The Recipe Book Project: A Creative, Culinary Approach to Literary Analysis was developed as an alternative to the literary analysis paper.
With this project, students will showcase their understanding and interpretation of the main ideas and themes of a literary work in a fun and creative way. They will practice citing textual evidence to support their examination of a literary work, including themes and characterization. Additionally, they will creatively "Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension" (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2.A).
I first developed this project with a class reading Lara Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate. It perfectly paired with the novel, which features a recipe in each chapter. It would work well with other books where food plays a big role like Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler, or The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
I've also used it with a class reading 1984 by George Orwell (the examples in this resource are all from 1984) because there was so much longing for food. It also works with books that are not focused on food. Recently, a student and aspiring chef chose it as an alternative project for The Handmaid's Tale.
This resource includes:
-An assignment sheet explaining the objective and instructions for the project
-A rubric (editable version also included)
-Creative symbolism exercise
-Step-by-step recipe worksheet help create