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Menu Math has always been one of my favorite activities to use with my students. I love when one simple item can be used to generate many questions. A couple of years ago, I thought of the idea to use real menus from real restaurants to create Menu Math questions with my students. That is something that I routinely do. This year, I came up with the great idea for my students to do a take-home project called Menu Math with Memphis' Black-Owned Restaurants.

The project incorporated Math & E.L.A. In short, my students were asked to find a Black-Owned Restaurant in Memphis and write a short informational writing about it, an opinion writing highlighting why they believe the restaurant is a good choice, and create ten standard-aligned Math questions with an answer key.

One of the things I reminded students is that they can include any business that sells food. That included food trucks and people they may know with a mobile food business. I love how the impact of the projects turned out!

* Students got the opportunity to really explore and find a "real" purpose for doing the Math. Using restaurants that they were familiar with help make the Math more meaningful.

* I love for my students to create high-quality questions. Using the restaurant they chose, they were required to create ten problems for the project. If you can create something, you understand it! So I'm always giving opportunities for my students to create.

* We are heavy rotation practicing our writing skills. Although, I did not require an essay or anything long for the Info and Review, it still was a great opportunity for my kids to practice the difference between informative and opinion writing.

And last, but definitely not least...

* BLACK-OWNED BUSINESS SUPPORT! We have actually supported this businesses. I've placed orders and my students and their families have supported these businesses.

For Valentine's Day, one of my babies even surprised me with chocolate covered strawberries by placing an order with one of the businesses we used.

(It was so cute, like a big boy he placed the order and had them delivered to surprise me. )

Even though the project is over and done, I'm still using the menus to create high-quality questions for my students. My students are still visiting and ordering from the Black-owned businesses and I'm still using their experiences to create high-quality Math problems.

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