2019 Bostitch Classroom Grant Winner: Melissa Fredericks

2019 Bostitch Classroom Grant Winner: Melissa Fredericks

We're so happy to congratulate Ms. Melissa Fredericks on winning one of two Bostitch Creativity in the Classroom Grants for 2019! Her unique lesson plan takes place monthly to teach high school kids about different places around the world through food, writing and art.

About Ms. Fredericks

Ms. Fredericks teaches at Edison Technical High School in Rochester, New York. More specifically, she teaches Self-Contained Special Education which we bet is incredibly fun and rewarding! Take a look at what a great job she's doing with her lesson plan below!

The Winning Lesson Plan

Around the World through Cooking, Art and Writing

Written by: Melissa Fredericks Dates: November 2018 - April 2019

Grade Level: High School Life Skills, Special Education

Summary: Each month, students will focus on learning about a different place in the world. They will research the history, traditions, government, music, customs, and modern day living of that place. Each student will write a paragraph about one aspect of the place. They will also create a drawing or other piece of artwork depicting what they learned. Each week, the class will cook a traditional food from that place using a recipe they research and afterward review the food with a star rating. Together, the class will compile the writing, artwork, recipes, and reviews of the food in a book called “Around the World through Cooking, Art and Writing.”


Rationale: The students in my class are high school aged students with intellectual disabilities. Upon completion of high school, they will earn a “Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential for Students with Severe Disabilities." An important part of their program is to learn life skills such as cooking including following a recipe, using the stove, and using measurement tools. This plan gives them many opportunities to expand their cooking skills. Developing adequate reading and writing skills is also important for them in that it will improve their breadth of future job opportunities. This plan provides opportunities for reading and writing in a way that is engaging and authentic.

In addition, the students in this class all qualify for free lunch indicating that they are living below the poverty level. Many of them have never traveled out of the confines of the city they live in. Most of them do not have opportunities to create works of art outside of the basic art class they all take in school. This plan gives students the opportunity to explore faraway places without leaving school as well as create a collaborative, creative book that they can feel proud of. In conclusion, as a result of this plan, students will gain important life skills, develop reading and writing skills, expand their knowledge of different cultures and have opportunities for creativity all beyond what would normally be provided to them as part of their program.

NYSAA Standards:

Social Studies, Standard 2, World History

A. Social and political patterns and change

1. Human and physical geography

4. Modernization/tradition—finding a balance

English Language Arts, Standard 1, Reading

Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding.

      • Use specialized reference sources, such as glossaries and directories
      • Read and follow written, complex directions and procedures to solve problems and accomplish tasks 

Creativity Inspirational Quote:

“Bringing creativity into your life and your kids' lives is not only useful for helping to lead richer and more interesting lives, it's also a lot more fun when you are living a creative life.” -Dr. Ben Michaelis

Learning Targets:

  1. I can describe people and places around the world including their history, traditions, government, music, customs, and modern day living.
  2. I can use reference materials to research places around the world.
  3. I can read and follow a recipe to cook a dish from a place around the world.
  4. I can create an art piece that illustrates what I learn about one aspect of a place around the world.
  5. I can write a paragraph that describes what I learn about one aspect of a place around the world.
  6. I can collaborate with the class to compile, edit and revise the book  “Around the World through Cooking, Art and Writing.”
monthly lesson planmonthly lesson plan

This hands-on lesson plan is a favorite of ours because it allows students to learn about countries and cultures that they may never get the opportunity to experience first hand, right inside their classroom! It pairs writing, art and cooking to create a diverse and dimensional final book at the end of the school year. Great job, Ms. Fredericks!