Using Cooking to Develop Academic Language
'Tis the season for creating exciting experiences to hook students into learning basic math, science, and related vocabulary at the same time. A fantastic teacher, Amanda Gonzales, worked with my class as well as hers to make frosting for a cake. Although there were about 55 students in one classroom, there were no behavior problems, nearly every student was attentive, and it was obvious that most students will remember this experience for years to come. The process was simple, but it was very eye-opening for me. Students need these types of hands-on experiences to build on what they already know.
Simple Ideas for Using Cooking in the Classroom.
- Make icing for premade cookies or cakes. Students can make icing with milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Let them measure the ingredients and mix them together. Talk about measurement and practice cooking vocabulary: vanilla, measure, cup, stir, mix, batter, powdered sugar.
- Make butter for toast as an activity to learn about "then and now". Get a couple of small glass jar (baby food or small spaghetti sauce jars work well), heavy whipping cream and salt. Put the whipping cream and some salt in the jar and have students shake it. Shake until there is a "glob" of butter. Drain the liquid and students will have fresh homemade butter! New vocabulary to be learned and practiced: butter churn, homemade, past, and present.
- Make nachos, hot dogs, cookies, or s'mores in a solar oven! See Stacey Burt's post Not Your Momma's Oven: Using Solar Ovens to Teach About Heat Transfers. This activity is geared for older students, but if teacher directed, its a great way to introduce young students to the science of heat transfer and energy.