Carpenters Middle adds cookbook to history project
By Matthew Stewart | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Carpenters Middle School has cooked up some new ideas for its local history project.
Students are working on a four-week research project that covers a local historical topic, said English teacher Courtney Whitehead. They will present their project, which is due Oct. 22, at the Local History Extravaganza set for Nov. 5.
Many project details are the same as the last several years. Eighth-graders have to write a 1,500-word research paper, create a visual aid and deliver a 3-5 minute speech.
Students also authored a community cookbook, which is available for $10.
Teen living teacher Melissa Crabtree will also work with students, she said. The middle-schoolers will select recipes and make dishes for Carpenters Day and Local History Extravaganza.
The crosscurricular project covers every content area, Whitehead said. “Students are covering social studies, language arts, math, science and the related arts this year. We’re hitting Common Core State Standards, as well. We’re covering everything with this project.”
While educators have tweaked the project throughout its 11 years of existence, the cookbook’s addition has been its greatest challenge, Whitehead said. “The cookbook is the biggest little thing that we’ve ever added. We couldn’t have done it out of the gate.”
Literacy leader Terri Bradshaw recommended last year that eighth grade teachers consider adding the cookbook component to the research project. She organized a similar project at Heritage High School.
Educators started planning the cookbook assignment last spring, Whitehead said. Students have worked on their recipes since the first week of school.
Eighth-graders wrote the recipes by hand, she said. Educators considered allowing students to type their entries but determined it would take away from the book’s homemade feel.
Katie Graves and Sierra Walker edited the school’s recipe book. They worked on the book for two to three weeks, ensuring each entry was legibly written and checking its spelling and formatting. If an entry didn’t meet this criteria, the pair handed it back to its author.
Many students completed three to four entries, Whitehead said. Toward the assignment’s due date, Graves and Walker rewrote entries to ensure the school would be delivered on time to the retailer that’s printing it.
The duo rewrote an estimated 20 entries, primarily for spelling errors. In total, about 240 eighth-graders submitted an entry.
Some students also entered competitions for the first Carpenters Middle School Cookbook’s cover and title pages. A panel of teachers and administrators selected Eric Doolin’s cover page and Sophia Potenza’s title page.
Doolin’s design features Carpenters Middle School’s facade and the Great Smoky Mountains.
“I didn’t have any trouble thinking about my design,” he said. “Nature is a big part of Tennessee. It’s one of the things that I like most about this state. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I wanted to instill the same sort of pride in readers.”
Potenza’s design features food, such as fruit and pies.
“I wanted it to be colorful and vibrant, because the recipes are significant to students,” she said. “I want people to enjoy the foods and the stories they tell about us. There’s history behind them. I’m proud to have been a part of it, because it showcases our school and cultural diversity. It shows what CMS is made of — and that’s something to be proud of.”