Spanish Class Cooks Up New Project

By Victor Lee ’16

¡Buen provecho! Cookbooks featuring a variety of worldwide themes were created by students in Miss Valeria Howell’s Spanish 8 class during the last week of March.

“While we were picking the theme for our book, I remember one of my group members suggesting wedding,” said Roshaan Chadury ’16, a student in the class. “I was so excited that I shouted ‘Yes! That’s amazing!’”

Each cookbook highlighted a specific theme, such as a region in the world or specific events. A hot theme was the hispanic world, containing recipes for dishes such as empanadas, paella, and ceviche.

However, some students decided to “return to their origins,” choosing to include recipes from their ethnic cultures. For example, Harren Bokhari ’16, a student in the class, and her group chose to create a cookbook featuring recipes from various Asian countries such as India, Vietnam, China, Korea, and Japan.

Bokhair said, “We weren’t fully prepared, but we did have a great background of the topic as we are in Spanish 8.”

Prior to writing the cookbooks, Miss Howell taught the class a variety of Spanish tenses that were required to complete the assignment. The subjunctive tense, used for expressing moods/opinions, and the imperative tense, used for expressing commands, were taught along with other basic tenses.

The most difficult portion of the assignment was writing the recipes. Although the students were allowed to use online resources for the assignment, recipes already written in Spanish were forbidden. Recipes were required to be drafted in Spanish from scratch, along with a plethora of other requirements such as the set amount of positive and negative command, and the inclusion of nutrition facts.

“This assignment was interesting because you got to see all the different types of food around the world,” said Lizabeth Perez ’16.

Although being commonly served on their dinner tables, the process of creating some the the student’s favorite meals were unknown to some. Similarly, a variety of new dishes were discovered by students during their hunt for recipes to be used within their cookbooks.

“I found some recipes that I never knew before while researching for recipes for this assignment,” Perez added.

Chadury noted, “Group work is a great way for us to work productively, it allows us to feed off each other.”

Working in groups of four, the cookbooks were assembled the day before spring break, as the rest of the week was spent largely on drafting the recipes. Scrambling to piece the title page, the dedication page, and the recipes covering appetizers, beverages, entrees, and desserts, together, the students worked swiftly during that class period.

In addition to just binding the pages, the aesthetics of the project was weighted. A variety of arts and craft supplies were brought to the class, such as construction paper, photographs, borders, ribbons, and coloring utensils. However, glitter was absolutely forbidden.

Prodding each other to finish, Bokhari’s group, like most others, struggled to finish the project in the short period. However, some groups stayed to finish their projects despite the bell ringing.

“I had a lot of fun with my group, as we are all friends, despite the pressure to finish the project,” said Bokhari.

Sharon Li ’16, a student from Mrs. Myrna Franco’s Spanish 8 class, said, “That project seemed very cool, but my class only had to write a menu as our class project.”

Examples of the cookbooks created in Ms. Howell's Spanish 8 class.
Examples of the cookbooks created in Ms. Howell’s Spanish 8 class.

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