Lesson Plan

Neighborhood Treats

The lychee fruit looks like a berry with a hard scaly reddish outer covering and sweet whitish edible flesh (that surrounds a single large seed).

The lychee is a popular fruit from tropical and subtropical parts of Asia but is now available in many parts of the world.

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Grade Level:
Kindergarten-Third Grade
Subject:
Social Studies
Duration:
25-30 Minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
Setting:
classroom

Overview

Immigrants who were detained overnight were introduced to a variety of foods that they tried for the very first time at Ellis Island. In oral history interviews men, women, and children alike spoke in great detail about tasting Jello, white bread, and bananas, and oftentimes sent letters back home describing their awe, nervous anticipation, and the tastes and textures of these foods. In this lesson, students will learn about the different foods that contribute to the immigrant tradition today.

Objective(s)

 At the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the new feelings of trying new foods for the first time.
  • Identify the different foods immigrants have introduced to the United States.
  • Evaluate the importance of (imported) foods to an immigrant community and culture.


Background

For this activity, students will learn about the different foods that contribute to the immigrant tradition today. As immigrants tasted foods at Ellis Island for the first time, students will be given an opportunity to try new culinary tastes in the classroom. They will identify how different cultures impact our diets, and discuss how immigrants continue to influence and enhance our cultural palates.

Important note: Please check with students' parents for food allergies and dietary restrictions before starting this activity.

Materials

Important note: Please check with students' parents for food allergies and dietary restrictions before starting this activity.

For this lesson, you will need:

  • Variety of foods traditional to immigrant communities that can increasingly be found at the local supermarket or local immigrant neighborhoods.  Ideas include lychee, plantains, soft-shell tacos, matzoth, gelato, and kielbasa.
  • Audio clip excerpt and accompanying transcript from the Ellis Island Oral History Collection entitled, "Kathleen Remembers Trying Pizza
  • Paper
  • Pencils or pens


Procedure

Vocabulary

Immigrant: someone who moves from one country to another to live
Culture: the way of life for an entire group of people, including the manners, clothing, language, religion, and food