Of course this project is aimed towards Thanksgiving time, but can be altered for any time of year. It could focus on a summer picnic, school dinner, etc. with a simple change of the ingredient list. Students "prepare" a dish for Thanksgiving using what they have learned about rational numbers and proportions.
Students will each be given an ingredient and a number. Using this information, they are to research a recipe or use a family recipe that uses their ingredient. The catch is that the recipe must contain at least three different fractions. The assigned number is for how many servings their recipe must serve. This portion can be differentiated by ensuring struggling students receive a number that is easier to work with, such as 12 people as many recipes contain 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2.
I like to provide extra credit for students who cook their recipe at home and attach photographs and a family review of the dish to their poster. This is a great way to encourage family involvement. (Students could write a review of their own dish, something that could be integrated with the English teacher.)
Students had a great time with this project. Some of them even bought in a sample for me to try! :)
As always, if you try something different or have some additions to add, please include them in the comments.
Directions for students
List of ingredients
List of number of servings
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