PB Lesson Vincent van Gogh „Peasants Eating Potatoes“

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Project-based lesson

Vincent van Gogh  „Peasants Eating Potatoes“

  1. Idea of the project:
  • To make a research about Van Gogh’s life and work;
  • Historic period;
  • Typical  drinks and dishes;


  1. Project objectives:
  • To acquire knowledge about Dutch cuisine;
  • To improve learning performance;

Skills of twenty-first century


Learning skills and    technological skills


Methods and approaches


Evaluation of project achievments



Iinformation and communication





1.     To distinguish different food products

2.     To pick out different food products

3.     To buy food products

4.     Proper food storage

3.     To make a menu

4.     To work safely and efficiently with kitchen machines and equipment

5.     To prepare various Dutch dishes

6.     To organize different kitchen activities







Role play;




-Taste testing;

– Completing tables with taste qualities of the dishes;

– Diagram of tehnological processing of the prepared dish;

– Evaluation after taste testing;










1.     To get familiar with the process technology;

2.     Special terms –staple food, thermal processing of food(cooking methods), measures;

3.     Food selection;

4.     Performing thermal processes sequentially;

5.     Weight of the ready dish;

presenting the dishes;

6.     Food garnishing skills;

7.     Satisfaction of the work done;
























Personal & work skills .


1.     Follow the Labour code and technological process;

2.     Organise the work and assign  tasks;

3.     Combining the ingredients;

4.     Prevent food wasting;

5.     To make a pricing list;

6.     To repace main ingredients with similar ones;



Classroom Observation







Goals to accomplish:

Students have to learn:

-typical drinks and dishes for this period:

– what ingrediants and seasoning to use:

-how to prepare them/ using different technological methods/

To make:  assortments according to the task

Evaluation : charts

Main food groups: root vegetables-potatoes

Ingredients: bacon, yellow cheese, smoked breast, eggs, onion

Outcome evaluation: teambuilding ,critical thinking,creativity, problem solving, oral communication,evaluation chart

Other methods of evaluation:

Observation,research, discourse, blogging

Project chart: ,,Peasants eating potatoes“

Rural omelette- 2 servings


500gr potatoes,

80gr yellow cheese,

3 eggs

50gr smoked breast,

50gr onion,

20gr bacon,

2gr nutmeg,



black pepper


First wash and peel the potatoes. Coarsly grate the potatoes.Then fry in oil finelly choped onion and  the potatoes. Add smoked breast in your choice.Sprincle with grated yellow cheese and parsley. Next  beat up the eggs and season them. Pour the eggs over the potatoes  and fry the omelette. Serve with lettuce leaves.

Hotpot- 2 servings/ North-East Holland/


300gr potatoes

300gr carrots

300gr tender pork

3 black pepper grains

1 bay leaf

200gr onion

½ bunch of parsely

40gr butter

300gr water


Preperation:  First simmer the meat with spices. Then take out the meat and in the stock put the diced carrots. When carrots are tender add chopped poatatoes and onion. Leave the broth to be reduced by boiling. Puree vegetables. Serve vegetable puree with melted butter and arrange sliced meet over it.

Materials and equipment:

Technological schemes, recipe book, evaluation charts;


  1. Preliminary preparation.

– Technological schemes, work clothing, ingredients and cooking equipmen;

– Methods – demostration, discourse, explanation, pole play;

  1. Introduction.

– Conosolidation of the acquired knowledge in theory lessons;

– Safety instructions;

  1. Main part.

Work groups strictky implement their tasks following the rules

  1. Conclusion- students evaluation.

– Taste testing;

– Completing tables with taste qualities of the dishes;

– Making thechnological schemes of the ready dishes;

-Evaluation and argumentation of the marks;

Project evaluation:

  1. Educational:

Getting familiar with:

  • Van Gogh’s life and work;
  • Customs and traditions in Dutch cuisine;
  • Dishes at that time;
  • Aesthetic plating;
  • Rules of safety work of the students;
  • Maintain personal hygiene and hygiene on the working place;
  • Quality of the ready dishes;
  1. Educative:

– Developing moral qualities;

– To get to know how to organize their work and assign the tasks;

– Prevent food wasting;



Topic: “Peasants eating potatoes” of  Vincent van Gogh

  1. Introduction:

Meeting and testing the students’ knowledge.

Students familiarizing with the life, work and the corresponding historical period.

Vincent van Gogh is a Dutch painter, a representative of the Post-impressionism, recognized as one of the greatest artists in the history of European art, but gained world fame only after his death.

Postimpressionism is not a particular style and this is the work of French artists who reject the impressionism’s method. Van Gogh is one of its main representatives. After going through impressionism Vincent van Gogh is the original way of working with vigorously made, like bars, brushstrokes. The nature of his paintings often subjected to deformation which reflects the tragic and anxiety associated with mental illness artists.  This new style of painting shows not so much the specific of the object but the excitement and the emotion of the author.

Gogh is the author of around 900 paintings and 1100 drawings. In the first half of the 80s his art is characterized by passionate emotion with which dramatically affects his perception of life and his own social protest. In his works prevails dark range and they are imbued with sympathy for the ordinary people. Since 1888 in a very expressive way he began to create images with painfully tragic tension using contrast color, disruptive and free dynamics. But the artist suffers from psychological illness and 37-year-old committed suicide.

He was born on March, 30, 1853 in Grut Zundert, Netherlands.

Vincent didn’t receive vocational education and changed different jobs that have no connection with art.

He began his artistic career of not so young age – 27 years old, he has only 10 more years to try to realize as an artist but never knows the success.

During the Dutch period in his work he deals with the technique of the oil paintings and  the problems of the color theory. Then his palette is with dark earthy colors. In April 1885  “Villagers eating potatoes” is his masterpiece from his Dutch period.

Typical for his later paintings is the pasty application of paint and his bright colors and color symbolism. Van Gogh belongs to the first artists who deliberately use the complementary color contrast. His paintings contain samples of light and dark, closely followed basic mathematical structure of the turbulent flow.

In Saint Remy, near Arles, in short periods between depression and inaction, he created some of his most famous landscapes and copy reproductions of his favorite artists.

During this time he creates paintings with fields in saturated yellows, olive trees, cypresses and irises. He fell into a depression with hallucinations for about six weeks. Then he receives the news of the sale of his painting “The red vineyard”.

The creator with many problems shot himself in a wheat field on July 29, 1890 in Over sur Oaz, near Paris, France.

History of creating  the painting “Peasants eating potatoes”

Vincent became friends with De Groot family. This family consisted of a mother, a father, a son and two daughters. As the most Braban rural families they all were working in the field, where grown potatoes. The most common meal were potatoes. They were poor and that’s why only once a week they could afford to eat a piece of bacon. Every evening as a tradition the family was drinking a cup of tea. The whole life of De Groot family is associated with cultivation of potatoes. The woman had large cheerful eyes and sweet face. Her figure moved like a real grace. Vincent was impressed and began to paint her. He painted the whole family – in the field, in the hut around the table when they were eating hot potatoes and Stin always peered over his shoulder and joked with them. Every night Grootam had wonderful moments with Stin with all his soul. Vincent knew that in the painting of human figures the most important is to give movement.

“Peasants eating potatoes” appeared in April 1885.This was Gogh’s masterpiece from his Dutch period.  His palette during this period is with dark colors.

Other artist’s paintings similar to “Peasants eating potatoes” are:

Potatoes are the main vegetable in Dutch cuisine. Each member of the family De Groot has devoted his life to the soil tillage and cultivation of potatoes.





  1. Main part:

Now as you know the work of Van Gogh and know the Dutch cuisine in details lets prepare two assortments of national cuisine in which potatoes are the main product. For this reason I will divide you into two teams.

The first team will prepare a warm appetizer “Rural omelette” and the second team will deal with the main dish “Hotpot”.

I determine the chefs of each group who have to take over the organization in their own hands. I will show you your work places. I will give tech cards to every student to work with.

– Look at the tech cards! Identify the main and the additional food products. What thermal processes are used in the preparation of the assortments? What utensils you will need? Obtain utensils and these of you who are ready with the preliminary task come and receive your basket with products.

Students are already in full work clothes  and prepares for work.

Each group works as each activity is supervised by the teacher who gives answers to questions and monitor the production process.

  1. Final part:

After the two working groups fulfill their tasks they present their meals.

Do the tasting of everyone.

The teacher points out the positive and the negative sides of the cooked assortments and motivate his opinions.

Students fill an organoleptic table.

The workshop is put into its original form.

Students give their opinion for the Netherlands cuisine and its relations with the art of Vincent van Gogh.

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This project was funded with support from the European Commission. The content reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.