It’s a New Year, and many people are making resolutions. Although this is not something that is commonly discussed among young people nowadays, as teachers I am sure that in addition to September end of term in January may be a time to coincide with the western New Year date to examine what you want to accomplish with your students.

Last year, I was lucky enough to receive some funds for my French program. As the only FSL teacher in the school, I am in the unique position of being one of the only teachers in charge of a sole subject, but that means I also take seriously having the decision on which activities to use with the allotted money rest with me. So after browsing the list of suggested experiences, I went about asking myself a few key questions:

*What were students able to engage with as an activity due to it being exciting in its novelty or ‘fun factor’?
*What activity would give the students a skill or interest that was useful and set them up for further curiosity?
*What experience would give students a chance to interact with their families in lockdown with low stress and have everyone have a chance to participate regardless of circumstances, etc.?

The choice was clear: the activity by Chef à l’école (Chef in School) would satisfy all three. Students would learn about French vocabulary for the recipe on making ‘langues de chat’ (cat’s tongue sugar cookies), a French Canadian recipe. They could send me photos of the recipe if they chose, participate in a Kahoot, and I even added steps on how to make a paper torque (chef’s chat) if so desired. During the lesson, students were very engaged despite us teaching online at the time and I could see some families setting up the recipe during the class instead of waiting until later to follow along like a TV program.

The students sent me photos and the accommodations were given on how to modify the everyday ingredients for vegan or religious substitutions. Chef Suzanne remarked that one advantage of the program was being able to offer lessons across Google Meet to students outside of her travel zone given the company’s quick adaptation to online presentations. Here’s hoping in the future they can visit our school in person!

As someone who struggles with cooking myself, I hope I was able to give students an opportunity to seek out what fun baking can be with other recipes from various cultures. And as our film viewing of Disney’s Paris set Ratatouille showed, it’s true that “anyone can cook!”

Psst…if you want to try for yourself and also practise some math skills with measurement, here is the English recipe:–s-tongue-shaped-thin-cookies-


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