Activity Plan 3-4: Lotsa Pasta!
A pasta study leads to delicious discoveries!
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Math/Cooking
- Informational book about pasta like From Wheat to Pasta by Robert Egan
- Variety of pastas including farfalle (bowtie), fusilli, gemelli, radiatore, penne, ziti, elbows, and shells. Consider purchasing some multi-colored pasta to enhance the variety.
- World map or globe
- Reclosable plastic bags
- Cooking utensils including measuring cup, bowl, and wooden spoon; dull plastic knives for cutting
- Sentence strip paper and glue
- Chart paper and markers
- Ingredients for the pasta salad: cooked pasta, 2 diced plum tomatoes, diced red bell pepper, diced mozzarella cheese, olive oil or Italian dressing, pinch of salt
- Social studies
- Fine motor
Collect fiction and nonfiction books about pasta and read one to children during group time. Prepare a language experience chart to record what children already know about pasta. Show them a world map or globe and help them locate their hometown. Point out where Italy is located and discuss Italian foods such as pizza and pasta.
Plan a trip to a local store to buy a variety of pastas and the ingredients for pasta salad. Afterward, compare the pastas. Write the names of the pastas on sentence strip paper and glue one piece of the pasta beside the word. Display the pasta namecards where children can see them.
Explain that they will each take a ½ cup of pasta home to cook. Invite children to measure their ½ cup of pasta and pour it into a resealable plastic bag. Write the name of the type of pasta they're taking home on their bag. Include a note asking parents to cook the pasta with their child. Suggest they discuss how the pasta changes texture during the cooking process. (If your program has access to a kitchen, you may opt to cook the pasta as a small group activity.)
Place the remaining uncooked pasta shapes into sorting trays for children to use in the math area. Also try including empty pasta boxes in the dramatic play area to enhance play.
The following day, bring children together to discuss how they cooked their pasta. Next, gather the items needed to prepare the pasta salad, including the pasta children cooked at home. Invite everyone to pour his or her cooked pasta into a large bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Pass the bowl around so everyone has a chance to stir the salad. Chill the salad in a refrigerator for about half an hour. Buon appetito-enjoy your meal!
Pasta Survey: Prepare a survey with children to discover their family members' favorite pasta dishes. Bring children together to compare their answers. Develop a graph or language experience chart to summarize their findings.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: LANGUAGE
Parliamo Italiano: Introduce children to some easy words in Italian. Explain that grazie means thank you; prego means you're welcome; ciao means goodbye; buon giorno is good morning or good day; and bambini are children.
Maya's World: Angelina of Italy by Maya Angelou
On Top of Spaghetti by Paul Brett Johnson
Pino and the Signora's Pasta by Janet Pederson