Everybody Likes Dessert: Learning Menus in the Classroom

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 2.38.53 PMLearning Menus are a way to provide choice for students, and can be a great tool for differentiation in the classroom. A Learning Menu is traditionally divided into 3 sections: Appetizer, Entree, and Dessert.

Appetizer
– The appetizer section is done first.
– The teacher provides a choice of tasks (at least 2).
– The tasks in this section should address the first 2 levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (Knowledge and Comprehension)
Example Appetizer tasks:
– Define the vocabulary terms for the chapter over Westward Expansion.
– Summarize the strategy for solving multi-step equations.

After the student completes their chosen Appetizer they must check their work with the teacher to ensure that they are ready to move on to the Entree.

Entree
– The teacher provides a choice of tasks that require deeper understanding of the content.
– The tasks in this section should address Application and Analysis of the content.
Example Entree tasks:
– Make a labeled drawing of the water cycle.
– Choose 2 pieces of music of different genres and describe their similarities and differences.

After the student completes their Entree, they must “Quiz Out” with the teacher to prove that they have mastered the content and are ready to move on the the Dessert.

Dessert
– The teacher provides a choice of tasks that require the deepest understanding of the content.
– The tasks in this section should address Synthesis and Evaluation of the content.
Example Dessert tasks:
– Write a short piece of fiction that uses sensory description to establish a clear mood.
– Make a slide presentation justifying or disputing Vincent Van Gogh’s lack of commercial success during his life.

Watch this 5 minute video for examples and info on Learning Menus:

CLICK HERE for and Education Week article on Learning Menus.

I like THIS CHART for help with writing questions at the different levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.

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