Jane Aleksey, Oregon Open Learning
Language Education (ESL)
Material Type:
Lesson, Lesson Plan
Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Middle School, High School
  • ELP Level 1
  • ELP Level 2
  • ELP Level 3
    Creative Commons Attribution

    Education Standards

    Mini Lesson: Snack Mix - Building Classroom Culture

    Mini Lesson: Snack Mix - Building Classroom Culture


    This is a one part mini lesson but requires a day ahead to prep.  It is fun and involves a delicious snack.  Students pick their favorite snack.  Then we mix it together.  Each student gets a portion to enjoy.  The snack is a metaphor for individuals coming together to be part of a whole.  They can still be separated but it is better together.

    For another lesson like this, check out  Mini Lesson: Photographs - Building Classroom Culture in ELD and/or Mixed Classrooms.


    Mini Lesson: Snack Mix - Building Classroom Culture in ELD and/or Mixed Classrooms


    Author of the Lesson: Jane Aleksey

    Lesson Summary/Overview:

    This is a one part mini lesson but requires a day ahead to prep.  It is fun and involves a delicious snack.  Students pick their favorite snack.  Then we mix it together.  Each student gets a portion to enjoy.  The snack is a metaphor for individuals coming together to be part of a whole.  They can still be separated but it is better together.


    Alignment and Objectives

    ELP Standards:

    ELP Standards: Standard 1

    • An ELL can construct meaning from oral presentations & literary & informational text through grade appropriate listening, reading, & viewing.

    ELP Standards: Standard 7

    • An ELL can adapt language choices to purpose, task, & audience when speaking & writing.

    ELP Standards: Standard 9

    • An ELL can create clear & coherent grade appropriate speech & text.


    Language (ELP) Objectives:

    Students will generate their own written and spoken summary and opinion.

    Supporting Academic Language

    Language Functions: Summarize, inform, make a list of instructions

    Language Modalities: Interactive, speaking and writing

    Vocabulary: Snack, Mix, Part, Whole, Separate, Split, Together

    Syntax or Sentence Structure(s): sequential order (first, second, third, etc.)

    Discourse: Personal reflection



    Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills: Students should know a snack they like

    Instructional Materials

    Resources, Materials, and Technology required or recommended for the lesson:

    • Student Journals
    • A variety of snacks (takis, hot cheetos, chocolate chips, etc.)
    • Cannot be hard candy or wet
    • Generate a list from students or ask students to bring a snack to contribute
    • Some favorite snacks are not easily found in local grocery stores
    • A mixing bowl
    • A large spoon
    • Disposable cups, coffee filters, or paper towels to distribute
    • Optiononal: A measuring cup

    Learning Supports

    Socio-emotional supports: Providing the snacks for the students is the best way to include all students.  While purchasing snacks makes it more even, some students appreciate sharing and contributing.  Students do not get that opportunity very often and it can make them feel good.  It should be noted, while snacks are part of most students' diets, there is a child obesity epidemic that has had a greater impact on students living with poverty.  

    Cultural & Linguistic Responsiveness:  Consider and include snacks that people from other cultures and communities might enjoy.  Some snacks are imported and are not commonly represented in grocery stores.  Finding out where to get the snacks will help.

    Accessibility: This lesson would be a challenge for people with dietary restrictions.  

    Instructional Supports

    Differentiation: This lesson includes sentence starters and an option to make a pictorial representation of their thoughts and opinions.  Emerging English speakers can use more supports.  More advanced students should try not to rely on supports.  The journal entries are assessed using a rubric to assist learners in knowing what is expected.

    L1 Supports: Snack Mix Word Wall with key vocabulary words in Spanish and English.  Other languages could be added.

    L2 Development: Snack Mix Word Wall and sentence starters help students develop their skills in English.  Images show a learner the meaning.  Sentence starters help a student get started correctly in their target language.


    Anticipatory Set/Motivation/Hook

    Time: 15 minutes

    1. Teacher introduces the topic: today we will be making a snack that we will eat.
    2. Turn and talk with your elbow partner (Give permission to use L1 or L2 when applicable):
    1. Are the snacks you enjoy at home or in your home country available here?
    2. Should our schools or super markets provide a better variety?  
    3. Are snacks a healthy choice for food?  If not, how can we be healthier?
    1. Each student measures out 1 or 2 cups of a snack of their choice.
    1. Teachers can take requests for a snack ahead of time and provide it
    2. Students can bring their own sealed snack.
    1. The student adds their snack to a large mixing bowl.
    2. Turn and talk with a different partner in L1 or L2:
    1. How did sharing food change during the pandemic?
    2. Make your own question(s) to ask your partner about snacks.
    1. Teacher stirs the bowl with a large spoon.
    2. 1 to 2 cups is portioned out for each student in a disposable cup, in a coffee filter, or on a paper towel.


    1. While students are having their snack, post  Prompts and Sentence starters.


    1. Journal Prompt 1   Write or make a picture.    Assess using a Journal Entry Rubric:    

    Make a list of the steps we took today in class.

    First, (the teacher, I, we) + verb (put, took, mixed)....

    Next,(the teacher, I, we) + verb (put, took, mixed)....

    Last, (the teacher, I, we) + verb (put, took, mixed)....



    1. Journal Prompt 2  Write or make a picture.    Assess using a Journal Entry Rubric:

    Do you agree or disagree: The snack we mixed in class is better together than having only my part of the snack.  Explain.  

    I think the snack we mixed together is (better/ not as good) as the snack I chose because ….


    1. Share out: In groups of two or three, each student shares their answer to Journal Prompt 2  and students respond to their group members.

    I agree because ….

    I disagree because…


    1. Exit Ticket: Our class is like this snack mix because….


    Formative Assessment

    Content: Check for understanding on the process of mixing the snacks asking questions:

    • What step did I just take?
    • What step will come next?

    Language: Check for understanding on writing, telling or showing the mixing process and expressing opinion.

    Plans for Summative Assessments


    1. Use the Rubric to assess Journal Entries.
    2. Exit Ticket:  Our class is like a snack mix because….


    Discussion or Journal Questions:

    • Is our snack better mixed together or would it be better separated?
    • Can you split the snacks apart or are they permanently mixed (you can separate them, like us). What else did you notice? (was there more of one kind than another?)
    • Why is it better to be in a learning community with a variety of students?