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Session 1



Students will be introduced to kitchen tools and simple meal preparation tasks.


How do my actions affect myself and others?


RESPECT-Respecting the rules and equipment in a kitchen keeps us all safe.
Social Emotional Learning Standards (Illinois) – Early Elementary
2C.1a. Identify ways to work and play well with others.  2C.1b. Demonstrate appropriate social and classroom behavior.


Chart paper

Measuring Spoons (various sizes)
Measuring Cups (various sizes)
Bowl of Flour
Empty Bowl
Plastic Knives
Picnic Basket (to keep supplies in)
How to Set a Table Diagram
Rolling Pins
Paper Towels or Dish Towels
Children’s Cookbooks with Pictures (optional)1 - Welcome to the Kitchen I_pic


1. Make a Rules for Cooking Poster on a large piece of chart paper.
2. Set up stations around the classroom.
3. Roll Play-Doh into balls to mimic dough used for baking

Teaching children to cook is a fantastic way to get them interested and excited about healthy foods. Cooking with children fosters the skills needed to prepare food and improves their understanding of nutrition. Cooking skills empower students with a sense of independence and self-reliance. Learning healthful eating habits at an early age can promote long-term health.


Cooking and preparing meals together is a process involving teamwork and communication. Students will have the opportunity to create healthy meals, as well as learn important math and reading skills, as they follow recipes and measure ingredients. Students will learn to appreciate their food, where it comes from, and how it is prepared.

It is important to review rules in the kitchen to prevent food contamination and injury and to promote a safe environment. Everyone is responsible for keeping food and each other safe!

Who prepares the meal in your home? Do you ever help in the kitchen? What are some tasks involved with cooking? Do you have a favorite job in the kitchen? Do you have a least favorite job? Is there a kitchen task you’ve never tried, but would like to learn?


Explain to students that they will have the opportunity throughout the school year to learn to prepare healthy foods. Just like a soccer team works together to score goals, the students within the classroom will be working together as a team to accomplish another type of goal … one that can be eaten! And, just like there are rules on the soccer field to keep everyone safe, there are rules for cooking as well. Discuss Rules for Cooking Poster and encourage students to use markers to sign the poster as a way of taking ownership in their food preparation community. Display signed poster on wall for the duration of the school year.


1. Introduce stations to students.

  • Measurement Station – Students will use various measuring tools to practice measuring dry ingredients (flour). Demonstrate how to level off scoops of flour with finger to create accurate measurements. Instruct students to use the empty bowl to dump flour in once it’s been measured.
  • Hand Washing Station – Students will practice washing their hands. Demonstrate how to use soap, scrub and rinse. A good rule of thumb for how long to scrub is enough time to sing 2 rounds of “Happy Birthday”. If desired, students can browse through cookbooks when finished or when waiting for a turn at the sink.
  • Rolling Pin Station – Students will practice using a rolling pin. Demonstrate how to use a back and forth motion to roll out dough. Before rotating to the next station, instruct students to form dough back into a ball for the next group.
  • Setting a Table Station – Students will learn the proper way to set a table. Demonstrate how to set a table. Show students how to lay out a placemat, fold a napkin in half, and where to place the knife (right), spoon (right), fork (left), plate (middle) and cup (top right). Before rotating to the next station, instruct students to return all place setting materials back in the picnic basket for the next group.

2. Divide students into four even groups. (Teacher Tip: Color coding the groups helps smoothly transition younger learners, as well as using a bell or light signal to get students’ attention during rotations.)

3. Allow groups to experiment at each station for approximately 5 minutes before rotating to the next station.


What was your favorite station? Why? Why do you think it is important to learn these skills before we begin cooking? What are you most looking forward to learning? How can you use some of these new skills at home?


At the Measurement Station, students learn how to measure liquids. At the Washing Station, students learn how to wash fruits and vegetables. Instead of a Rolling Pin Station, have a Spatula Station. And instead of Setting a Table, demonstrate uses for a variety of Serving Platters, Bowls, and Utensils.



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