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Unit Title/Topic: Community Potluck

Oral communication, Writing, Media Literacy, Healthy living

Culminating Potluck - family and friends come to enjoy a meal and a carefully crafted presentation
Task: by the students.

Order Lesson Title/Focus

1. Introduction

2. Recipe reflection (language)

3. Invitations (language)

4. Nutrition (health)

5. Food art (art)

6. Posters (language)

7. Banner (art)

8. Oral communication class (language)

9. Practice (language)

10. Potluck (language, health)


Title of Unit: Community Potluck

In this unit, the students will prepare and host a community potluck; this unit is
anchored in the long-range plans big ideas: diversity and cultural inclusion.

This unit is a grade 4 language unit with cross-curricular activities in art, health
and social science. It is likely to take around 6 weeks to complete in its entirety.
The help of parents and potentially volunteers may be needed for the
completion of the culminating task, as students will be unable to prepare the
Unit Overview: meals on their own. Access to a large area, such as the school gymnasium, may
also be required.

These overall expectations will be assessed over the course of this unit:
Language: oral communication, writing and media literacy.
Art: creating and presenting
Health: healthy living

Context: This unit is situated in the months of March and April. It is the unit preceding that
years culminating unit. It is also situated after a unit focused on creating a
recipe book where each student studies a particular culture and selects, writes
and formats an appropriate recipe. As such, for the potluck, the students will be
using the recipe they have already created in another unit.

At this point in the year, they should also be intimately familiar with the country,
group or culture they chose and/or were assigned at the start of the year. The
idea is that, by the end of the year, students will have studied and researched a
particular cultural group and will have access to a wealth of knowledge about
it that they can share with the class and with their community.

This unit features cross-curricular links with art and health. In the culminating
activity, language will mainly be assessed; however, art and health
competencies are expected to have been met as well and have been
assessed in previous lessons.

Summary: Students will learn the following:

Self and peer feedback to enhance the project at work and to prompt
student reflection.
Use of various media and tools (on the computer) to create a formal
Asking questions and teacher-guided learning about nutrition, health
and food in different parts of the world.
Use of various media techniques and some art skills to create posters for
their dish as well as a large banner for the event.
Oral skill development for the presentation at the potluck and for various
small and large-group activities over the course of the unit.
Writing skill development to create the poster for the potluck.
Learning about certain art, health and social studies concepts that will
allow the students to create the posters and banners as well as present
on the day of the event. Students need to have achieved certain
expectations in order to fulfill teacher expectations in the culminating
Unit Guiding Questions: How can different cultures shape a diverse community?

How does diversity help define Canadian identity?

Assessment and Evaluation

Assessment For Learning: Introductory lesson: exit cards. Assesses how students are able to
communicate orally in a group setting and then whether they are able
to pull those ideas together to write down their thoughts.
Lesson 5: observation of the artwork to inform further instruction. These art
skills will be called upon to create the banner in a following lesson;
therefore, if the competencies are not achieved by most students, an
extra lesson may be added to go over the curriculum art expectations.
Lesson 8: teacher evaluates the oral communication skills of the students.
This is mainly for the purposes of making sure they are meeting
expectations since the next lesson is the culminating task. If they are not,
an addition lesson may be put in to practice these skills.
Assessment As Learning: Lesson 2: peer and personal feedback. Students must reflect upon the
teacher-prompted questions as well as peer feedback to decide how to
alter their work to fit a different context.
Lesson 6: the teacher will ask the student questions to encourage him or
her to think about what to put on their poster and how to potentially
make it better.
Assessment Of Learning: Lesson 3: formal evaluation. The teacher is looking to see if students were
listening during the teacher-focused part of the lesson and were also
listening to their peers. The teacher is looking for use of several
media/text features and writing skills such as correct grammar,
punctuation and spelling.
Lesson 4: the students fill out a questionnaire of nutrition-related
questions. They are expected to have learned a certain amount over
the course of the lesson.
Lesson 7: using a rubric, the teacher will evaluate how the students are
using art concepts to create a group piece of art. The students are
expected to use three or more different techniques.
Lesson 10: cumulative task using a rubric. It evaluates oral
communication, writing and healthy living from the language and health
curriculum. See Lesson 10 for further details.
Lesson 1 Introduction In this two-part lesson, the teacher will bring a small variety of dishes that are
culturally significant, nutritious and allergen-free. The students will be allowed to
taste the dishes and will then get into a group with whoever enjoyed the same
dish as them the most. In groups, they will discuss what part of the world they
believe the dishes are from. They will then be required to justify their answer on
exit cards and hand them in as they leave.

In the second block of the lesson, the teacher will, having read the exit cards,
discuss with the class the good and well-justified answers her or she has
received. In teacher-centered instruction, the students will learn about the
culminating task of the unit as well as the steps necessary to arrive at it fully


Oral communication: 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.2, 2,3.

Writing: 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 3.1, 3.2


Lesson 2 Recipe Reflection In this lesson, the students will use several reflective techniques to adapt the
recipes to a real-world context. Although the students will have previously
completed their recipe as part of the unit before, the recipes now need to be

In small groups, students will analyze each others recipes and provide
feedback. The following points need to be considered (and the teacher will
provide these guiding questions to the students before the discussion begins):

Can the ingredients be found easily?

Are the ingredients likely to be very expensive?
Is the recipe nutritious?
If not, how could it be improved?
Are there any allergens in the recipes?

With this feedback and some input from the teacher, the students must then
write down the proposed changes to their recipe and explain why the change
is necessary.


Oral communication: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4
Reading: 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Writing: 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 3.1, 3.2, 3.5
Media literacy: 1.3, 3.4


Healthy living: 1.1, 3.1

Lesson 3 Invitations In this two-part lesson, students will create the invitations for the potluck. These
will be sent to the families of the students.

Before starting the activity, the teacher will review certain forms of texts and
media that are available to the students. The teacher will prompt students to tell
the class the features of each one. Examples of things the students could do:

Video invitation
Formal letter
Basic invitation
Use of images and art
Use of titles, font, color, poetry, stories, rhymes.

The students will discuss in small groups and come to a decision before the end
of the first part of the lesson.

In the second part, the students will create the invitation. This is an individual
project. Students must use a computer handmade invitations are not
acceptable. A proofreading checklist will be provided to the students. The
teacher will observe the final product and evaluate whether the students used
different types of media, texts, text features and media features. Their writing
competencies will also be evaluated.

Reading: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

Writing: 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8
Media literacy: 1.1, 1.2, 2,1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4

Lesson 4 Nutrition This lesson is based on the health curriculum and is two-part. At the start of the
lesson, the class will brainstorm in small groups about what are good foods and
bad foods and what characterizes them as such. Then, as a class, students will
share what they thought of and the teacher help the students further their
thinking and present a variety of books, texts and videos on nutrition. This is to be
done over two lesson blocks to ensure the students have enough time to learn
and complete the assessment.

The aim of the lesson is to give the students a wealth of knowledge on the
subject for them to use in their presentation at the potluck. At the end of the
second lesson block, the students will fill out a questionnaire (prepared by the
teacher) on what has been taught during the lesson.


Oral: 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4


Healthy living: 1.1, 3.1

Lesson 5 Food art This lesson is based on the art curriculum. Students will select two ingredients
from their recipe that they feel are the most nutritious and/or most relevant to
their chosen culture. Using several concepts from the grade 4 art curriculum,
they will draw and cut out these ingredients; when creating the poster in a
future lesson, the students will use these ingredients to decorate the poster.

Art concepts:
Shape and form

The teacher will observe what the students are creating for an assessment for
learning. They are expected to already know these art concepts and be able to
use them if many students seem to not be at the expected level, an added
lesson may be needed.


Creating and presenting: 1.3, 1.4


Healthy living: 1.1

Lesson 6 Posters In this three-part lesson, the students will prepare a presentation poster. It will be
used at the potluck and will be evaluated at that time.

In the first part, students will create a draft. Each student is creating one poster.
The poster must include the following:
Name of the recipe
Name of the student
Part of the world it is from (and a map)
Ingredient list
Nutrition information
Multi paragraph text describing the culture and how this dish is present
within it

In the second and third part, the students will work on their poster. They must
include bullet points, descriptive text and proper language competencies. They
will also put their food art (created in lesson 5) onto their posters.

Students are expected to be able to explain why they are creating their poster
the way that they are. The teacher will ask the students questions individually to
motivate and direct their continued work:
Why did you put the title at the top? Why did you write it so big?
Why do you think adding pictures is an important text feature?


Writing: 1.1, 1.4, 1.6, 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, 2.8, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8,

Lesson 7 Banner In this lesson, the students will create a large banner that will be hung in the
gymnasium (or in whichever location will be used for the potluck).

First, they will brainstorm as a class on what they would like to create. It must be
related to the themes of culture, diversity and nutrition. When in agreement,
using paint, they will write the name of the event and, with any time left,
decorate it. Each student must use at least 3 different art techniques seen over
the course of the year (as outlined in the art curriculum for grade 4). The teacher
will formally evaluate what each child does using a rubric.


Oral: 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4,


Creating and presenting: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4

Lesson 8 Oral In this lesson, the teacher will go over all the speaking/oral communication
communication class techniques that are outlined in the curriculum. He or she will outline, on chart
paper so the students can see, the features of each.

The students will then be put into small teams. Each will be tasked with putting
together a small 4 minute oral presentation about a subject of their choice. They
must, however, showcase the features of one type of oral communication
technique. For example, one team may be tasked with showing how pitch can
influence how interested the audience can be.

The teacher will evaluate, using an evaluation grid, how the students are
mastering oral communication skills. If they are generally not meeting
expectations, an additional lesson may be schedule to practice.


Oral: 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 3.1

Lesson 9 - Practice In this lesson, students will simply decide what they want to talk about during
their presentation during the potluck. The teacher will outline certain themes
that are to addressed and will be evaluated formally on the day of the event:
Overview of the students studied culture
Explanation of the dish and its nutritive value
A reflection on what were the students strengths and what they enjoyed
as well as what they could have worked on some more.

The teacher will spend time with each student giving some feedback and tips.
Students should be showing improvement in oral communication skills.


Oral: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2

Lesson 10 Potluck CULMINATING TASK: in this lesson, the children will bring together elements and
knowledge they have been working on all throughout the unit:
Reworked recipe based on nutrition (health curriculum)
Oral communication skills
Poster: art and writing skill
Banner: art competencies were evaluated in lesson 7
Invitations: used to assess media literacy competencies
Knowledge of food, health and nutrition which must be displayed in their
oral presentations

The children will set up at the chosen location. The banner will be hung up and
the students will set up at a table with their recipe, some plates and utensils and
their poster.

The students will be formally evaluated, using a rubric, on two language

curriculum strands: oral communication and writing. They will also be assessed
on one health curriculum strand: healthy living.
Oral communication will be assessed by the teacher observing the
student presenting.
Writing will be assessed by the teacher marking the completed posters.


Oral: 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7,

Writing: 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7, 3.8


Healthy living: 1.1


Reflections: Most lessons can accommodate differentiated learning and can be

scaled as desired.
Many additional steps need to be taken by the teacher to secure a
date, location and permission from the parents to go forward with the
activity. Preparations should start well in advance.
It would be possible to adapt this unit plan to tie into the social science
curriculum by changing the focus to cultures from past historical periods.
Instead of making recipes, the children could create small historical
replicas of villages, weaponry, battlefields, etc.
To make the unit shorter, the art segments could be removed. However,
the art is part of the units intended learning goals.

Cumulative task
The cumulative task of this unit is focused on the language and health curriculum. Students
will have, over the course of the unit, created a poster (name of the recipe, informative text
on the selected culture, use of text features such as font and images, list of ingredients and
map), a banner (featuring various art techniques that were assessed in previous lessons) and
practiced an oral presentation for the guests.
The teacher will, using the attached rubric, evaluate the students oral competency, writing
competency and, from the health curriculum, the healthy living expectations. The teacher
will observe the presentation and the poster in order to make the assessment.
The task relates to the big ideas of our long-range plan. The idea is to make the students
sensitive to how different cultures bring so much to the community through, amongst other
things, food and cuisine. By inviting all the parents to the school, we hope to show the
students how there are families of all types. We also hope to teach them that it is important
to give back to the community and to family. It is a continuation of our previous units in
which the students have begun to research and study one particular culture in order to
become experts. They may then share this knowledge with others. Thus, the students
should already have a large amount of knowledge pertaining to the culture from which their
recipe comes.
For specific and overall expectations addressed in the cumulative task, refer to the unit plan.
However, the specific expectations that are the most closely addressed are:
Clarity and coherence (oral, 2.3)
Vocal skills and strategies (oral, 2.5)
Form (writing, 2.1)
Publishing (writing, 3.7)
Healthy eating (understanding health concepts, 1.1)
These expectations are the ones that will be explicitly assessed in the grading rubric.

Oral communication competency

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Delivery Little to no use of Infrequent use of Semi-regular use Frequent use of
vocal skills*. vocal skills. of vocal skills. vocal skills.
Vocal skills are Vocal skills are Vocal skills are Vocal skills are
not used usually not used usually used always used
appropriately. appropriately. appropriately. appropriately.
Content There is little to There is little There is a fair Nearly all
no content content relating amount of content is
relating to the to the required content relating related to the
to the required
required topics*. topics. topics. required topics.
Language Language used Language used Language used Language used
is poor in variety is often poor in is often varied is almost always
and complexity. variety and and complex. varied and
Language is not complexity. Language is complex.
appropriate to Language is usually Language is
the situation. sometimes not appropriate to always
appropriate to the situation. appropriate to
the situation. the situation.
Organization Ideas are Ideas are Ideas are mostly Ideas are
presented in a presented in a presented in an presented in an
disorganized mostly organized way. organized way.
way. There is no disorganized There is some There is good
logical way. There is logical logical
progression. little logical progression. progression.
*Curriculum outlined vocal skills: tone, pace, pitch, volume and range of sound effects
*Required topics are outlined in the description of the cumulative task

Writing competency
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
Content There is little to There is little There is a fair Nearly all
no content content relating amount of content is
relating to the to the required content relating related to the
required topics*. topics. to the required required topics.
Organization Poster is poorly Poster is mostly Poster is mostly Poster is overall
organized. poorly organized. well organized.
There is little to There is some There is a clear
no progression There is little progression to progression to
to the layout of progression to the layout of the the layout of the
the different the layout of the different different
elements. different elements. elements.
Vocabulary Vocabulary Vocabulary Vocabulary Vocabulary
used is poor and used is often used is generally used is almost
repetitive. poor and varied and always varied
There are many repetitive. complex. and complex.
spelling mistakes There are many There are a few There are few or
(21+). spelling mistakes spelling mistakes no spelling
(11-20). (5-10). mistakes (0-4).
Form Student used Student used a Student used a Student used
little to no writing few writing forms good amount of many writing
forms* on their on their poster.. writing forms on forms on their
poster. their poster. poster.
*Required topics are outlined in the description of lesson 6
*Writing form: subheading, caption, images, different types of texts

#1 1 week
Subtask: Timeline:
Community Potluck - Introduction 2x 40 min. English period
Expectations Addressed:
Oral communication
1.1: Identify purposes for listening in a variety of situations, formal and informal, and set goals related to
specific listening tasks.
1.2: Demonstrate an understanding of appropriate listening behavior by adapting active listening strategies to
suit a variety of situations, including working in groups.
1.4: Demonstrate an understanding of the information and ideas in a variety of oral texts by summarizing
important ideas and citing important details.
1.5: making inferences using stated and implied ideas in oral texts.
2.2: Demonstrate an understanding of appropriate speaking behavior in a variety of situations, including
paired sharing and small- and large-group discussions.
2.3: Communicate in a clear, coherent manner, presenting ideas, opinions, and information in a readily
understandable form.

1.2: Generate ideas about a potential topic using a variety of strategies and resources.
1.5: Identify and order main ideas and supporting details and group them into units that could be used to
develop a summary, using a variety of graphic organizers.
1.6: Determine whether the ideas and information they have gathered are relevant and adequate for the
purpose, and do more research if necessary.
3.1: Spell familiar words correctly
3.2: Spell unfamiliar words

Learning Intention: Success Criteria:

Infer the origin of the meals (group work) To deepen understanding of inferencing and
Assessment for learning: exit cards inferencing techniques
Outline of the success criteria of the culminating To introduce the unit project and outline the
task expectations for it.
Classroom discussion of the answers on the exit
cards and what strategies were used to infer
Assessment: Opportunities for Descriptive Feedback:
X Shared Exit cards: content, writing. *students are given the opportunity to
Independent practice discuss in small groups before completing
X Guided the exit card
Other *students can participate in class-wide
discussion; teacher will solicit student input

Resources: Differentiation: Accommodations/Modifications (ELL/IEP):

Set of meals (different Student interests Mixed groupings
cuisines) Learning styles
Individuality Gluten-free/vegetarian meal options
Literacy skills Repetition of instructions
Processing and application Key terms/vocabulary
speed Extra time for certain students
More intensive teacher support
Beginning/Engagement: Students dig into the prepared meals. The teacher invites the students to think
about the colors, ingredients, textures and flavors of the food and what they can
infer from them. The teacher has put inferencing techniques up on the board for
the students to see.

Middle: Students are paired off into groups based on which meal they preferred.
Group discussion: the students try to infer where the dish may have come
After a group discussion, the students must fill out an exit card (SEE APPENDIX
C). They must say where they believe the dish comes from, explain why they
think so and share a technique they used to arrive at that answer.
At the next session, the teacher shares some of the students answers.
The students are encouraged to share their thoughts and observations.

Wrap-up: The teacher moves on to talk about how each culture has their own cuisine
and that, in collusion with their recipe book project, the class will organize a
potluck to showcase a variety of different cuisines.
The success criteria and expectations for the different units will be explained.
Opportunity for the teacher to answer questions and clarify the instructions.

Reflections: Create groups that are of mixed ability in order to help students who are
Use this lesson as a hook to introduce the new unit.
In the case of a student with low reading and writing skills, the teacher may
ask the student to explain his answer instead of filling out an answer card.
The meals should be gluten-free, vegetarian if possible and allergen-free.
The group and class discussions will hopefully encourage the students to get
excited about the upcoming unit and encourage them to arrive at their own

Exit Card

I, __________________________, THINK THAT MY MEAL CAME FROM _________________________

(Can you color this place on the map?)



I have decided to create a unit plan focused on student-centered learning and that is
inquiry based. I do believe children are motivated to learn when they are given the tools to
do so and encouraged to take risks. According to Barbara McKenna at the Stanford
Graduate school of Education, These student-centered environments emphasize supportive
relationships between students and teachers in academic environments that are
challenging, relevant, collaborative, student-directed, and connected to real-life situations.
Students are assessed on their mastery of knowledge and skills and have multiple
opportunities to demonstrate that mastery (McKenna, 2014)1. As such, I tried to incorporate
group and class discussions whenever possible. I believe that a group has a far better
chance of reaching a higher understanding of a subject than a single person. Removing as
much focus from the teacher as is reasonable is exactly what the authors of Redefining Fair
talk about: If students are to learn deeply and sustainably, they must be empowered. By
that I mean the teacher must hold them accountable for learning by transferring much of
the responsibility for teaching, thinking and problem solving to them (p.91)(Cooper, 2011)2.

My assessments over the course of the unit are not the conventional pencil-to-paper kind: I
prefer assessments that allow the teacher to make judgements and decisions. After all, the
students are all different. To submit them to the same assessment without accounting for
individual factors is a disservice to the child and to the evaluative process itself; the goal of a
test is to evaluate student knowledge. By refusing to factor in students strengths and
difficulties, the test fails to achieve its core function. Three of my lessons, 1, 5 and 8, contain
assessments for learning, by which the teacher can choose how to continue instruction
(Wiliam)3. Do some students need extra help? Could the class benefit from another lesson on
this subject? According to a paper by Stavroula A. Valiande, a study done on 479 students
was conducted that demonstrated, with clear and reliable data evidence, that
differentiated learning is beneficial to student academic achievement regardless of their
level of readiness, gender and socioeconomic background (Valiande, 2011) 4 . This
demonstrates that to scale activities, assessments and success criteria to fit different
students is beneficial to the entire classroom.

The entire idea behind the unit is to teach the students language and, to some degree,
health and physical education and art, competencies while accomplishing a large-scale
project that reflects values important to the community diversity and cultural inclusion. The
focus is mostly on oral and writing skills with some media literacy, art and healthy living
competencies as well. The inclusion of art in several lessons was inspired by a study
conducted by the Guggenheim Museum in 2006. This study revealed that students who

1 McKenna, Barbara. (2014). Researchers find student-centered learning approaches help underserved kids achieve, page
consulted on November 11th. https://ed.stanford.edu/news/researchers-find-student-centered-learning-approaches-help-
2 Cooper, Damian. (2011). Redefining Fair: How to plan, assess, and grade for excellence in mixed-ability classrooms.

Bloomington, Indiana: Solution Tree Press. p.91

3 Wiliam, David. Formative assessment. Accessed on November 12th.

4 Valiande A., Stavroula. (2011). Investigating the Impact of Differential Instruction in Mixed Ability Classrooms.
dabbled in arts showed notably improved literacy skills (Kennedy, 2006) 5 . Several other
studies have had similar results. By including art, I hoped to foster creativity, excite the
children about the project and to help them develop a host of other skills. As for healthy
living, I believe children should learn at a young age about nutrition and leading healthy

5 Kennedy, Randy. (2006). Guggenheim Study Suggests Arts Education Benefits Literacy Skills, The New York Times.