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Recipe for Rochester

School: Genesee Community Charter School

City/State: Rochester, NY

Grade(s): 2

Format(s): Cookbook

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Visual Arts

Project Overview

2nd grade students at the Genesee Community Charter School in Rochester, New York created this unusual book which combines recipes and local history as part of a Learning expedition on the early settlements of Rochester.

In this expedition, students studied the history of industry in Rochester, which was largely founded on the production of flour. Students did fieldwork during which they learned about the grist mills, the rivers that generated the energy for the mills and the grinding of the wheat berries. Students also worked alongside a local historian who helped them learn about the different sites they visited.

As a way to combine cooking with this history, students focused on the “ingredients” of history and the “ingredients” of bread recipes. Each student collected a bread recipe from home. Each set of two pages contains a “Recipe for Bread” on the left and the “Recipe for Rochester” on the right-facing page. Each student created one two-page entry, which was overlaid on a scanned copy of handmade paper they he or she made in art class. Also included is a digital photograph of the author - dressed up in a period costume - and a piece of artwork that relates to the slice of history the student wrote about.

Students also learned about making bread by baking all of the 30 kinds of bread in their book!

The structure of this format provides a complex, but informative look at the history of Rochester while also honoring small pieces of each student’s current family history. It can be purchased from the school via their website.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Shows a unique format that combines writing and art with history and cooking.
  • The writing is high quality for 2nd graders.
  • Highlights a visually pleasing product, one that combines handmade paper, digital photography, text and original artwork. See “The Carthage Elevator” on page 20 for a nice example.
  • Includes a good overview of the project, which helps to orient the reader.
  • An example of a useful product – bread recipes – while teaching the users of the cookbook about local history.

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can write an informative/explanatory text.
  • I can use grammar conventions to send a clear message to a reader or listener.
  • I can use conventions to send a clear message to my reader.
  • I can accurately use 3rd grade academic vocabulary to express my ideas.
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