Culmination Idea for Learning Geographic Areas
Geographic Areas Are a Piece of Cake!
  1. Have each student use a single box of yellow cake mix and a disposable foil pan to bake a single layer cake at home. (24 boxes make 10 square feet of cake.)
  2. Have the students freeze the cake at their home.
  3. On a large sheet of paper draw out your geographic area and the subdivisions in which you are interested (Western States, Counties of Your State, Parts of a Continent). Make two copies.
  4. Laminate the one large paper of the area. Cut the other paper into the subdivisions and laminate each subdivision. Cut off the extra laminate from the subdivisions so that pattern pieces are formed.
  5. Purchase four colors of food coloring and decide what color each subdivision will be so that it stands out from its neighbor.
  6. On the designated day have the students bring their cakes to school along with a can of inexpensive white frosting.
  7. Have students remove their cakes from the pans and place them on wax paper.
  8. Have students lay a pattern piece over their cake or shoved together cakes and outline the pattern edges with toothpicks.
  9. Remove the pattern and cut the cake/s along the tooth pick lines.
  10. Frost just the top of the cake with the appropriate color.
  11. Use the large laminated paper of the area as a guide for replacing the subdivisions by tacking it onto plywood or heavy cardboard. Then place the cake pieces together on top of the guide to reconstruct the total region.
  12. Use your imagination and be creative as to how you want to outline the subdivisions and decorate for the forests, farmlands, industrial areas, parks, lakes, etc. (For example, we used a chocolate chip for each county seat; stick pretzels for the pine forests; Oreos embedded in the cake for mountains.)
  13. Take pictures. Talk about the geographic area. Share the cake model with three or four other classes. Enjoy eating the cake with them.