Soup du Jour

3, 4, 5

Students work cooperatively to cook large quanities of soup.  They will use math skills to calculate and measure the amount of ingredients that go into recipes for a large group.  

PrintTwo Forty-Five Minute Class Periods, Plus Two Hours of Cooking Time

The learner will:

  • read a recipe.
  • calculate recipe amounts for a larger quantity.
  • use fractions to measure the ingredients.
  • work cooperatively with a team to make soup.
  • chart paper
  • overhead projector
  • markers
  • soup ladle
  • electric slow-cook pots (one per team)
  • soup bowls and spoons (one per student)
  • ingredients listed on the recipe for ABC Vegetable Soup (brought in by students on Day Two)
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • can openers
  • large mixing spoons (one per team)
  • journals
  • copy of Handout One: Vegetable Soup Recipe, projected
  • student copies of Handout Two: Shopping List
  • ten copies of Handout Five: Job Descriptions for Managers
  • student copies of Handout Four: Student Cooking Contract
  • teacher copy of Handout Three: Materials Checklist
Home Connection 

After Day One, students bring home a shopping list. Each student is responsible for bringing from home one item. The soup for the group depends on each student taking responsibility for a part. Note for Teaching: The teacher and students should be sensitive to a family that cannot contirbute to the meal.

  • Fun with Fruits and Vegetables: Kids' Cookbook Includes recipe for ABC Vegetable Soup


  1. Anticipitory Set

    Tell the students to reflect on their trip to the soup kitchen and remember the cooks and the large kitchen. Ask the students to name ways in which the cooks have to use math and science. Write their ideas on chart paper. Tell them that they are going to use math and science to make a large pot of soup.


  2. Pass out the contract to make soup (see Handout Four: Student Cooking Contract). Read it over with the students and talk about appropriate, responsible, and safe behavior while cooking. Have each student sign the contract. Have the students name ways that teams work well together (such as in a kitchen) to get things done.

  3. Put the vegetable soup recipe on the overhead projector (see Handout One). Tell the students to read over the recipe. Ask volunteers to estimate how many onions, garlic bulbs, broccoli heads, etc. must be used in order to get the quantities needed for the whole class.

  4. Tell the students that they will be working in teams to make a single recipe of the soup. Each team will need a manager. In addition, you need two material managers, two ingredient managers, and one cleanup supervisor. Give the students an opportunity to apply for the positions by writing a paragraph explaining why they want the position and what skills they have that will make them successful at the position. Have them hand in these paragraphs which you can read while they complete the next step.

  5. Pass out the student copies of the shopping list (See Handout Two). Discuss how the soup kitchen must estimate the number of guests they will serve and then calculate the quantities of ingredients to put into each pot of soup. Let students work in teams to calculate the amounts needed in order to convert the recipe into a batch to serve 30. These calculations will help you "shop" for the soup ingredients.

  6. Ask the students to help by bringing these ingredients to school tomorrow. Ask for volunteers to bring in ingredients (volunteering should involve choice) based on what they think their families can contribute. They can circle the ingredient on the "shopping list" that they choose. Have them highlight the note on the bottom of the page that explains to families why they need the circled ingredient tomorrow. Ingredients such as cans of soup or broth can be divided between several students. (The success of the soup for the whole group depends on each person doing his or her part.)

  7. Assign the managers and post the job descriptions. The managers will need to help you gather the ingredients brought in by the students.

  8. In preparation for cooking on Day Two, divide up the class into teams. (The number of teams and the number of students on each team depends on your supplies and the number of students.)

  9. Day Two:


  10. Make sure the managers and students understand that each team is making one pot of soup (six servings). Display the job descriptions and talk to the managers about taking their responsibilities seriously. For the common good of the group and to ensure quality soup, the managers must follow their responsibilities carefully. Team managers must make sure that each member of the team has equal responsibility for gathering materials and adding ingredients.

  11. Turn all the slow-cook pots on high. Display the soup recipe and guide the groups as they make the soup. After all the ingredients are added and stirred, the soup must cook for at least two hours. Each student is responsible for cleaning while the cleanup supervisor ensures the work is completed. After cooking, ladle the soup for each of the students to taste.

  12. After tasting the soup, have each student write in his/her journal. Students should reflect on the whole process of soup-making: teamwork, estimated costs, soup taste, and science and math used.

  13. At the end of the lesson, go back to the chart paper with the list of ways the students thought they would use math and science. Reflect on the procedure and discuss what aspects of math and science they actually used.


Observe the students to make sure they make the calculations correctly on the shopping list. Observe students' teamwork skills, respect for each other, and following directions. Evaluate the soup's flavor to make sure they followed directions carefully. Observe the cleanup to make sure all students make an effort and the job was completed successfully.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Recognize that volunteering requires freedom of choice.
    2. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark E.2 Name an example of a civil society charitable organization.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe a benefit of group cooperation.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 02. Careers In The Nonprofit Sector
      1. Benchmark E.1 Distinguish between volunteer and non-volunteer jobs.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
      2. Benchmark E.5 Articulate and demonstrate the safety procedures that are part of the volunteer experience.