Recently, members of the Westfield High School Spanish Club gathered to learn how to make flan, a sweet baked custard dessert, and to prepare a tortilla española or Spanish omelet. Not able to meet in person, club members and WHS Spanish teacher Rose Calimano arranged virtual cooking classes.
“The 2020-2021 Spanish Club officers have been going above and beyond to come up with creative and meaningful experiences to keep members involved and engaged during this time of virtual-only meetings,” says Calimano about virtual club activities which included viewing and discussing a family film from Spain and creating a Kahoot game based on Spanish culture.
Students, teachers, and club advisors, like Calimano, are finding virtual ways to weave the curriculum into enrichment opportunities. On February 3, WHS social studies teachers Kimberly Leegan and Steven Cohn took their Humanities class on a virtual field trip to the Montclair Culinary Academy. Set up in their kitchens at home, each student followed along as Chef Karen Fischer provided step-by-step instructions in how to prepare cornbread.
“We chose this enrichment activity in conjunction with our study of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” says Leegan. “Specifically, we learned about food cooked in the Deep South during the Great Depression.”
Leegan says the virtual field trip corresponded with a current class unit on culture and identify.
“Exploring the history of what type of food was available, how and why items were prepared, and whether certain food was more likely to be available to certain groups can provide students with a deeper appreciation of this time period and how issues of economic inequity impact every aspect of society, including what we eat,” Leegan adds.
The virtual field trip to the Montclair Culinary Academy was sponsored by the Westfield Education Association.