Restaurant project 2012.02.22

Written by David Green.

restrnt.healthy specialsBy DAVID GREEN

Cross-curricular classroom activities are always seen as good thing in education, and a recent Morenci Middle School project fit the bill.

Mrs. Kruger’s restaurant assignment for  her computer projects students brought together reading, mathematics and internet research, and required the use of four software programs.

And besides all of that, it was a lot of fun.

The assignment called for small groups of students to plan for the opening of a restaurant, starting off with the type of eatery—fine dining, ethnic, sports bar, etc.—and moving on to the menu and much more.

The menu was to include 10 entrées, 10 side dishes and 10 desserts. Special menus for seniors and children were needed, along with a light fare listing.

That last item required some research on calories and nutrition, Mrs. Kruger said.

Each restaurant needed a kids placemat for coloring, a coupon for a newspaper advertisement, a gift certificate and a business card. Ads were written to hire a cook and wait staff, and finally, students computed an estimate of the cost of operation for a week and for 30 days.

“We had a nice variety,” Mrs. Kruger said. “Family dining, wild game, Mexican, Chinese, fine dining.”

When each project was completed—with items displayed on poster board—the finished product was hung on the cafeteria wall for one day to allow students to vote on their top choice and to leave comments.

Throughout the project, students got a taste of using Microsoft Word, Publisher, Excel and PowerPoint—software they’re likely to use again in high school—and then returned to Excel one more time to create graphs showing the voting results and to display comments.

Who knows? Maybe the exercise will stick with someone in the class and 10 years from now they’ll open a real restaurant. 

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