⁣Lesson Plan: Baking Delicious Mac & Cheese with Bacon Breadcrumb Topping

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⁣Lesson Plan: Baking Delicious Mac & Cheese with Bacon Breadcrumb Topping

Grade Level: 6-8

Subject: Culinary Arts

Duration: 90 minutes

Common Core Standards:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6-8.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6-8.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6-8.6: Acquire and use accurately specialized vocabulary to communicate effectively with diverse audiences.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3: Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.9: Compare and contrast the information obtained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that obtained from reading a text on the same topic.

Objectives:
- Students will learn how to make a creamy and flavorful baked mac and cheese dish.
- Students will understand the process of creating a bacon breadcrumb topping for added crunch and flavor.
- Students will follow step-by-step instructions to prepare the mac and cheese and bacon breadcrumb topping.
- Students will evaluate the taste, texture, and presentation of their mac and cheese dish.

Materials:
- Elbow macaroni (1 pound)
- Cooking pot
- Strainer
- Oven-safe baking dish
- Butter
- All-purpose flour
- Milk
- Cheddar cheese (shredded, 2 cups)
- Salt
- Pepper
- Nutmeg
- Bacon (cooked and crumbled, 6 slices)
- Bread crumbs (1 cup)
- Mixing bowls
- Whisk
- Plates and utensils for serving and tasting
- Writing materials for note-taking and reflection

Procedure:

1. Introduction (10 minutes):
- Engage students by discussing their favorite comfort food dishes.
- Introduce the concept of baked mac and cheese with a bacon breadcrumb topping as a popular and delicious variation.
- Ask students about their experience with making or eating mac and cheese dishes.

2. Mac and Cheese Preparation (30 minutes):
- Instruct students to bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the elbow macaroni according to package instructions.
- Demonstrate the process of creating a roux by melting butter in a separate pot and adding flour to make a paste.
- Instruct students to whisk in milk gradually and cook until the mixture thickens.
- Add shredded cheddar cheese to the pot and stir until fully melted and incorporated.
- Season the cheese sauce with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Drain the cooked macaroni and combine it with the cheese sauce, ensuring all the pasta is coated.

3. Bacon Breadcrumb Topping Preparation (20 minutes):
- Instruct students to crumble the cooked bacon slices and combine them with bread crumbs in a mixing bowl.
- Demonstrate how to mix the bacon and bread crumbs thoroughly to evenly distribute the flavors.
- Optional: Students can add additional seasonings such as garlic powder or dried herbs to enhance the topping's flavor.

4. Assembly and Baking (15 minutes):
- Preheat the oven to the recommended temperature.
- Instruct students to transfer the mac and cheese mixture to an oven-safe baking dish.
- Sprinkle the bacon breadcrumb topping evenly over the mac and cheese.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and set the timer.

5. Tasting and Evaluation (15 minutes):
- Check the progress of the baked mac and cheese and remove it from the oven when the topping is golden and crispy.
- Allow the dish to cool slightly before serving.
- Instruct students to taste their mac and cheese and evaluate the flavor, texture, and presentation.
- Encourage students to describe their observations and offer constructive feedback on their peers' dishes.

6. Reflection and Discussion (10 minutes):
- Lead a class discussion on the experience of making baked mac and cheese with a bacon breadcrumb topping.
- Ask students to compare and contrast their own creations with store-bought or traditional mac and cheese dishes.
- Discuss the importance of balancing flavors and textures in cooking.

7. Conclusion (5 minutes):
- Recap the lesson by emphasizing the skills learned in making baked mac and cheese with a bacon breadcrumb topping.
- Encourage students to explore other variations of mac and cheese dishes.
- Discuss the importance of creativity and experimentation in culinary arts.

Common Core Labels Correlations:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6-8.2
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6-8.4
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6-8.6
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.9

This can be made gluten-free, by using gluten-free flour for the sauce and gluten-free pasta. That's actually what I used in my video!

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