Standards Aligned:
Farm to Table
Knife Skills
Cooking Rates
Place of Learning: 
90 Minutes
Grade Level: 

ESY Berkeley Teaching Staff
Edible Schoolyard Project
Berkeley, CA

In this sixth-grade humanities lesson, students make frittata They practice their knife skills and safety, and practice using kitchen systems.
Student Learning Goals & Objectives: 

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Read and follow a basic recipe, and understand that some recipes are flexible and some are specific.
  • Practice basic knife skills while demonstrating proper knife safety and care.
  • Describe and apply the concept of cooking rate when preparing a dish with a variety of ingredients.

During this lesson, students will:

  • Use a written recipe as a guideline to prepare and season a frittata to taste.
  • Review basic knife skills and safety guidelines, and slice, dice, chop, and mince a variety of vegetables and herbs for the frittata.
  • Decide what order to add the frittata ingredients to the skillet based on their cooking rates.
Materials & Prep: 
For the Chef Meeting
  • Frittata recipe – PDF
  • Ingredients and tools for demonstration
  • Visual aid – PDF
  • Olive oil
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Cheese
  • Mix of seasonal vegetables
  • Assorted fresh herbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cast-iron skillet
  • Wooden spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisks
  • Graters
  • Chef’s knives
  • Paring knives
  • Cutting boards
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Stove
  • Oven
Before You Begin
  • Collect all the ingredients and tools and distribute them to the tables.
  • Gather supplies for the Chef Meeting.
  • Gather supplies for the Closing.
  • Create the visual aid.
  • Copy the frittata recipes to hand out.
  • Steam potatoes (if using in frittata).
    Procedure Steps: 

    Welcome students back to the kitchen and introduce the recipe for the day. 

    1. Remind students that the 4B's (Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, Be an Ally) still apply in the kitchen classroom.
    2. Review basic knife skills and safety with a demonstration:
      • Go through the process of chopping a carrot (or other vegetable), intentionally making mistakes as you go. 
      • Stop frequently to ask for students' thumbs up or down depending on whether they think your actions are safe or not. If not, ask them to give you tips on how to make them safer.
      • Review using a cutting board, using a claw grip to protect your fingers, wiping the blade of the knife with a bench scraper and not your fingers, wiping the knife down with a damp cloth at the table, and how to carry a knife safely if you have to walk somewhere with it.
    3. Explain that a frittata is a baked omelette that contains lots of vegetables and cheese, similar to a quiche without crust.
    4. Explain that to make the frittata students will first prep all the vegetables on the platter by cutting them into small pieces, grate the cheese, and whisk the eggs. Then they will sauté the vegetables on the stove until they are mostly cooked, pour in the eggs, and cook them almost like scrambled eggs until they are half done. They will finish cooking the frittata in the oven, which allows the eggs to stay light and fluffy. We'll be eating the frittata in slices, like a pie.Ask students if there are any more questions.
    5. Ask students to wash their hands and join their table groups.

    Review skills with students before they prepare the frittata. 

    1. Small-group check-in: What is your favorite way to eat eggs? What is one of your favorite breakfast foods?
    2. Introduce the jobs and demonstrate how to prepare the ingredients on the platter.
      • Review how to mince.
    3. Explain that we'll be cutting the vegetables into fairly small pieces so that we get a little bit in each bite of the frittata.
      • Review the concept of cooking rates, explaining that we'll be adding the garlic and onion to the pan first to build flavor, the crunchy vegetables next so they have time to cook, and the leafy vegetables last.
    4. Divide students into cooking jobs.
    5. Prepare the recipe and set the table.
    6. Eat.
    7. Clean up.

    Students reflect and discuss the recipe. 

    1. Ask students to use their fingers to rate the food on a scale of 1 to 5.
    2. If there is time, ask students to brainstorm different ingredients they would add to the frittata if they were to cook it at home.
    Download Lesson Materials
    • Sauté
    • Grate
    • Whisk
    • Cast-iron skillet
    • Cooking rate
    Teaching Notes: 
    • Eggs: The recipe calls for 8 to 20 eggs. When making this recipe with a class, we always use 8 eggs because it cooks a little bit faster.
    • What’s a frittata? For students who are unfamiliar with frittatas, we describe them as a baked omelette, or like a quiche without crust.
    • Cheese inside and on top: We encourage students to put some of the cheese in the egg mixture and reserve some to sprinkle on top before putting the frittata in the oven.
    • Cracking an egg: We like to demonstrate how to crack an egg while the students are working. Most students know how, but for the few who are unfamiliar with the skill, it can feel embarrassing and vulnerable to admit that to their groupmates.
    • Raw egg: Show students how to work next to the compost bucket while cracking the eggs so they don’t drip raw egg everywhere.
    • Eggs and cheese: Some students can be hesitant about the combination at first, but even those who profess to hate eggs and cheese together tend to love the frittata.
    • Cooking rates: The recipe says to add the vegetables and herbs at the same time, but this is a good lesson to prompt students to recall the idea of cooking rates and add them to the pan at different times (aromatics, then crunchy, then leafy).
    • Hot Sauce Diversity: We make multiple hot sauces available to our students during this lesson (e.g. Crystal, Tapatío, Cholula, Sriracha). Students often identify very strongly with one or two hot sauces and are very happy to see their own hot sauce. This is an opportunity for students to see themselves represented in the space.
    • Onions: We used spring onion instead of bulb onion for this lesson because it is less irritating to the eyes. When cooking frittatas with seventh and eighth graders, we generally use bulb onions, but for sixth graders, spring onions are a better choice in our experience.
    • Allergies: For students who are allergic to dairy, we reserve all the cheese to sprinkle on top and leave a piece of the frittata cheese-free. For students who are allergic to eggs, we always provide an alternative such as fruit, cheese, or toast.
    • Browning: This lesson is a good opportunity to show students how a little bit of browning on the bottom of the pan can add a lot of flavor.
    • Herbs: We use a variety of herbs in this lesson so that students can taste them and choose which to include in their frittata. Encourage students to use all their senses when choosing the herbs.
    • Fairness: Sometimes students become anxious when we start cutting the frittata for serving. We find it helps to name that you’re trying to slice the frittata as evenly as you can and that it is very difficult to make it perfect, so please be understanding of that.
    • Testing for Doneness: You know the frittata is done when the egg looks solid and doesn’t shake when you shake the pan.
    • Return and Review: This is the first time back in the kitchen for the sixth graders after the fall rotation. We chose this recipe specifically for this lesson because it is an excellent opportunity to review knife skills, safety, and kitchen systems.
    • Board to Pan Technique: We show students how to add vegetables from their cutting boards to the pan so that their boards don’t flip and vegetables don’t fall on the floor or counter.
    • Cleaning Practice: Because this is the first time the sixth graders are in the kitchen after their fall rotation, we like to review standards of cleanliness and hygiene. We make it more fun and increase student engagement by having them rate the cleanliness of the cooking station and toolboxes after cooking using their fingers. We use the scale of 1 to 4, because it mirrors the grading system they use in their academic classes and we find that doing so increases their buy-in and sense of importance around the assessment. After they rate the cleanliness, we talk a little bit about what we see that has been cleaned well and what could be improved.
    • Frittata for Everyone: This year we made frittatas with the seventh and eighth graders as well as the sixth graders. With seventh and eighth graders, we made the lesson more challenging by adding salads.

    Academic Standards

    Common Core State Standards

    Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6-12


    Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

    Edible Schoolyard Standards

    In the Kitchen Classroom, Grade 6



    ESY students and teachers approach lessons with intention by thinking through how the recipe relates to the kitchen, garden, and wider environment as a whole.

    Terms & Techniques


    Read and follow recipes, and understand that some recipes are flexible and some are specific.


    Taste finished dishes and discuss their sensory observations using descriptive vocabulary.


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