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Cooking Up Tasty American Recipes For a Successful ESL Winter Learning Activity

written by: Rebecca Scudder • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 10/22/2013

This is the second article in a series of four, featuring easy ideas for cooking up toothsome winter learning activities, American recipes for ESL students of all ages, and links to Valentine’s Day and President’s Day recipes.

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    A Comforting Winter Circle Time Activity for Grades Pre-K—4

    For ESL students of any age, planning and cooking a great winter meal together as a classroom activity can be a great way to Cooking With Your Students enjoy good food while learning English!

    It doesn't matter whether the leaves have just begun to fall or if you are in the depths of winter; everyone loves soup. Check out Food & Eating 1 – Vegetable Soup. Do You Like It? from Sesame English ESL for Children. This printable PDF document features a detailed curriculum guide for a language-based cooking activity.

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    Celebrating Valentine’s Day Differs Internationally

    Once a religious holiday to honor St. Valentine, Valentine’s Day is now celebrated on February 14th of every year as a secular holiday that typically involves the exchange of cards and chocolate between loved ones.

    However, at Celebrating Valentine's Day Differs Internationally from TOPICS Online Magazine, international students explain how Valentine's Day is celebrated in their countries, reflect on how romance differs in countries, tell a story about meeting a husband-to-be, and share Valentine's Day poems.

    Easy-to-Prepare Valentine’s Day Classroom Recipe

    A Fizzy Valentines’ Day Treat


    • Ginger ale or 7-up style soda
    • Strawberry ice cream
    • Whipped Cream or Cool Whip
    • I teaspoon strawberry preserves

    Students fill tall glasses ¾ full with strawberry ice cream, and then slowly pour soda over ice cream. Top with a teaspoon of strawberry preserves and whipped cream.


    Cupid’s Cups Recipe, a video featuring an easy-to-prepare quick-set gelatin recipe that can be custom-designed by the students.

    Additional easy-to-prepare Valentine’s Day recipes can be found at Kraft Foods. Enjoy classroom cooking in circle time with your students.

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    Presidents’ Day: Honoring Past Presidents of the United States

    Presidents’ Day, celebrated as a legal holiday on the third Monday in February in the United States, in commemoration of the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, offers ESL teachers an excellent opportunity for sharing a cultural cooking activity with their ESL students.

    President’s Day Recipes

    These easy recipes are featured at CDKitchen, a site with nearly 10,000 different recipes organized in 2,500 different categories:

    President Reagan's Favorite Homemade Chili

    Thomas Jefferson`s Chicken Fricassee

    Mary Todd Lincoln's Vanilla Almond Cake

    Washington’s Cherry Pie

    President Roosevelt`s Birthday Cake

    Mrs. Truman`s Punch

    And the following recipes are featured on

    Laura Bush's Baked Potato Soup

    L. B. J. Chili Dip

    Rosalyn Carter's Cheese Ring

    Consommé Julienne a La Kennedy

    Barbara Bush's Chocolate Chip Cookies

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    Look for the other articles in this series:

    Part 1 Cooking Up Tasty American Recipes for a Successful ESL Autumn Learning Activity features links to on-line resources for selecting recipes and choosing from a great list of ideas for several other cooking and food related ESL activities. Links to a great selection of videos featuring autumn recipes like toffee apples, pumpkin soup, and apple crumble, as well as Web sites related to ESL cooking activities featuring Native American lesson plans.

    Part 3 Spring-Themed Recipes as ESL Learning Tools features links to Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and additional spring celebrations unique to America.

    Part 4 Cooking Up Tasty American Recipes for Successful ESL Learning Activities Series, features links to 4th of July, Labor Day and additional summer celebrations unique to America.

    Click on the series links above to move onto the other parts in this series!

Cooking Up Tasty American Recipes for a Successful ESL Learning Activity

Planning and cooking American recipes together, as an ESL classroom activity, can be a great way to enjoy good food while learning English! Part of a series of four seasonal articles with food and activities for ESL students.
  1. Great Resources For Cooking Up Some ESL Learning Activities
  2. Cooking Up Tasty American Recipes For a Successful ESL Winter Learning Activity
  3. Spring-Themed Recipes as ESL Teaching Tools
  4. Cooking Up Tasty American Recipes for ESL Summer Activities