During our short unit on the regional cuisine of the United States, students research a region and create a pizza inspired by the cuisine of the region.
Students begin by watching the pizza episode of Food Paradise. There is some beer featured as well, so you may want to preview first. I choose to show the whole episode.
As students watch, they record the location and region of the pizza restaurant, as well as ingredients on their signature pizzas.
After they have watched the episode, students are assigned groups with a region per group. They research the region and create a pizza based on their findings. They also make a pizza box cover to illustrate the culture of the region. Their notes guide them through this process.
I teach in 60-minute blocks. Here is how our days break down:
- Watch Food Paradise: Pizza
- Research region and compile findings into class PowerPoint
- Complete presentation and make a grocery list for pizza
- Demonstrate crust; students make the crust and refrigerate (We use half-recipes of this New York Times recipe)
- Assemble pizzas (We par-bake crusts and freeze or refrigerate until the next class)
- Present research while pizzas are baking. Eat pizza!
If we have a few extra minutes, I like to show this slideshow of Weird Regional Foods. My students think it’s hilarious that not everyone eats deep-fried cheese curds. They also think it’s gross that I’ve tried pickled pig’s feet. What is a “strange” food where you are from?