Dim Sum for Everyone! Mini-Unit

The Mini-Unit Designer

Norma Rosario-Trepper, ESL Teacher LINK TO BIO HERE

Roselle Park School District, New Jersey

Unit plan created: July 16, 2015

Introducing the Mini-Unit

The theme of the unit is on family and traditions as well as the dynamics of family members and ways of interacting and sharing.  The book, Dim Sum for Everyone, revolves around family members sharing a special meal.  The story is about an Asian family who goes out for Dim Sum and the younger family members choose their favorite little bite size dishes during dinner.  The setting is in a Chinatown restaurant.

Student goals:

  • Students will be able to describe a time they went with their family and choose their favorite meal.  They will explain in detail what they shared.
  • Students will use their five senses to explain their meal experience:
  • What they saw (eyes to see)
  • Sounds they heard (ears to hear)
  • Things they tasted (mouth to taste)
  • How it felt (hands to touch)
  • How things smelled (nose to smell)
Learning Experience Design #1

My students are interested in learning about other people, their families and some of their traditions.  The next step for learning is discussing ways to embrace, respect and accept others and understand ”diversity.”

Visiting a Chinese Restaurant and ordering a special meal of dim sum may be foreign to my ELLs.  They may have simple questions such as:

  • What is Dim Sum?
  • Is it candy, a fruit, ice cream or regular food?
  • Who will explain it to me?

Once students understand what is meant by dim sum, (small dishes of different kinds of food that people like to snack on), the students might want to share the different names we call small foods on which we snack.  People in Spain call small bites of food tapas. In Puerto Rico these foods are called antojitos.  In Italy they are called aperitivos and in the U.S.A. we call them appetizers.  

English language acquisition is acquired.  Students reference vocabulary in their native language and learn the English words for some of the ingredients that are parts of the dim sum.  

Use of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is helpful to predict and engage the students.  Ask questions:

  • What is going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can we find?

One of the classroom activities can be story theater, engaging the learners in mind, body and soul. 

Summative Learning Experience

Summative Learning Experience:

A hands-on activity for the second grade E.L.L.s will use clay to form their favorite little dishes of food.  Some dishes might be spring rolls, fried shrimp, dumplings, egg tarts and sweet pork buns.

Materials needed are:

  • clay
  • plates
  • chopsticks or straws
  • use of student’s imagination to create their flavorful bite size dishes

Students will look at photos of small dishes of food and replicate the food by molding clay into imitation small bite size foods. Students will put their little dishes on a cart and wheel it towards the other children, in a restaurant simulation.

The kindergarten ELL’s will draw their small bite side foods on paper, color and cut out the drawings and place them on the plate.  They will label their different little dishes and write a short sentence.  To finish the activity the students will write “My favorite small bite size food is ___________.”