The 3-Course Meal

Task Overview
This task takes about an hour.  It asks students to rank and draft food items to create the best possible 3-course meals.   

Task Outcomes
  • Use food and cooking vocabulary in context
  • Communicate in speaking
  • Negotiate and choose 

  • 1 hour
  • Whiteboard

Set Up
  • Write food categories on the board (Meat, Dairy, Fruit, Vegetables).
  • Brainstorm with whole class foods for each category.
  • Write around 10 foods in each category.
  • Split students into 2-4 groups.

Team Goals
  • Teams must create the best 3-course meal with the food they choose from a common list.


1.  Each team ranks foods in order of importance for creating a meal.

2.  Teams draft foods from the list.  

3.  After the foods are all chosen, teams create a 3-course meal, including an appetizer, main dish, and desert.

4.  Teams present their meal plans to the group.

5.  Other teams are allowed to ask questions.

  • Teams are only allowed to use what they have chosen, except for basic kitchen items (salt, sugar, oil, spices, etc.) 
  • Teams are allowed to use one food item more than once (e.g. strawberries in the desert and the appetizer)
  • Groups must use all food items they chose.

  • Teacher chooses the best appetizer, main, desert, and overall meal.

Feedback and Reflection

Conversation Questions
  • What criteria did you use to rank the foods?
  • What food items would you add to the list?
  • What item would you remove from the list?
  • What challenges did your group face trying to agree on a meal plan?
  • How could you have presented your plan better?
  • What did the other groups shows that your group had not considered?

Task Variations
  • The list of food can be prepared before by the teacher.
  • Each team could have a  pre-determined focus (e.g. vegetarian, Italian, etc.)

Emerging Language

  • When students rank the foods, they will use comparatives and superlatives.
  • When students discuss the plan with the group, they will use opinion language (e.g. I think we should, What about if we, etc.)
  • The teacher can control the language for the presentation.  It can be hypothetical ("If we were stuck, we would..."), real ("We will..."), or in the past ("We created a camp...")

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