Horse, Of Course

Students consider what they eat and why they eat it, exploring cultural traditions in the process.


Why do we eat what we eat? Maybe, just because we do? This lesson plan gets students thinking about what they eat and why they eat it.


  • Students will use critical thinking skills to develop ideas about the foods they eat and why they eat them.
  • Students will learn about other cultures through food, tasting food from the family traditions of their peers.


  1. Introduce the subject by asking students what animals they eat, followed by what they would never consider eating and why.
  2. Point out Mongolia on world map.  
  3. Have students read “Horse, Of Course.” 
  4. Upon completion, and as a class, talk about students' initial reactions. Discuss the author’s assertion that “because we don’t” is our main reason for not eating horse. Discuss food preferences and dislikes of class members and their rationales. “Why do you like mac and cheese?” “I could never eat dog.” Raise the question of the nutritional value of various animals and ask if there are students who are vegans or vegetarians and want to talk about their reasons for following that eating lifestyle.


Have students bring in a traditional family food for a later class. Students will provide descriptions of their foods and present them to the class.

Challenge each student to learn about and try a food or recipe from another culture that is new to him or her and have them present some background information about it to the class. Visit the Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools resources for a list of recipes from Peace Corps Volunteers around the world.

Framework and Standards

Enduring understandings

  • People eat what they eat because we learned to and because the people around us ate it and still do.

Essential questions

  • Why do we eat what we eat?
  • Why do the people in your specific culture eat what they do?


  • NSS-G.K-12.2

Lesson plan submitted by the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA),  Author: Angene Wilson

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