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Write a menu

Try this fun exercise next time you go out to eat to help build language skills with your fourth- or fifth-grader.

By Miriam Myers , GreatSchools Staff

In this activity your child writes a menu using descriptive words.

What you'll need

  • A restaurant menu
  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil

Here's how to do it

Next time you go out for a meal have your child pay attention to the words in the menu. Ask her questions about the menu such as "How is the food described?"

Does the writing create a picture of how the food looks, smells or tastes? Does it make you want to order the food?"

At a later time have your child write her own menu. Have her think about what kind of restaurant it is and who would be going there. Help her think of items to include and ways to describe the food. Discuss the difference between writing "peanut butter and jelly sandwich" and writing "crunchy peanut butter and wild raspberry jam served on country white bread with or without the crusts."

Comments from readers

"boring "
"We started at a very early age with introducing all kinds of new foods with the criteria of 'try it but if you don't like it, you can spit it out.' Nowdays our child eats even liver with onions, all kinds of meat and veggies (except mushrooms), fresh fruit, veggies and spicy food too. Indian, Chinese, Thai, Ethiopian, etc., doesn't matter, but she would not eat fast food hamburgers and never had a drop of soda, both of which she considers poison. We buy organic whenever we can and make her aware of why we are picky about our food supply. She makes her own, additive free fruit yogurt by macerating in season fruits, adding it to plain, additive free, non fat yogurt (russian, greek, etc.), we make popsicles by freezing wholesome, natural fruit juices. We don't skimp on tast and the occasional fat (good for nerve developement) either and eat organic chicken, pork and seafood. She loves smoked salmon on toasted indian naan bread, pasta primavera, pork schnitzels, samosa, curried lentil soup, broccoli, grean beans, butter lettuce w/tomatoes and balsamic vinegar dressing, etc., etc.! We eat lots of vegetables (steamed, canned or fresh, most often using meat more like a seasoning rather than the main part of the meal. We teach her that if it is in season, additive, sugar, sulfite and sodium free (we should season our own food instead of the manufacturers!), we can eat everything an anything as long as it is in moderation!"