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Let's Make Desserts

School: Kanu o ka ‘Aina New Public Charter School

City/State: Waimea, HI

Grade(s): 10

Format(s): Bilingual, Cookbook

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Visual Arts, World Language

Project Overview

This picture book was created by a high school sophomore from the Kanu o ka ‘Aina New Public Charter School on the Big Island in Hawaii, for younger, elementary-aged students, as part of an extensive and ongoing effort to create culturally relevant bilingual curriculum materials for Hawaiian students.

The creation of curriculum materials is part of a larger effort to reintroduce Hawaiian students to native culture and language – helping them to reclaim traditional language before it is lost. As part of a larger movement in Hawaii, the Kamehameha Charter Schools are one of the leaders in this effort. A foundation connected with the charter schools, called the Kalo Foundation, arranges for the professional publication of these books and products. For more information visit

Few curriculum products are bilingual by design, and very few are created by students for students. This book, and others like it created by the school’s high school students, represent a powerful, useful project idea for schools anywhere: older students creating bilingual curriculum for younger students.

Many of these books tell a story, using the same illustrations/artwork, in English and native Hawaiian – hold it one way and the story can be read in Hawaiian to the center of the book –flip it over and it is the same story in English until the center of the book.

This book was created by one high school sophomore as a way to introduce younger students to native Hawaiian desserts. The simple sentences describing how to make the desserts and beautiful illustrations combine in a very appealing, professional looking children’s book.

This book and others like it may be purchased from the school or foundation.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Beautiful, professional quality children’s book written and illustrated entirely by a student – parallel in quality to the finest illustrated children’s books commercially available
  • A brilliant model for a bilingual book – written in one language from one direction; flipped over, written in the second language
  • Stunning model for quality illustration
  • Great example of service learning
  • Exemplifies locally produced bilingual/culturally relevant curriculum materials
  • The quality of production is engaging and gives it a professional look and feel
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