Kitchen Humanities: Silk Road IV - Rice Pudding

Trading between China, India, and Rome.
Silk Road 4Trading between China, India, and Rome.


In this 6th grade humanities lesson, students trade with each other to obtain all the ingredients needed to prepare Rice Pudding. This is the fourth and final Silk Road lesson.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Cite the contributions of China, India, and Rome to the Silk Road
  • Cite the significance of the Silk Road and its influence on China, India, and Rome
  • Recognize the importance of trade along the Silk Road


During this lesson, students will:

  • Name ideas, goods, and foods from China, India, and Rome that were traded along the Silk Road
  • Identify ideas, goods, and foods each region gained as a result of trade along the Silk Road
  • Trade goods and foods they have for goods and foods they need to prepare the rice pudding


For the Chef Meeting

  • Rice Pudding recipe
  • Ingredients and tools for demonstration
  • Visual aid
  • Trading Values sheet
  • China worksheet
  • India worksheet
  • Rome worksheet


  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom pods
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Raisins
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Oranges
  • Dried apricots
  • Lemon
  • Mangos


  • Cast iron Dutch oven
  • Zester
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chefs’ knives
  • Paring knives
  • Cutting boards
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons


  • Stove

Before You Begin

  • Collect all the tools and ingredients, and then distribute them to the tables
  • Gather supplies for the Chef Meeting
  • Create the visual aid
  • Copy the Rice Pudding recipe to hand out
  • Copy the Trading Values sheet, one for each table
  • Copy the China worksheet, once for the corresponding table
  • Copy the India worksheet, once for the corresponding table
  • Copy the Rome worksheet, once for the corresponding table
  • Prepare the rice
  • Conceal ingredients and tools and with a tablecloth


At the Chef Meeting

  1. Meet the students outside and instruct them to wash their hands and go directly to their tables when they enter the kitchen.
  2. Welcome students to the kitchen for the culminating lesson of their Silk Road journey. Explain that today’s recipe is a secret that will be revealed at the end of the trading.
  3. Review each stop along Silk Road, and ask students to recall each region they studied and what they prepared at each location.
  4. Inform the students that today each table will represent China, India, or Rome. Explain that on each table, under the tablecloth, is a set of goods and foods that is unique to each region.
  5. Invite students at each table to state their region, and make educated guesses about items that might be under the tablecloth using the visual aid provided.
  6. Explain that each table has a worksheet that provides a list of the goods and foods needed to prepare the secret recipe, and also a Trading Values sheet, which replicates information found on the visual aid.
  7. Explain that students will work in pairs, and are responsible for trading their region’s items in two places: once in each of the other regions.
  8. Tell students that once all groups have all of the necessary ingredients, there will be a final trade: information for information. Students will explain the item they were trading and what their item was worth in the other regions. In return, the teachers will give them the secret recipe.

At the Table

  1. Assign a scribe to use their region’s worksheet to keep track of the trades as they are completed.
  2. Unveil the ingredients and assign each pair of students an item to trade.
  3. Have students use the worksheet to determine what goods and foods from their region they need for the recipe, so they know what remains for trade.
  4. Have students visit the other regions (tables) to make their trades. As students are trading, have the scribe keep track of the goods and foods that are coming to the table.
  5. Once all the trading is complete, have each pair of students relay what good or food they traded and what it was worth in the other two regions.
  6. Tell students that the secret recipe they will be preparing is rice pudding, and give them the recipe so they can begin to cook.
  7. Go over the recipe steps and assign jobs.
  8. Prepare the recipe.
  9. Set the table; eat; clean up.  

At the Closing Circle

Name one item that China, India, or Roma contributed to trade along the Silk Road.

Download: Silk Road 4 Visual Aid

Download: Rice Pudding Recipe

Download: Silk Road 4 Trading Values Sheet

Download: Silk Road 4 China Worksheet

Download: Silk Road 4 India Worksheet

Download: Silk Road 4 Rome Worksheet

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