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DP CAS – Cultural Food Experience for CAS

Written by Richard Gallerno

On Wednesday, 27th October, the Year 12 DP English B students shared part of their cultural identity by hosting a special lunch with invited teachers. An important part of English B class is that students study a selection of 5 topics that are required by IB. One of these prescribed topics is Identity. This topic covers a lot of different areas, but one of the most significant parts of who we are is our culture. The students decided to take some of the ideas that we had discussed and practiced during class and make it into a CAS experience by collaborating to plan, arrange, organize, and prepare a special cultural lunch.

Students were divided into pairs and then each group proposed a dish from their cultural background. These were not always foods from their home country. Some students had traveled to other places around the world and enjoyed trying different examples of cooking there, and this had become part of their personal experience and identity. In the end, students decided on some Korean dishes such as triangle kimbap and dduk bo ki (spicy rice noodles), but there were also items from other parts of the world like Chinese dumplings and Vietnamese spring rolls.

Students had to do some research after they had agreed on a dish to make for lunch. They had to find a recipe, first of all, because most of the DP students had never cooked anything more difficult than instant noodles before. They also included cultural information about each type of food, such as if this food was popular during a certain festival or season. For example, we learned that it is believed that eating Chinese dumplings can protect your ears from frostbite. They used the knowledge they gained to make a presentation to the teachers they had invited to share in their special lunch.

This CAS experience was quite a valuable chance for Year 12 students to practice real-world skills such as teamwork, research, and cooking. Now, parents may not need to be as worried about how their children will cope with university and adult life if they have proved that they can prepare meals and cook for themselves!

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