Design a Latin American Restaurant

By Kathleen Melville, January 2, 2009

Grade Level

  • High School


  • Other

Subject Area

  • Language Arts

Lesson Time

Four 90-minute sessions


In this lesson, Spanish 1 students investigate the culture of a Latin American country in order to design a new restaurant.  By choosing a target audience and ideal location and in designing an atmosphere, menu, and setting prices, students will attempt to see from the perspective of a young person in another country and meet their expectations for a night out.  Students will research culture, geography, and money and use relevant Spanish vocabulary in order to complete the project.

National Standards

Foreign Language Standard 1.3 Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics. Standard 2.1 Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied. Standard 2.2 Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied.      

Common Core Standards

Anchors for Reading:

Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Anchor Standards for Writing:

 Text Types and Purposes:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Anchor standards for Speaking and Listening:

Comprehension and Collaboration:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.3  Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Anchor standards for Language:

Conventions of Standard English:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Knowledge of Language:

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.


Students will be able to:
  • identify social classes, geographical locations, cultural practices, and monetary systems of a Latin American country
  • apply knowledge of a country's culture to meet the needs of a particular audience
  • use Spanish vocabulary in designing a sample menu


  • vocabulary on food and restaurants (varies from textbook to textbook)
  • Websites for research on Latin American countries: and


  • computers
  • basic art supplies including poster board and markers


Varies depending on textbook or teacher


Session 1:  Identify and Investigate the Opportunity The teacher will introduce the project using the Research and Design Guide handout (attached).  Students will be working in groups to design a restaurant in a Latin American country.  They must research the country and use their knowledge to choose a target audience and ideal location as well as design an atmosphere and sample menu.  They will be pitching their restaurant to other members of the class for a vote.  Students should choose groups of four and within their groups assign research responsibilities using the handout.  Then the teacher should assign countries to each group by having them draw names of countries out of a hat.  The remainder of the session can be devoted to research on the computers.  By the end of this session, each group member should be prepared to share their findings with the rest of their group. Session 2:  Reframe the problem After sharing, groups should begin to brainstorm possibilities for target audience, ideal location, atmosphere, menu, and restaurant names.  Selecting a target audience leads to questions such as:  Where do these people live?  How much money do they spend to eat out?  What food would they be interested in eating?  What kind of atmosphere would be comfortable yet interesting?  Once they have selected these parameters, students will have a better idea of what challenges and opportunities they will face in designing the restaurant.  Teachers should check in with groups to make sure they have clearly identified their client and task before sending them on to the next step. Generate Possible Solutions:  Each group should spend ten to fifteen minutes brainstorming possible ideas for restaurants.  At the end of the this session, ask each group to choose two or three of their best ideas.  Go around the room and have one person from the group share their possible solutions.  Allow time for the class to respond.  Have them articulate why think the ideas are successful or not effective.  Have the students return to their groups to begin refining their ideas.  By the end of this session, students should have the rest of the Research and Design guide completed and should begin working on presentations.  Students can choose either to create a floor plan, mood board, or model of their restaurant on a poster.  Students will also need to create a sample menu that includes local foods and prices in the appropriate currency. Session 3:  Edit/Develop Ideas and Evaluate Your Process. At the beginning of this session, ask students to revisit the parameters they have selected.  Who is their client?  How can they meet this client’s expectations?  Students should continue work on their pitch.  The teacher can supervise, monitor, and give feedback.  As students work on polishing the pitch, use the Evaluation Form to give students a chance to evaluate their own work and improve it before presenting tomorrow. Session 4:  Re-Evaluate Students should present, evaluate each other's work (using the Evaluation Form, attached), and vote on the best restaurant proposal.  Remind them to articulate why they think their solution would appeal to their client, who their client is, and how they came to their final solution.    


Students and the teacher can use the Evaluation Form (attached) to evaluate each group's project and presentation.

Enrichment Extension Activities

1.  Students can find recipes in Spanish on line and use them to prepare one of the dishes they included in their restaurant proposal. 2.  Extension to math class: Students can compare the different currencies of Latin America by changing prices of sample items from one currency to another.

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