Recently some Spanish for You! students enjoyed a Mexican Restaurant activity with our Viajes curriculum. In the Viajes book there is a lesson that is themed El Restaurante Méxicano (The Mexican Restaurant). Students learned a lot of useful everyday vocabulary, verbs, and grammar within the context of this cultural theme – things like how to say plate, fork, spoon, knife, napkin, cup, as well as Mexican food related words like el taco al pastor (a typical Mexican type of taco made with slow roasted seasoned pork), el flan (custard like dessert), la torta (a Mexican type of sandwich served on a bun), and more. They learned verbs to help them talk about ordering, eating, and paying for food. And they learned grammar to help them talk about liking or not liking foods.
I thought I would post this to provide those of you who might want to have a cultural food day with a step-by-step activity to follow to do it. (It is also on my Curriculum Activities page). You will see that the activity is directly related to my Viajes book (which will become available as a full package in June – lesson 4 in the book is The Mexican Restaurant lesson.); however, you can probably modify the activity to have your own restaurant day. Kids really love sampling Mexican and other foods from Spanish speaking countries. And it is a great way to get them using any Spanish they have been learning.
When I do this activity, I encourage students to use many of the Common Words and Phrases they have learned that are found in all the Spanish for You! books as well as things they have been learning in the various lessons of their books. Their conversations don’t have to be perfect, you just need to encourage them to talk, ask and answer questions to each other using things they have learned so far. And when students try to say things they have not yet learned, I just remind them to use what they know. I tell them “Pretend you are talking to someone who knows no English, you have no dictionary with you, and all you can do is say what you know”. It is hard and a bit awkward, but that is ok! They just need to get a feel for conversing, no matter how rudimentary the conversations are.
So, maybe you would like to have a restaurant/food day. Go for it! The kids will love it!!
(The food below consisted of el flan, los frijoles (beans), el pollo (chicken), el queso (cheese), la lechuga (lettuce), los tomates (tomatoes), el pan (bread), and las tortillas. These items were used to make tacos and tortas, and the flan was for dessert.)