Eighth Grade Kitchen Rotation

ESY Berkeley Teaching Staff
Edible Schoolyard Project
Berkeley, CA


During the eighth grade, students come to the kitchen with their humanities class for two rotations, one in the fall and one the in spring.  


The fall rotation is the Independence series, three lessons that focus on the themes of seasonalitiy and independence in the kitchen. These lessons challenge students to take the lead on figuring out what jobs need to be done, dividing up the work within their groups, and coordinating with one another to make everything gets done in a timely way. This requires them to practice collaboration and group-decision making as they experiment with flexible recipes. 


The spring rotation consists of the Debate Plate series, the six lessons focus on factors and considerations that influence personal food choices and the impacts of those choices. The series begins with a preview in the students' academic classroom. The following week, students come into the kitchen four times and spend Wednesday in the classroom doing a Debate Plate activity.

No. Lesson Location Grade Key Concepts
1 Spaghetti with Pesto, Ricotta Cheese, and Quick Tomato Sauce Kitchen Classroom 6 – 8 Collaboration, Decision-Making, Seasonality, Teamwork
2 Spring Rolls Kitchen Classroom 6 – 8 Seasoning, Teamwork, Knife Skills, Experimentation, Improvisation
3 Eggs and Potatoes with Homemade Ketchup and Herb Tea Kitchen Classroom 6 – 8 Teamwork, Seasoning
No. Lesson Location Grade Key Concepts
4 Debate Plate: Introduction to Food Systems and Choices Indoor Classroom 6 – 8 Food Access, Food System
5 Health and Nutrition Debate Plate: Spiced Red Lentil Stew and Indian-Spiced Cabbage Slaw Kitchen Classroom 6 – 8, 9 – 12 Food System, Food Choices, Health
6 Environment Debate Plate: Frittata and Salad Kitchen Classroom 6 – 8, 9 – 12 Environmental Sustainability, Food Waste
7 Labor and Justice Debate Plate: Farmworker Wages Indoor Classroom, Kitchen Classroom 6 – 8, 9 – 12 Food System, Labor
8 Labor and Justice Debate Plate: Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese and Lemonade Kitchen Classroom 6 – 8, 9 – 12 Food System, Food Choices
9 Cost and Access Debate Plate: Chili and Cornbread Kitchen Classroom 6 – 8, 9 – 12 Food Access, Food Choices
10 Pizza Celebration Kitchen Classroom 6 – 8 Community