CTE Task: Place Settings and Napkin Folding

Click here to download the teacher resource for this task. 


Culinary Arts III


1 hour


Place Settings and Napkin Folding

Task Description


In this activity, students will

  1. watch a video and study a handout on the four commonly used place settings—formal, informal, basic, and buffet;
  2. complete the place setting labeling activity;
  3. study various napkin folding techniques;
  4. select one technique and create a short video to demonstrate this technique.

Culinary Arts III, Standard 4: Demonstrate the ability to properly preset a dining area according to one of the commonly used place settings (e.g., American, a la carte, and banquet). Evaluate the different styles to fold napkins and select one style to demonstrate in a peer teaching environment.

 Content Understandings

Extending Understandings

Upon successful completion of these tasks, students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • identify and execute the four commonly used place settings—formal, informal, basic, and buffet;
  • explain when and why to use a specific place setting;
  • master and demonstrate various napkin folding techniques.

To move students towards deeper understanding, they should be given opportunities to:

  • design and draw a complete preset dining area.

Support Strategies

If students are struggling to access this task, additional supports and strategies could be employed as students are engaging with the task.

Key Terms

Sentence Frames

Scaffolded Questions

Formal setting




Informal setting




Buffet setting





Basic setting












Service plate

You’re invited to a fancy wedding; during dinner, you notice that they used a ________ _______ appropriate for the occasion.


The _________ __________, which includes few utensils and glasses than a forma setting, is the most commonly used setting.


Since guests serve themselves, a ________ _______ typically doesn’t include a plate or charger on the table and also sometimes doesn’t include silverware.


A good setting for a brunch, the ______ ______ is similar to the informal setting, except no dessert utensils are included and there are fewer glasses.


The _____________ is the area that contains an individual’s tableware.


The _________ is kept on the table throughout the meal until the dinner course is served; salad, soup, and fish courses typically sit on top of the charger.


Placed on top of the charger, the ________ _________ is also known as the entrée plate.

Why is having a strong understanding of the various setting styles important in the hospitality and culinary industries?




Teacher Instructional Materials

Place Setting Labeling Activity


Restaurant Table Settings (Ferguson, M. (n.d.). Restaurant Table Settings. Webstaurant Store Blog. https://www.webstaurantstore.com/blog/2852/restaurant-table-settings.html)


Teacher and Student Instructional Videos

How to Set a Table – Basic, Casual, and Formal Settings (soulfoodqueen.net. (2020, March 2). How to Set a Table Basic, Casual, and Formal Table Settings [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUFesH16j3c)


Easy Napkin Folding Tutorials for Beginners (ClaCali. (2016, Nov. 18). Easy Napkin Folding Techniques for Beginners [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG3K0pk59FA)


Additional Teacher and Student Instructional Resources

Table Setting Rules: A Simple Guide for Every Occasion (FTD Fresh. (2016, Aug. 5). Table Setting Rules: A Simple Guide for Every Occasion. FTD by Design Blog. https://www.ftd.com/blog/share/table-setting-rules)


Napkin Folding Guide (Napkin Folding Guide. (n.d.). Napkin Folding. https://www.napkinfoldingguide.com/)


Flipgrid tutorial (New EdTech Classroom. (2020, March 16). How to Teach Remotely with Flipgrid [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLzX13jw7bw)

Place Settings and Napkin Folding

Activity Steps:

  1. Students will first watch the video—How to Set a Table – Basic, Casual, and Formal Settings (2:41)—and read the instructional article—Restaurant Table Settings—to familiarize themselves with various place settings.
  2. Once they have watched the video and reviewed the article, they will be given two different blank place setting charts. Students need to identify the type of place setting and then correctly label each chart.
  3. Next, students will move on to a video on basic napkin folding techniques (5:27).
  4. After watching the video, students will select one technique to replicate. Using Flipgrid (or a similar platform), they will demonstrate the technique, ensuring they clearly narrate each step of the process. 

Student Resource

Click here to download the student resource for this task. 

Place Setting Labeling Activity

Instructions: Identify each place setting and then label each item.

Place Setting Image 1


Type of place setting: _______________________________________

  1. ______________________________                                                            16. ______________________________
  2. ______________________________                                                            17. ______________________________
  3. ______________________________                                                            18. ______________________________
  4. ______________________________                                                            19. ______________________________
  5. ______________________________                                                            20. ______________________________
  6. ______________________________                                                            21. ______________________________
  7. ______________________________                                                            22. ______________________________
  8. ______________________________                                                            23. ______________________________
  9. ______________________________
  10. ______________________________
  11. ______________________________
  12. ______________________________
  13. ______________________________
  14. ______________________________
  15. ______________________________


CTE Place Setting 2



Type of place setting: _________________________________

  1. ___________________________
  2. ___________________________
  3. ___________________________
  4. ___________________________
  5. ___________________________
  6. ___________________________
  7. ___________________________
  8. ___________________________