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Are you faced with teaching culinary arts this year and unsure where to begin? We have been there! It was a rough start when Chris transitioned from a sous chef at a country club to a culinary arts teacher. Luckily, I had a lot of experience as a middle and high school teacher, and we were able to create some fantastic culinary arts lesson plans and activities. Over the years it culminated into a comprehensive culinary arts curriculum that has helped countless teachers. We slowly created lessons, digital activities, and worksheets. These activities include culinary topics such as knife skills, food safety, menu planning, cooking methods, food science, and more! 

More than just PowerPoint Presentations!

Teaching with PowerPoint or Google slide presentations is always a good start. You probably want to use them to introduce most new topics in your culinary classes.  Mixing it up with fun activities, recipes, and projects is a great way to keep students engaged and on their toes. Many lessons we sell on Teachers Pay Teachers or our website includes webquests, digital escape rooms, or projects accompanying a presentation. Of course, you can end a unit with a food lab to introduce the fundamentals of cooking. With all these teaching elements in place, you can give your students a solid foundation in the culinary arts. Let’s take a look at some of the main features of our culinary school curriculum:

Units- The curriculum is chunked into units, including the following topics:

  • Kitchen safety
  • Food safety
  • Nutrition
  • Kitchen measurement
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Cooking methods
  • Intro to Baking
  • Breakfast
  • Breakfast and beverages
  • Culinary careers and professionalism
  • Seasonal lessons
culinary arts curriculum

Detailed Lesson Plans– Each unit includes a daily detailed lesson plan with numbered activities suitable for a middle or high school class. These are great for any culinary arts program. If your school or district requires lesson plans, they are ready to go! Each lesson plan includes a bell ringer question, exit ticket question and standards. Standards from National Family and Consumer Science standards or Prostart standards are included. Additionally, each lesson includes an objective and step-by-step activities. 

culinary arts curriculum high school

Engaging, Low-Prep Activities– your culinary arts students will enjoy the variety of activities in this curriculum. There are cooking challenges, including a Gourmet Ramen Challenge, digital escape rooms on kitchen safety, workplace professionalism, and more. There are also webquests in which students use provided links to find the answers to questions in videos and articles. Games are also included in many units, including BINGO and culinary vocabulary board games. These will help your students better understand the basics of food preparation. Whether they want a culinary career or are interested in basic life skills, these activities will be of value. 

Assessments– formative and summative assessments are included in the culinary arts curriculum, an essential element in teaching. This will allow the students to show you their culinary skills and knowledge of meaningful content. Any reputable culinary foundation course includes tests and quizzes. Assessments show you how well the students are learning the material and if you need to shift your teaching style. Editable versions allow you to add questions or modify the assessments to suit your classes’ needs. 

high school culinary arts

Hands-On Culinary Arts Curriculum

Recipes- the most exciting part of a culinary arts courses curriculum is the cooking! High school students love food labs as they can learn culinary techniques and taste the fruits of their labor! Our culinary curriculum includes recipes for each unit, including delicious breakfast pancakes and quick breads. In addition, there are fun cooking challenges such as the Gourmet mac and cheese challenge and an egg challenge! During food labs your students will learn employability skills such as working with others, being punctual and time-efficient. This is always an excellent opportunity to remind students about what they learned. They will probably never forget about the basics of safety and personal hygiene.

For instance, our food safety unit includes a hand-washing lesson. This will help your students realize the importance of that first step in preventing food-borne illnesses. 

culinary arts high school recipes

Different Styles of Learning– we consider that not all of your students learn the same way. The beauty of CTE courses is that the hands-on aspect really helps students learn. A culinary student gets the chance to practice the skills they are learning and receive fairly immediate feedback. Not surprisingly, the feedback comes in the form of their progress and on how the recipe turns out. 

Life Skills- we know that many people have no idea how to cook for themselves. Culinary teachers have the gift of being able to give our students skills that they can use for life. Additionally, cooking skills will benefit them in many situations. Most importantly, it can help them land a job or even a career in the restaurant industry if that is their goal. Some of our students have even moved on to receive professional culinary education in culinary or hospitality management! Career exploration is a major part of teaching about the culinary industry.

With so many food-related jobs, many students don’t realize the potential in the hospitality industry. Our lessons incorporate career exploration and explain roles such as the pastry arts, professional chef, restaurant management, garde manger. Other occupations include food science, head cooks, sous chefs, butchers, food stylists, and more. 

No-prep and ready to use– Finally, are you tired of working and planning on the weekends after a long week of teaching? We take the guesswork out of planning and offer fun, relevant lessons, and activities to choose from. From a food trucks project to a food costing lesson, the curriculum has everything you need but the ingredients! 

Check out our culinary arts curriculum today and feel confident in your culinary arts teaching position!

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