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High School Culinary Arts Curriculum That Will Make Your Life Easier

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Food Lessons for High School and Middle School

When Chris was hired as a culinary arts teacher he was excited but completely overwhelmed. Have you ever felt like there is just not enough time in the day or money in the budget to be an effective Foods teacher?

culinary arts high school curriculum and Prostart lesson plans for high school
This curriculum will make your life so much easier.

Here’s what one teacher said about this bundle: “Extremely satisfied” “Love, love, love this resource!! It has a great variety of activities in each unit. It was a HUGE help for my first year of teaching culinary!”

How do you present your lessons to your students? We chose to create slideshows, notes, and activities that introduce the foods that will be made in culinary class. This does 2 things:

1- It gives the students schema or background knowledge about the food they will make.

2- It takes up more time in the week! If you are in the routine of this, you don’t feel the need to be cooking all the time. Students expect a day of instruction before the food lab and it can be considered cross-curricular because you are incorporating reading and writing.

When you follow a scope and sequence it really helps to set a pace and take notes on your progress for the year. I like to compare my notes and progress from the year before and once I had a couple of years under my belt it was all so much easier. Check out our free scope and sequence to help you organize your planning for a semester or the school year!

technical education 
culinary careers
Free Scope and Sequence for Culinary and FCS

Having a binder of culinary arts worksheets and a Google folder of lesson plans is another great help because you can look ahead at what you planned the year before and get your copies ready if you need them.

Why Lectures Work in Culinary Arts Too!

Lectures are controversial but they do have some value in that it gives students knowledge about what they are about to cook and work with. You can do a guided notes lecture with questions and an activity for an entire period and the students can learn so much! Let’s be honest, it also takes up some instructional time and students can work on the questions during lab downtime. Setting up class this way can make a great observation lesson as well.

culinary arts course for high school and middle school
culinary arts lesson plan for breakfast foods that follows prostart standards
For instance, before making breakfast foods in the cooking lab, we learn about the history of breakfast foods, types of breakfast food styles, and more!

If you don’t want to deal with all of the planning, especially if you teach multiple preps, you may be interested in our Mega Bundle. Our bundle of culinary arts high school curriculum includes over 100 lessons and activities for the classroom to use with food labs and as instruction. Students learn the standards for family and consumer science foods as well as Prostart standards with the material covered. It also includes a Google folder with all materials and the scope and sequence.

Here’s what Ashley had to say about this bundle:

Are you teaching Global Foods or International Foods to high school students? We also have a Global Foods Lesson Bundle as well as a blog post with food lab ideas for the classroom that includes a Mexican foods lesson, Indian foods lesson, Italian foods, and more. Pulling up one of these lessons for each region that you teach can save you a ton of time and help to keep you organized!

Creating a Structured Learning Environment

There are few ways to create an organized and structured learning environment for your high school class. 

Bell Work- start each class with a bell work question to get them thinking about culinary arts and minimize classroom disruption at the beginning of class. 

Our high school culinary arts curriculum includes daily bell ringers for your class in culinary, food science and basic nutrition!

Early Finisher work- choice boards and activities such as culinary word searches can keep those students that are finished with their food labs busy and off of their phones!

Engaging Culinary Students

You want to keep your students engaged and learning in class, that is our goal as teachers. Our curriculum includes tons of activities that will keep them focused and help them to understand the end goal of your culinary course. Lessons and activities include food safety, information about the food service industry, culinary math, menu planning, food preparation, cooking techniques, a food truck project, proper knife skills, a hospitality industry project and so much more! Even students with special needs and ESL students will benefit from the clear instruction and use of visuals.

Our culinary curriculum includes colorful Powerpoint presentations and slideshows, guided notes, and student questions to check for understanding. They are perfect for busy culinary arts teachers and their culinary arts students! Giving your students life skills, or opening their eyes to the food industry and possible career opportunities for a future full time job is the beauty of teaching a CTE course. 

Grab our free knife cuts guide below to help you teach basic knife cuts to your students!

culinary arts curriculum for prostart high school and advanced culinary
Free Knife Cuts Guide Download

Global Cuisine Education

Introducing students to global cuisines in your culinary arts course is an essential part of culinary arts education in high school. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, understanding diverse cultures and their cuisines becomes more critical than ever before. By exposing students to international flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques, they gain a more comprehensive understanding of the culinary world and learn to appreciate cultural differences. It also expands their creativity and culinary skills, allowing them to experiment with different ingredients, techniques, and presentations.

Additionally, with the rise of food tourism, understanding and being able to create dishes from different cultures is an essential skill for aspiring chefs in the modern culinary industry. Teaching students about global cuisines in culinary arts high school classes is vital for creating well-rounded, skilled chefs who can create and innovate dishes that represent diverse cultures. 

culinary arts program

Our international foods lessons include lessons and activities on Italian Food, French Food, Greek Food, African Foods, American regional cuisine and so many more!

Recipe Ideas for Culinary Arts Courses

Some of the favorite food labs have included seasonal recipes as well as international foods such as:

  • Buche Noel
  • Homemade Pasta
  • Pierogi
  • Patelillos
  • Charcuterie Boards
  • Chicken Soup
  • Focaccia Garden Bread
  • Gourmet Mac and Cheese
  • Gourmet Ramen
  • Reubens
  • Chili
  • Homemade bagels and lox
  • Pancakes

Establishing a professional kitchen in your classroom and creating delicious dishes with your students will help them to understand the culinary field and what it means to be a sous chef, garde manger, executive chef, a pastry chef and other roles in restaurant operations.

Prostart and Advanced Culinary Teaching Materials

We also have an Advanced Culinary Arts teaching material bundle in our store on TPT that includes slideshows, and activities that will help you set up your classroom for success!

Why Teaching Culinary Arts is Important

Teaching culinary arts in high school can provide a number of benefits for students, which makes it an important subject area for high school teachers to cover. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Life skills: Cooking is an essential life skill that every student should learn. High school students will eventually be living on their own and will need to know how to prepare healthy and nutritious meals for themselves and their families.
  2. Health and wellness: Learning how to cook can help students make healthier food choices and promote overall wellness. This knowledge can help students avoid unhealthy eating habits that can lead to obesity and other health issues.
  3. Career opportunities: For students interested in pursuing a career in the food industry, culinary arts can be a valuable foundation. High school culinary programs can provide the basic skills and knowledge needed to enter culinary school or a career in the food industry as well as the principles of the art of cooking. 
  4. Creativity and self-expression: Cooking is a creative process that allows students to express themselves and experiment with different ingredients and techniques. This can help students develop their creativity and problem-solving skills.
  5. Cultural awareness: Cooking can also expose students to different cuisines and cultures, helping to broaden their understanding and appreciation of different customs and traditions.
  6. Career Preparation: Some students may entire a culinary certificate program after graduation and culinary career and will not forget the time you invested in their future.
  7. Teamwork and collaboration: Cooking often involves working in teams, which can help students learn how to communicate effectively, collaborate, and work towards a common goal. These skills are valuable not just in the kitchen, but in many other aspects of life.
  8. Time management: Cooking requires careful planning and organization, as well as the ability to multitask and manage time effectively. These skills can help students become more efficient and productive in their academic and personal lives.
  9. Budgeting and financial literacy: Cooking can also help students learn about budgeting and financial literacy, as they will need to make decisions about what ingredients to buy, how much to spend, and how to get the best value for their money.
  10. Environmental sustainability: Cooking can also teach students about the environmental impact of food production and consumption, and encourage them to make more sustainable choices in the kitchen and in their daily lives.

Overall, teaching culinary arts can help high school students develop valuable life skills, promote health and wellness, provide career opportunities, encourage creativity and self-expression, and promote cultural awareness. For these reasons, it’s important for high school teachers to consider including culinary arts in their curriculum.

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