I teach a cooking elective every Tuesday. It's called Farmers' Market Meals and while we don't have time to visit the market every Tuesday, I try to have the students make food based on ingredients that can be found in a California farmers' market. Today, we made salsa and guacamole and I was surprised at how invested the students were in the process of making and tasting the food. They were each chomping at the bit to help chop, dice and mix. They were even willing to clean up! Everyone took turns cutting up the veggies and mixing them together. Once we sat down to taste our dips, they decided that the guacamole needed more salt and lime.... and something else. What else did it need? It was at this point that they each began sharing their own families' recipes. They concluded that it probably needed more tomato and onion.
Now this isn't a traditional class, but here was a class pursued in a somewhat untraditional school activity and they were using an iterative process to determine how they could have made their guacamole even better. If students could literally taste the fruits of their labors, I wonder how much more they might be invested in some of their work?