Secondary Cycle Two, second year | Let's eat!

Secondary Cycle Two |Let's Eat (activity)


This pedagogical activity LET’S EAT! aims to personally involve secondary cycle two students in a process to understand themselves, society, history and heritage through the virtual exhibition Sharing the Meal!

In connection with the theme Culture and currents of thought, this activity revisits the important periods in the history of Québec, from New France to the 21st century, from the perspective of contemporary food heritage. The foods and meals on our plates today are evidence of the cultural food contributions of the Aboriginal, French, British and immigrant traditions and the impacts of globalization.

Let’s eat! therefore seeks to bridge the past and present to better understand the current social and cultural issues on our plates. Students will reflect, articulate thoughts and take position. Certain topics will touch upon the concepts of affiliation and identity outlined in the Ethics and Religious Culture curriculum.

Let’s eat! is part of the Citizenship and Community Life area of learning.


Subject areas: Social sciences (History and Citizenship Education)

Theme : Culture and currents of thought

  • Examining social phenomena from a historical perspective.

Cross curricular competencies

  • Exercise critical judgment
  • Use creativity
  • Achieve potential
  • Cooperate


The pedagogical activity involves three steps:

  1. PREPARATION : Quiz to discover each student’s food heritage and create a class profile (one period)
  2. REALISATION : Personal food heritage survey and knowledge development in teams and in class (two periods)
  3. INTEGRATION : Festive event (Taste and learn or Food art) featuring the foods that are part of the students’ personal and collective food heritages (two periods)

These three steps may be carried out partially or in their entirety.

Upon completion, you will be able to:

  1. Add the FOOD HERITAGE PROFILE of your class to the virtual exhibition
  2. Add testimonials (texts, photos, videos) by your students to the TELL YOUR STORY! section of the virtual exhibition

To make the most of the virtual exhibition site and its activities, we invite you to:

  • Read all the steps in the activity
  • Explore the different sections of the virtual exhibition
  • Read the annexes

Step 1 - Preparation - One period, in class (60 minutes)

QUIZ to discover each student’s and create a class profile


  • Understand food history.
  • Discover one’s own food heritage
  • Understand the links between the important periods in Québec’s history, cultural mixing and today’s eating habits
  • Determine the profile of the class’ food heritage


  • Teacher explains food heritage (Annex A).
  • Teacher invites students to explore the virtual exhibition (individually or as a group):
  • Students fill out the sheet Discovering my food heritage (Annexe B).
  • Each student compiles his/her results and the teacher explains which source of influence corresponds to each table (see following page).
  • Teacher links the food heritage profiles (Annex A) and the important periods in Québec’s history, as defined in the curriculum. The teacher may use the images of the objects presented in the virtual exhibition to illustrate the different sources of influence:
  • Teacher helps students pool their results.
  • Teacher counts the number of students who identify with each food heritage profile.
  • Teacher records the class’ FOOD HERITAGE PROFILE on the Web site of the virtual exhibition

For teachers : Answers to Annex B

The tables in the Discovering my food history questionnaire correspond to the following sources of influence. Students will need this information to determine their profile.

Ask students to list the source of influence in the space provided in each table in the questionnaire :

Table no.1 : British influences

Table no.2 : Industrial and American influences

Table no.3 : French and New France period influences

Table no.4 : International influences

Table no.5 : Local and terroir influences

Table no.6 : Aboriginal influences

  • Note the number of students for each influence.
  • Save your class’ FOOD HERITAGE PROFILE on the Web site of the virtual exhibition.

Step 2 - Realisation - Two periods, in class (120 minutes)

PERSONAL FOOD HERITAGE SURVEY and in-class knowledge building


  • On an individual basis, discover the characteristics of one’s own food heritage
  • Reconsider historical knowledge as part of the Culture and currents of thought theme from the perspective of food heritage
  • Understand the links between historical periods and contemporary food heritage
  • Understand the social and cultural choices on our plates from past, current and future food choices
  • Broaden historical facts to the concepts of identity and affiliation


Period 1 : How is a food heritage created?

  • Teacher uses the important historical periods of food heritage to reconsider historical knowledge under the Culture and currents of thought theme, from the earliest occupants to today.

Period 2 : How do today’s choices impact tomorrow’s food heritage?

  • Individually or as a group, students watch the videos in the Yesterday and tomorrow and Biting into places sections of the Sharing the Meal! virtual exhibition (e.g. the videos featuring Claude Fischler, Nicole Anne Gagnon and Hélène Raymond) and reflect on the issues involved in food heritage preservation.
  • Teacher decides whether students will work in groups or individually to fill out the Issues section of the I eat therefore I am! sheet (Annex C).
  • Teacher ends the activity by explaining the follow up activity (see step 3).

Step 3 - Realisation and integration – Two periods, in class (120 minutes)

TEAM DEBATE-DISCUSSION on food heritage preservation issues


  • Verify that students understand the concept of food heritage
  • Individually, students reflect on preserving their personal food heritage
  • In small groups, students reflect, take a position and discuss the social and cultural issues associated with food heritage
  • Experiment openness and sharing


Period 1: My food heritage and me!

  • Students fill out the Tomorrow section of the I eat therefore I am! sheet (Annex C) and identify the elements of their food heritage that they wish to preserve or highlight (story related to their food history, an important person or a festive event, a treasured object or a recipe).
  • The teacher explains the debate-discussion activity, the objectives, his/her role and the themes (Annex A).
  • The teacher assigns students to teams.
  • Students pick a theme. Each student is given the theme of his/her debate and the position he/she must take, regardless of whether or not the position is consistent with his/her own opinion.
  • Students prepare for the debate-discussion.

Period 2: Sharing the meal? (Debate-discussion)

  • The teacher explains the debate-discussion activity, the objectives and his/her role. The themes and debate process may be written on the board or projected (see Annex A).
  • Students get into teams around a table. The debate begins.
  • The teacher goes from group to group, reopens the debates whenever necessary and observes the students (see evaluation, Annex D).
  • At the end of the debate-discussion, the teacher goes over the activity with students (general appreciation, thoughts they would like to share, aspects to remember, student participation, etc.).

Annex A: What is a Food Heritage, important periods in Québec's food history and debate-discussion.

Annex B: Discovering my Food History.

Annex C: I eat therefore I am!