Skip to content

Food Writing, Community Building, and a Book Giveaway

One way to get to know students is to determine what their favorite _______ is. Conversations about why someone likes something are an opportunity to learn more about a person.

Eric Carle has several books in the What’s Your Favorite series that can be used for inspiration to encourage kids to write about their favorite animal, bug, or color. His latest book, What’s Your Favorite Food?, is a collection of drawings, poems, and stories about different illustrators’ favorite foods.

Here’s the publisher’s summary:

How would you use this text in your classroom?
Leave a comment at the bottom of this post for a chance to win a copy of this book.

A new title in the Eric Carle and Friends What’s Your Favorite picture book series, in which Eric Carle and thirteen other beloved children’s book artists illustrate their favorite foods and explain why they love them.

Everybody has a favorite food. Some enjoy sweet treats like rich honey or ripe, juicy berries. Others prefer the savory comforts of warming matzo ball soup or creamy chicken Alfredo. With beautiful illustrations and charming personal stories, fourteen children’s book artists share their favorite foods and why they love them. Artists include: Aki, Isabelle Arsenault, Brigette Barrager, Matthew Cordell, Benji Davies, Karen Katz, Laurie Keller, Juliet Menendez, Greg Pizzoli, Misa Saburi, Felicita Sala, Dan Santat, Shannon Wright.

During the first six weeks of school, teachers work diligently to not only build a classroom community, but to build students’ desire to write. Nearly every child has a favorite food, which is why I think having students mentor themselves after the pieces in What’s Your Favorite Food? is an engaging way to get students writing and drawing in their writer’s notebooks. Because of the variety of foods that are written about in the book, the book can serve as a window, mirror, and sliding door (Bishop, 1990). Plus, having students share their favorite food entries can help forge relationships that may not have blossomed if it weren’t for a shared love of ice cream, pizza, or fruit!

If you provide students with an invitation to write about their favorite food, here are some ideas:

  • Model writing about one’s favorite things, such as food, into your writing. If you’re in a narrative unit of study, you might share a story about a time you made or ate your favorite food. If you’re engaged in an information unit, you could model how you might write all about that favorite food. In a procedural unit, you might encourage kids to write about how to write about their favorite food. After all, writers return to topics or things they love in their writing again and again.
  • Encourage upper elementary writers to craft an entry — in the genre of their choice — about their favorite food in their writer’s notebook. Later, students might choose to return to their favorite food piece when looking for an idea to further develop for publication.
  • Teach students how to respond as writers to each other’s writing. Encourage them to praise their peers’ for things they did as a writer (e.g., rich description, sensory detail, authentic voice).
  • Honor cultural traditions by encouraging students to ask questions about each other’s favorite foods. Some students might share about foods that are their favorites that their peers may be unfamiliar with. Encourage students to ask questions, rather than make judgments, if they’re commenting on the topic (i.e., the food the person is writing about), rather than on the writerly moves their peer made.

One of my favorite things about What’s Your Favorite Food? are the varying lengths of each artist’s contribution. Some page spreads are a couple of lines, while others have text that covers a full page. I think the varied text lengths in the book will give a nod to the differing writing styles and abilities each child brings to the school year.

Take a peek inside of the book:

Giveaway Information:

  • This giveaway is for a copy of What’s Your Favorite Food?.  Many thanks to Macmillan for donating a copy for one reader.
  • For a chance to win this copy of What’s Your Favorite Food?, please leave a comment about this post by Tuesday, September 10th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winners, whose names I will announce at the bottom of this post, by Thursday, September 12th. You must have a U.S. mailing address to enter the giveaway.
  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win. From there, my contact at Macmillan will ship your book out to you.  (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)
  • If you are the winner of the book, I will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – FAVORITE FOOD. Please respond to my e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

44 thoughts on “Food Writing, Community Building, and a Book Giveaway Leave a comment

  1. This looks like a lovely addition to opinion writing for 1st graders. It would be a great mentor for diversity of opinions and supporting opinions with reasons. The paella page looks like a great example/mentor for labeling and the cheese house could encourage more sophisticated writers to try their opinion writing through different genres!

    Like

  2. I use this prompt with my college students and LOVE the answers and their engaged essays! I’d love a copy for my library on foodways and food writing.

    Like

  3. Never before have I thought about having students write about food. What a great idea to use Eric Carle’s book as a mentor text. Perhaps some students struggling to come up with an idea to write about will find the topic appealing. I definitely will give it a try in the days to come.

    Like

  4. Thank you for sharing this book. I like the idea you shared for upper grade students to write about their own favorite food using whichever genre they wish. This allows students to show a piece of themselves in their writing style, genre choice as well as food choice. This opens the door for many other discussions which enable the building of classroom community all while supporting our students’ identities as writers. I can’t wait to check this book out!

    Like

  5. Wow! What beautiful pictures. I love using picture books as mentor texts with my middle schoolers – they are accessible on so many different levels to all of my students.

    Like

  6. What a fun way to engage students in the writing process. Thank you for the fantastic idea! I will certainly be creating favorite food entries with my students next week.

    Like

  7. Food is a frequent topic as I model my writing in the classroom. Just today I wrote about a steaming bowl of mussels I enjoyed over the weekend! Food taps into identity, community, and family traditions. Food gets kids talking. Thanks for highlighting this fun new title!

    Like

  8. What a great opportunity to use writing to get to know your students at the beginning of a new year! I can’t wait to get a copy of this book for my school!!

    Like

  9. I am thinking I could use this book for my kindergartners to create a class book of their favorite food as part of our “getting to know us” book series that we create all year.

    Like

  10. Talking about foods with kids gives you insight about so many things. Food brings people together because we all eat! This book would help spark conversations that will lead to great writing. It would fit in nicely when I’m teaching memoirs and personal narrative. Kids can do quick writes about food memories.

    Like

  11. this sounds like a great book to encourage diversity as well as social acceptance of many different food choices. In middle school it can be difficult to get students to share personal info. I think reading this book before using the many writing ideas to go with it might help take some of the peer pressure off.

    Like

  12. Yet another way to celebrate the diversity in our classrooms and our world! What a simple and fun way to build community among writers in a classroom, while strengthening writing skills. Thanks for another great idea!

    Like

  13. Oh, I am so happy to hear about not only this new book, but the series of Favorites, as well. How did I miss that? Issues of Equity are SO important and one of the best way to discuss and teach to my kidpeople is through books like this that just naturally bring up diversity in all things. Thanks for the post!!

    Like

  14. Eric Carle is such an inspirational author and I am so excited for his latest series! Thank you for highlighting this book and sharing many different fantastic writing ideas to go along with it. I’m excited to try it out in my classroom!

    Like

  15. I would love to win this book to use in my classroom. I currently teach middle school and 6th graders usually default to the easy answer of pizza or “I don’t know.” I believe this book would help to generate more ideas and encourage the diversity I know they all have, but are scare to share due to social pressure.

    Like

  16. This book looks amazing! It would fit perfectly with our road to argumentative writing. Showing students that we all have opinions and reasons for our opinions, and it’s okay to like different things. Would love to share this with my school!

    Like

  17. What a wonderful idea! My second graders will love to not only write about their favorite food but also hear about the favorite foods of others. I agree that a class book will be a cherished addition to our classroom library. Thank you for the idea!

    Like

  18. What a great idea for a book! I love the sneak peeks you included and the ideas for sparking writing with students. The point you made about variation in the length of each entry is a great one. Thanks!

    Like

  19. I love this idea. Usually, we share favorite foods as a way to get to know one another. This year, we’ll make a class book. Thank you for this great idea.

    Like

%d bloggers like this: