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Foods and Languages of the World 

Teachers: Kelly Lewis, Justin O'Toole, Becky Weilerfl3
Project Children L.E.A.D. Director: Dr. Vincenne Revilla Beltran
Subject Area: Diversity
Grade Level: Preschool (3 and 4 year olds)
Length of Lesson: 30 minutes

NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards:

Early Mathematics

2.43 P

  • Children are provided opportunities and materials that help them understand the concept of measurement by using standard and nonstandard units of measurement.

Understanding Ourselves, Our Communities, and Our World

2.63 U

  • Children are provided varied learning opportunities that foster positive identity and an emerging sense of self and others


2.75 T-P-K

  • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to build their understanding of diversity in culture, family structure, ability, language, age, and gender in non-stereotypical ways.


High/Scope Key Experiences:

  • Language and Literacy

  • Math and Logic

  • Social Relations


PA Early Learning Standards:

Demonstrate flexibility, risk taking and responsibility


  • Demonstrate willingness to choose a variety of familiar and new experiences.


Develop and expand listening and understanding skills


  • Understand the communication occurs in different ways including various languages, devices, and gestures.


Develop and use measurement concepts


  • Use standard and non-standard measures in everyday situations.



The student will be able to...

  • Make their own ice cream sundae given various toppings from around the world.

  • Repeat greetings in the Italian, Chinese, and Spanish languages.



  • Pot Luck by Anne Shelby

  • Ice Cream (vanilla)

  • Toppings

  • Chocolate chips

  • Mandarin oranges

  • Pineapple

  • Bananas

  • Maraschino cherries

  • Ground cinnamon

  • Chocolate syrup

  • Kiwi

  • Whipped cream

  • Bowls

  • Napkins

  • Spoons

  • World map


Adaptations and Accommodations to Differentiate Instruction:

It is important that the teacher knows all food allergies in the classroom. The teacher should make changes or omit foods when appropriate.



Before the lesson, cut the fruit and set up the food buffet style so that students can easily see and help themselves to the items.



Review with the students what makes them special. Students have been taught lessons on Families and Neighborhoods and I Am Special and You Are Special. Student answers can include, but are not limited to, they are special because they have different hair color, eye color, skin color, have different families, and live in different types of houses.



Tell students that we are going to learn about different foods and languages from around the world. Tell students that language is the way people talk, in America we speak English. In different countries people may speak different languages. Tell students that we will learn a few words in different languages. Next, let the students know that children all around the world eat different foods and have favorite foods just like they do. Ask students what their favorite foods are. Tell students that we are going to read a book about different foods. Read Pot Luck and answer student questions and listen to comments. Ask students if they like ice cream. Would you like to make an ice cream sundae? Let them know that they will taste toppings that children from around the world enjoy putting on their ice cream.



Show students the world map. Tell them we are going to visit the Caribbean, China, Mexico, New Zealand, and Italy. Point to the countries as you introduce them. In order to get to the countries, the students have to fly in an airplane that takes off from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States. The first stop is Mexico. Have students stand up, get in their airplanes, and fly to Mexico. When the class arrives have the students sit down. Teach the students that in Mexico, they speak Spanish. "Hello" in Spanish is "Hola". Have students repeat. Tell students that in Mexico, children like to put ground cinnamon and chocolate sauce on their ice cream sundaes. Next, tell students we are going to fly to the Caribbean. Use the map to show the Caribbean and the distance from Mexico and Pittsburgh. Have students fly to the Caribbean. Tell students that many people in the Caribbean speak English just like we do, so they say "Hello" like we do. In the Caribbean children like to put pineapple chunks and bananas on their ice cream sundaes. Repeat the above with the remaining countries following these guidelines:

  • Italy- Hello- Buon giorno (bwohn JOR-noh)

Children in Italy enjoy topping their sundaes with maraschino cherries

  • China- Hello- Ni hao (knee-how)

Children in China enjoy mandarin oranges with their ice cream sundaes

  • New Zealand- G'Day

Children in New Zealand enjoy kiwi with their ice cream sundaes


Have students fly back to the United States where many people like chocolate chips and whipped cream on their ice cream. Review where the children have been, how to say "hello" in the above languages, and the different ice cream toppings. Ask students if they are ready to make their ice cream sundaes with toppings from all over the world. Remind students that it is important to at least try all of the toppings, especially the ones they have never had before. Allow students to take two of each fruit and two spoonfuls of the other toppings. Call students to prepare the ice cream sundaes and enjoy!



Was the child able to repeat the greetings in different languages? Did they try new food? Did they demonstrate appropriate behaviors during activities? Keep anecdotal observations in order to assess.



Tell the students we are going to play Silly Soup. Have students think of their favorite food, this can include the ice cream toppings we just learned about and tasted. "(Child's name) is making Silly Soup and he's going to put in some..." Have student fill in their favorite food. During Silly Soup, students keep a steady beat by patting their hands on their knees. After all the students have had a turn, have them stir the soup and taste it.



  • The Kid's Multicultural Cookbook by Deanna Cook.

  • Pot Luck by Anne Shelby