients and steps of the recipe.

At the Table

3. Application*:

Students work together to make soup and stock.

  1. Meet with the table groups to review the recipe and assign jobs
  2. Identify the knives used for mincing and dicing and demonstrate both techniques.
  3. Prepare the recipe.
  4. Ask students to taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.
  5. Set the table; eat; clean up.

At the Closing Circle

4. Reflection*:

Ask students to share what their part in preparing the recipe was, and which tool or technique they used.

Connections to Edible Education Framework

Communication is strengthened as students “pay it forward” by making stock for the following class and using stock made for them by the previous class as a base for their soup. Sustainability is highlighted by discussing seasonality and how autumn has the most abundant harvest of the year, brainstorming how ingredients for a soup might change according to the season and by making a vegetable stock using scraps and leftovers from vegetables for soup, which diverts food waste. Nourishment is acquired by making a simple vegetable stock, an ingredient that is often high in sodium and additives when bought at the store, for a vegetable soup. Life Skills are sharpened as students learn that different vegetables and parts of the same vegetable may cook at different rates, that a recipe can be flexible, and to taste and adjust seasonings as they cook.

Academics fulfill Common Core State Standards in ELA for determining the meaning of words; integrating visual information; integrating information presented indifferent media or formats; following precisely a multistep procedure; integrating quantitative or technical information; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions; interpreting information presented in diverse media; presenting claims and findings; adapting speech to a variety of contexts and tasks; demonstrating command of standard English grammar; using knowledge of language and its conventions; and acquiring words and phrases. See Connections to Academic Standards below for details. 

Connections to Academic Standards

Common Core State Standards, English Language Arts and Literacy, Grade 6

  • RH.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
  • RH.6.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
  • RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
  • RST.6.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.  
  • RST.6.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
  • SL.6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher- led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • SL.6.1.b Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
    • SL.6.1.c Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.
    • SL.6.1.d Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.
  • SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • SL.6.4 Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • SL.6.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 6 Language standards 1 and 3 on page 53 for specific expectations.)
  • L.6.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • L.6.1.a Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
    • L.6.1.b Use all pronouns, including intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves) correctly.
    • L.6.1.c Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
    • L.6.1.d Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
  • L.6.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
    • L.6.3.a Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/ listener interest, and style.
    • L.6.3.b Maintain consistency in style and tone.
  • L.6.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression. 
Connections to Edible Schoolyard Standards

Edible Schoolyard 3.0

In the Edible Schoolyard Program

  • 1.0: Students work with each other and teachers to develop community and personal stewardship, along with skills that will help them navigate different situations throughout their lives.
  • 1.1.1 – 1.3.12: This lesson fulfills all Edible Schoolyard Program standards, numbers 1.1 through 3.12. See The Edible Schoolyard Berkeley Standards for details.

In the Kitchen Classroom, 6th grade

  • Tools 2.1.3: Identify different knives from the ESY Toolbox and demonstrate basic knife skills, safety, and care with guidance.
  • Techniques 2.2.6: Read and follow recipes, and understand that some recipes are flexible and some are specific.
  • Techniques 2.2.7: Taste finished dishes and discuss their sensory observations using descriptive vocabulary

All lessons at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley are developed in collaboration with the teachers and staff of the Edible Schoolyard and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.

Learning Cycle and Think-Pair-Share discussion routine © The Regents of the University of California. All materials created by BEETLES™ at The Lawrence Hall of Science.

This lesson follows the BEETLES Project’s Learning Cycle (Invitation-> Exploration -> Concept Invention -> Application -> Reflection) and uses their Discussion Routines (Think-Pair-Share, Whip-Around). All are highlighted * with an asterisk for easy identification. See the documents BEETLES Discussion Routines and BEETLES Learning Cycle included in Resources below for more information.

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