You Said What?

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Hospitality and Tourism

    Course : Practicum in Culinary Arts

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (1) The student uses employability skills to gain an entry-level job in a high-skill, high-wage, or high-demand field. The student is expected to:
      • (B) demonstrate the application of essential workplace skills in the career acquisition process
    • (2) The student develops skills for success in the workplace. The student is expected to:
      • (C) develop positive interpersonal skills, including respect for diversity
      • (J) demonstrate effective verbal, non-verbal, written, and electronic communication skills
      • (K) apply effective listening skills used in the workplace
    • (3) The student demonstrates work ethics, employer expectations, interaction with diverse populations, and communication skills in the workplace. The student is expected to:
      • (B) demonstrate characteristics of successful working relationships such as teamwork conflict resolution, self-control, and the ability to accept criticism
    • (6) The student applies the use of self-development techniques and interpersonal skills to accomplish objectives; The student is expected to:
      • (A) identify and practice effective interpersonal and team-building skills involving situations with coworkers, managers, and customers
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • apply excellent communication skills as they relate to workplace communication
    • practice using effective listening skills
    • analyze ways to avoid communication roadblocks in order to apply effective communication skills
  • Rationale


    In order to be an effective employee in the food service and hospitality industry, you need to learn excellent communication skills and practice them in a supportive learning environment.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Four 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Action Required information: People who send these types of messages expect something to happen because of the message

    Assumption: Something taken for granted

    Clarity: The message is as clear as possible so the receiver understands it

    Communication: The process of sending and receiving information by talk, gestures, or writing for some type of response or action

    Historical Information: This is information that has already happened. A person simply builds receiver’s knowledge for future situations

    Jargon: Buzzwords, technical language, and slang

    Listening: The ability to focus closely on what another person is saying in order to summarize the true meaning of the message

    Prejudices & Biases: A preconceived (to form an opinion before hand) idea about something

    Semantics: What words mean

    Tone of Message: The way a message is said and the tone of the voice

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • document camera (Elmo)


    • class recipes
    • glue or tape
    • paperclips
    • scissors

    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)

  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Print Conversation Cubes handout (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that each student group has one of each cube.

    Option A:
    Introduce the process of communication with the following scenario:
    You are an alien that has been assigned to travel to earth and bring back a chef coat. There is a problem. You (the alien) do not know what a chef coat looks like. You do know shapes; however, there may be some language differences. Stand at the board and have students tell you what to draw. THEY MAY NOT DRAW IT FOR YOU. Take their descriptions very literally and, perhaps, exaggerated – even if you know what they mean. If students motion to you to draw a circle for the buttons, draw really big circles so they have to get more specific. If they tell you to draw a line, draw it long, to the end of the board. You are trying to get them to be clear and concise. Do this activity for five minutes, stop and ask what the problems were with the communication efforts.

    Option B:
    Search the internet for optical illusions to use in this lesson, being careful to choose appropriate pictures.
    Show one or more of these images and lead a discussion on what people “see.” State that when we see things, some people may “perceive” them differently. It is the same with communication. We may be communicating with people, and they may perceive something different than what we are saying thus the message is misunderstood.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce terms, definitions and lesson objectives.

    Introduce PowerPoint™: You Said What? Communication Skills (see All Lessons Attachments tab).

    As you discuss the five parts of the communication process, be sure to make connections to Culinary Arts: Sender,Receiver, Message Content, Message Channel (upwards to a boss; downwards to employee, student, child, laterally to a peer), and Context.

    Distribute graphic organizer: The Communication Process (see All Lessons Attachments tab) and allow students to take notes.

    During discussion, remind students to consider:

    • Who will receive the message
    • What message they want to send
    • How they should send the message
    • What factors are involved when sending the message?

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • working with peer mentor
    • checking for understanding
    • allowing more time

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Randomly divide the class into subgroups. Once the students are in their groups, have them arrange their desks or chairs so everyone in the group is facing one another. Distribute two of the Conversation Cubes handouts (see All Lessons Attachments tab) to each group. Allow time for students to cut out cubes, tape or glue, and assemble cubes for use as dice in the next activity.

    The students will take turns rolling both the dice (cubes) and answering the questions. The student has to answer one of the two questions that landed face up on the cubes. Allow students time to participate in this activity.

    Focus on students’ behavior. Check for appropriate use of communication skills.
    When the activity is over, ask each student in the group to tell one thing interesting they learned about someone in their group.

    When the activity is completed, collect the cubes and distribute the Appointment Schedule handout (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    As students return their desks to the proper place or their assigned seat, they are to make 4 appointments with other students (Noon, 2, 4, 6). They may NOT use the same person more than once or only select their “friends.” When their appointment sheet is complete, have them return to their assigned seat. Appointment Schedule will be used in a later activity.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • work with peers
    • check for understanding
    • allow more time for oral responses

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Note to teacher:

    Students will move from appointment to appointment and discuss whatever topic is assigned at each appointment. After each listening activity, students must first repeat and verify what they heard and then summarize what they heard on the back of the appointment sheet

    We are ready to go to our appointments. A little while ago you made appointments with 4 students. It is now time to take your appointment page and a writing tool to your 12 o’clock appointment. Sit face to face, and wait for further instruction.

    Select non-threatening topics such as:

    • I like cooking for family and friends because ………
    • I hope to one day open a restaurant that serves ……….
    • My favorite food website is __________ because ……….
    • If I were in charge of serving school lunch, I would . . .
    • I enjoy watching cooking shows ______ because….
    • I am interested in exploring a career in the food service and hospitality industry because…..
    • My favorite food to eat is ______ but my favorite food to make is …….

    For each appointment, the students will take turns speaking on assigned topic. When the student arrives at their first appointment, they decide who will speak first. Once decided, present topic.

    The first student will speak on the topic for 1 minute –uninterrupted. At the end of the minute the partner repeats what they heard. If it is correct, they will write it down on the back of the appointment sheet. The second student will then take their turn, and the process will be repeated.

    If time allows, have the students go to their 2 o’clock appointment and give a different topic to discuss, etc.

    At the end of the activity, the completed appointment sheets will be submitted to teacher.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • allow more time for oral & written responses
    • modify the amount of response to be written
    • partner with a peer mentor

  • Lesson Closure

    Review terms, definitions, and objectives.

    Questions and Answers:

    • What was the challenge with the appointment activity?
    • Why is two way communication effective?
    • As you were participating in the class activities, what distractions occurred that interrupted your listening?

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Reviewing the graphic organizer: The Communication Process (see All Lesson Attachments), and the five parts of the communication process.

    Option 1
    Lead a class discussion focusing on a few of the situations below. Allow students to practice applying the five parts of the communication process as they brainstorm responses.

    Option 2
    Copy the following scenarios onto individual index cards. Subdivide students into teams of two or three. Have each team randomly select a scenario. Instruct teams to develop a script for a three minute role-play that incorporates the five parts of the communication process. Each team will present their scenario. Allow time for class discussion.

    1. The general manager tells the hostess not to seat a party that just arrived. There is very little room in the waiting area and it is raining outside.
    2. The manager phoned an employee to cover the shift of a sick employee. The employee has an appointment during the early part of the shift that needs to be covered.
    3. You asked the manager to have a Saturday off two weeks ago in order to attend your brother’s graduation. You looked at the newly posted schedule and noticed you are scheduled to work the Saturday you requested off.
    4. You, as a server, are getting ready to take a food order for a table of six. While you are taking the order there is quite a bit of conversation between the guests often distracting your focus on the order you are taking. As you finish taking one of the guests order, she keeps changing her mind on what she wants to order and you are getting confused. What can you do to clarify the order?
    5. You are a server in a restaurant, during your night shift you notice there is a lot of noise coming from the kitchen. you can hear the heavy metal music the cooks are listening to, as well as their loud conversations and vulgar language. If you can hear it, so can the customers. How can you effectively communicate the issue to the kitchen staff?
    6. You are scheduled as a host/hostess for today’s shift. It is your job to take dinner reservations. A customer called and you took down what you thought was the appropriate information however you forgot to write down how many guests are in the party. In addition, you realize you have written down the incorrect phone number and have no way to contact the guest. Who should you report this to, and what might you suggest for a solution?
    7. You and a co-worker are having trouble working together. The other employee does not do their shift work and leaves you picking up the pieces. In the middle of waiting tables, the other employee takes a smoking break leaving you to help his/her customers in addition to yours. What conversations can you have with this employee to help repair this working relationship?
    8. You are a kitchen manager and lately you have been noticing that the kitchen staff is not following the recommended safety and sanitation practices. As a manager, how can you communicate the importance of following the company’s policies on safety and sanitation?
    9. As a chef, is it your job to place the weekly food order. You placed the order online as usual, but when it was delivered it was not the items you had ordered online. How will you communicate the misunderstanding and rectify the situatioin so you have the food needed for the week?
    10. As the manager of a restaurant, an employee called you to tell you they would be late for their shift. This isn’t usually an issue for other employees, however for this employee, it is a consistent pattern. As a manager, how will you communicate your concern to the employee?


    When the communication activity is concluded, instruct students to individually write a reflective paragraph focusing on their scenario and what they have learned about communication throughout this lesson.

    Sample guiding questions may include:

    • What communication barrier(s) were encountered in the scenario?
    • How can having employees that practice good communication skills impact the food service and hospitality industry?
    • What aspect of communication is easiest for you to implement? which is most difficult?
    *What is the most useful information you have discovered about communication?

    The reflection will be graded according the the Writing Assignment Rubric (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • allow extended time
    • partner with peer mentor
    • provide written guiding questions

  • References/Resources


    • National Restaurant Association, . Foundations of Restaurant Management & Culinary Arts. Level One. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011. Chapter 7, pg. 413. Print.


  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • word wall
    • clear explanation of academic tasks
    • content related visuals (PowerPoint™ Presentation)
    • speak using common and content area vocabulary
    • monitor understanding and seek clarification
    • use oral language for formal and informal purposes
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    Self-monitor learning needs and seek assistance when needed.
    Write clearly and coherently using standard writing conventions.
    Work independently.
    Work collaboratively

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Distribute copies of class recipes.
    Divide the students into subgroups of 2 to 3. Provide each group a recipe (uncut). Instruct group to cut the recipe apart – thus scrambling the ingredients and directions. Give each group a paper clip and have them “shuffle” the individual recipe pieces so they will be out of order, then paper clip the pieces together. Collect the scrambled recipes from the groups and redistribute so each group gets a different “scrambled” recipe. As the students work in small groups, allow the students to use prior knowledge, context clues, and prediction to put the recipe in correct order.
    If you would like to extend this activity, have the students use their “patched together” recipe and actually prepare their recipe to determine if they predicted the order correctly.

  • Quotes

    Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening.
    -Emma Thompson

    Bad human communication leaves us less room to grow.
    -Rowan D. Williams

    I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
    -Ernest Hemingway

    It’s only through listening that you learn, and I never want to stop learning.
    -Drew Barrymore

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • You Said What? Communication Skills
    • Presentation Notes – You Said What?

    Technology Connection:

    • Foundations of Restaurant Management & Culinary Arts Level 1: Teachers Resource CD: Contains a Video on Communication in the workplace.
    • Teachers Resource CD also has a PowerPoint for chapter 7.


    • Clip from the movie Ratatouille. Show the scene where the linguini and Remy (the rat) try to figure a way to communicate. Discuss audience observations.
      Linguini cooks up a storm…with the secret help of Remy

    Use the Internet to locate past broadcasts of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares (Hulu can be used). Select any episode and by even watching a little clip, the students can identify communication problems of the employees and employers.


    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizer:

    • The Communication Process


    • Appointment Schedule
    • Conversation Cubes
    • Writing Assignment Rubric

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • Write a two week notice that you would give an employer when you are resigning or quitting a job.
    • Describe how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a grilled cheese sandwich. Ask someone to read it and actually follow the directions exactly as you wrote them.
    • What do you like about cooking for others?
    • Why are good communication skills important inthe workplace?
    • What types of information does a chef have to communicate to his/her kitchen staff?
    • Which barrier to communication do you need to work to reduce or eliminate?
    • If you were to open your own restaurant or food service business what types of food would you sell?

    Writing Strategy:

    • RAFT Writing Strategy
      • Role – Student
      • Audience – Adult you admired and value
      • Format – Letter
      • Topic – Appreciation
  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • Computer VS Cell Phone: If your cell phone is/was not internet or computer capable, which could you live without – a cell phone or a computer with Internet access? Explain your answer.
    • Which form of communication do you like best and why?
    • Cell phone use and driving – good or bad?
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    • Make a short video teaching/demonstrating how to use the basic functions on a cell phone.
    • Develop a class newsletter to be shared with school staff, parents, and the community.
    • Students with technological know-how, can develop a webpage for the class
  • Family/Community Connection

    First jobs for many people have been in the Food Service Industry. Conduct an interview with family members to discuss if any of them have worked in restaurants, fast food, or any food related businesses. Ask them how important their communication skills were to accomplish their tasks as a team member, leader, or manager.

    See CTSO connection

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    FACTS: Families Acting for Community Safety

    • Leaders at Work program – Invite business leaders to be guest speakers on the importance of good communication in the workplace. Continue to work with community business leaders to create a project for the
    • FCCLA Power Of One units – Students can use the information learned in this lesson to help them complete some of the Power of One Units, such as: Working on Working; A Better You; Take the Lead; or Speak out for FCCLA.
    • FCCLA Star Events – Students may use the information from this lesson as they prepare for FCCLA Star Events in Interpersonal Communication; Illustrated Talk; Job Interview; or Job Interview.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see

    Partner with a library or senior center in your community. See if your students can assist their staff in teaching computer and Internet skills or cell phone skills to senior citizens in the community.

    Make arrangements to visit a senior center or retirement home for a “game day.” The student will bring afternoon treats and play games (event planning) with the seniors and have discussions on how communication has changed from when they were younger to now. They should also discuss with the seniors what communication skills do they think are very important for personal life and while on the job.

  • All Attachments