Food Revolution; School Revolution

Yesterday, our school participated in Jamie Oliver‘s Food Revolution Day. One of our fantastic EAs, Kristy Ellis, worked at coordinating this special cooking activity for over 450 students.

  • Food was purchased and divided per class.
  • Cooking materials were collected and distributed to each class.
  • Older students were paired with younger ones to help with cooking.
  • All we needed to do was follow the schedule, have some fun, and cook.
Our Terrific EAs Hard At Work In The Morning Prepping Materials For Food Revolution Day!

Our Terrific EAs Hard At Work In The Morning Prepping Materials For Food Revolution Day!

When I first found out about the day, I thought that the students would love it, but I couldn’t really figure out its purpose. Yesterday, I did.

  • Students that usually only eat unhealthy foods were excited about the taste of these healthy ones. As parents were picking their children up after school yesterday afternoon, students were chatting non-stop about the Squash It Sandwich, and how they wanted to make it at home. Some even saved a taste of it for their parents to try. Yesterday was truly about spreading the word of the value in healthy eating!
  • Students experienced many “firsts.” For some students, yesterday was the first time that they tried certain vegetables (e.g., cauliflower) or other healthy, vegetarian foods (e.g., humus). For some students, it was the first time that they learned how to chop with a knife (including one of the Intermediate students that worked with our class and is new to Canada) or spread items on bread. This sandwich making activity taught independence.
  • Students learned how to work well together. They had to share supplies. They had to figure out alternate items to use when certain materials were not available (e.g., some groups didn’t have a rolling pin to squash their vegetables, so they used everything from their hands to a plastic bowl). They had to divide the food and wait their turn when creating their sandwiches. This activity, taught students the value in collaboration and problem solving.
  • Students experienced real world learning. Sometimes we teach skills in isolation. Our students learn concepts (e.g., how to count), but they don’t understand why they matter. Cooking is one way that they can apply what they’ve learned in the classroom. While we didn’t have much time to talk before home time yesterday, it was interesting to hear what my Grade 1’s learned from this activity. I’d love to know what others learned too. Maybe all of our students need more opportunities to make learning meaningful.

As I look now at the calendar and realize how few weeks there are until the end of the school year, I think about opportunities like the one we had yesterday. What other real world learning can we do? How else can students apply what they learned in ways that matter? When the weather gets warmer and students realize that the year is coming to an end, it’s nice to have some fun … but linking fun and learning sounds even better! Even as I look ahead to next year, I can’t help but think about more meaningful learning opportunities for my new group of students. What impact might “meaningful learning” have on engaging students? How might this make our more reluctant learners think about school differently? Thanks to Jamie’s Food Revolution for giving me so much to think about! 


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