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By Amber Finan


Dining Out


Targeted Grade Level: 3rd to 5th grades


Objective: By designing and writing a menu for a fictional restaurant, students will

       develop descriptive writing skills.


Rationale: Soon after children leave the primary grades, they will have to read and write other

types of stories, or different structured reading than they have been exposed to  before.  Most of the time structured literature has its own structure or purpose.  For    example, literature that describes something is called descriptive writing.  According to Marshall and Glock (1978-79), students who don’t have a sense of these structures have more difficulty comprehending nonfiction text than those who do (p. 33).


Materials: Construction paper

     Crayons, pencils, or markers

     Samples of menus or magazines


Procedures: 1.  Have students examine the menus and/or the magazines, looking for descriptive

foods.  Look at the colors, pictures, and words that are used to make something appealing.  Ask the students, “Do these words appeal to your senses,” and “What makes foods appealing?”

                      2. Working in pairs or individually, have students develop their menus.  Remind  

them to pick foods that a specific restaurant would specialize in and that they should use descriptors that would lure someone people into eating them.  They can draw pictures or cut pictures out of the magazines to help aid their descriptors.

Ê    Online Teaching Tool:  Children can surf the Internet to find pictures of food or even real menus for ideas.  The teacher could have links already displayed for the children to look at.  The students could also word-process their menu for a more realistic look.


Evaluation:                                                                            1          2          3          4          5           

Were the words used descriptors?

Did the menu resemble an actual menu from a restaurant?

Overall appearance?      


PA Academic Standards: 1.4.3. Section B: Write informational pieces using illustrations when



References: Can Teach – Make a Menu (Lesson



        Wallace Gillet, J., & Temple, C. (2000).  Understanding Reading

       Problems Assessment and Instruction.  New York:  Longman.