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Eating Out on a Budget (BC)

Subject Area: Visual Arts

Links to the British Columbia Visual Arts Curriculum Outcomes:
  • A5 – create 2-D and 3-D images for specific purposes
  • B3 – analyze and apply a variety of materials, technologies, and processes to create artworks
  • D1 – create a structured critical response to artworks and exhibitions
Links to the New British Columbia Learning Standards in Arts Education:
  • Create artistic works collaboratively and as an individual using ideas inspired by imagination, inquiry, experimentation, and purposeful play
  • Reflect on works of art and creative processes to understand artists’ intentions
Brief Overview of the Lesson:   

The class will discuss the selections offered in restaurant menus. They will talk about how a menu is designed to whet your appetite and encourage you to spend your money. The students will create their own restaurant menus. The menus will be displayed in the room and each student will do a gallery walk and choose a meal, staying within a $15.00 budget.

Estimated Time Required for Implementation:
  • Two periods
Materials Needed:
  • Copies of restaurant menus or copies of the sample menus provided, blank paper, markers, or other art supplies
Suggested Implementation Strategy:

Period One:

  • Ask the class if they like to eat out at a restaurant. Ask what they usually order.
  • Ask what the usual selections in a restaurant menu are. For example, Appetizers, Salads, Entrees, Drinks, Dessert.
  • Hand out menu samples and ask how the menu is designed in order to lure the customer into buying more. For example, colourful pictures of food, special offers, sales, combo meals, etc.
  • Assign to each student the task of designing a menu, keeping the cost of each food selection under $5.00.
  • Decide as a class which four selections to use in their menus – for example Appetizers, Entrees, Drinks, Dessert.
  • Allow the rest of the period for the class to complete their menus.

Period Two:

  • Post the menus around the room.
  • Ask the class to guess how much the average family spends eating away from home. Tell them the average is $225 a month.
  • Ask the class if they think a person on a budget can afford to eat out.
  • Tell the class that they each have $15.00 to spend on a meal. They are to take a pencil and paper, walk around the room, look at the menus, decide on one menu to use, and write down the selections and costs of a meal, staying within the $15.00 budget for the meal.
  • Lead a discussion, asking for volunteers to share their choices. What appealed to you that made you pick this menu? What techniques did the creator use that attracted you to their menu? What helped you decide what to order?
  • Ask for ideas about how they stayed within the budget. Did anyone decide to drink water and skip ordering a drink? Did anyone opt to skip dessert?
  • Assess the creativity and design of the menus.
Possible Links to the Home Program:
  • What kind of spender are you?– Games – Ages 11-13
  • Shopping List – Activities: Local – Ages 11-13
Extended Learning Opportunities:
  • Ask the students to take home their meal choices and ask their family to help them estimate how much this meal would cost if they were to eat the same meal at home.