Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cooking Chili in Our Special Ed Class

No, no, no Three Alarm Chili! Let's stick with templado.
Supremely versatile cooking tool.
 It is high school football season here in SoCal, and our Special Day Class is going to cook some chili--not the fancy,  competitive kind found in Chili Cook Offs--no, just pretty straight forward chili. At least until we get our STEM garden going and we have our own veggies and herbs.

Although we are considered a Life Skills class (Moderately/Severely Handicapped for Grade 9 and 10), we don't have access to a kitchen. So we will use a slow cooker and rice maker.

Woo-hoo, we're getting a new ricemaker!
I put rice on the lesson plan because my years living at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, gave us a marvelous chili experience (with Zippy's Chili being a fast food franchise and the chili was always over rice.)

We will follow the simple recipe on the seasoning packet. I will ask the students to see if parents have a special recipe for chili--lots do--but we are keeping it simple.We will check the weight measurement of beans and tomatoes. We will measure the rice and liquid. We will discuss temperature and time.

We will discuss courtesy and custom while eating.

Then we will plan the space for laying out a buffet style restaurant in our room, and sampling the chili in our classroom, at desks. Counting number of diners, and what each will need to eat. Laying items out, checking the flow of movement from chili to desk.

Time, again will be a consideration--actually, we will discuss these topics integrated throughout our academics for a few days prior to the event. Planning, recalling, estimating time--all important executive functions we work on every day. Discussion at large, talking with peers, executing the plans: all are marvelous opportunities to develop communication goals.

How to handle food while cooking, serving and eating? Wash hands. Don't forget the cleanup. Hygiene and sanitation. Clean, clean, clean.

We will follow the recipe on the seasoning packet, except for the little red onions from my own backyard herb/veggie garden. The students are starting their own Recipe Books, and will begin with this recipe. I am hoping they will report back on variations of chili from discussions at home. We can compare.

I will report back on our cooking project.

I am developing complete lesson plans for PDF on this series of activities for Cooking in a Special Ed Class: Chili and Rice. These will be available on my website. Will let you know when they're up!

My sweet little red onions from the Melanie Link Taylor Teaching Garden--including evidence of seeds--to be included in our classroom chili.

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