“Feeding Ourselves, Feeding Our Revolution” Student Writing Lesson

If you were to host a potluck or dinner to discuss a challenge facing your community or country, what food would you cook? Whom would you invite? On what issue would you deliberate? 

Students will read and respond to Korsha Wilson’s article, “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change.”

 In this article, Wilson explores the power of food to spark change in our communities. The author believes that cooking and consumption are not just necessary for survival; they are also political acts of resistance against oppression, means to preserve heritage, and ways for change-makers to practice self-care.

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YES! Magazine Article and Writing Prompt

Read the YES! Magazine article by Korsha Wilson, “Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change.”

Writing Prompt:

If you were to host a potluck or dinner to discuss a challenge facing your community or country, what food would you cook? Whom would you invite? On what issue would you deliberate?

Writing Guidelines

The writing guidelines below are intended to be just that—a guide. Please adapt to fit your curriculum.

· Provide an original essay title

· Reference the article

· Limit the essay to no more than 700 words

· Pay attention to grammar and organization

· Be original. provide personal examples and insights

· Demonstrate clarity of content and ideas

· This writing exercise meets several Common Core State Standards for grades 6-12, including W. 9-10.3 and W. 9-10.14 for Writing, and RI. 9-10 and RI. 9-10.2 for Reading: Informational Text.*

*This standard applies to other grade levels. “9-10” is used as an example.

Evaluation Rubric

Sample Essays

The essays below were selected as winners for the Fall 2018 YES! National Student Writing Competition. Please use them as sample essays or mentor text. The ideas, structure, and writing style of these essays may provide inspiration for your own students’ writing—and an excellent platform for analysis and discussion.

A Feast for the Future by India Brown, grade 8. Read India’s essay about a potluck that inspires farmers and climate deniers to work together towards solutions to climate change.

Apple Pie Embrace by Grace Williams, grade 11. Read Grace’s essay about a Thanksgiving dinner that celebrates the blending of her family’s American and Iraqi cultures.

Nourishing Change After Tragedy Strikes by Lillia Borodkin, university. Read Lillia’s essay about bringing both Jewish and non-Jewish people together at a Shabbat table to heal in the wake of the Tree of Life shooting and to take a stand against anti-Semitism.

Last Meal by Paisley Regester, grade 12. Read Paisley’s essay about how the injustice of the death penalty will be highlighted by simulating death row prisoners’ last meals before execution.

The Empty Seat by Emma Lingo, grade 11. Read Emma’s essay about imagining a family dinner where fruit salad, gumbo, and a sober father are at the table.

Bittersweet Reunion by Hayden Wilson, grade 11. Read Hayden’s essay about being transgender and gathering his aunts, uncles, and cousins to introduce them to the “me they haven’t met.”

We Want to Hear From You!

How do you see this lesson fitting in your curriculum? Already tried it? Tell us—and other teachers—how the lesson worked for you and your students.

Please leave your comments below, including what grade you teach.

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