Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Cooking/Art
- Salt dough (follow recipe at right) or soft, air-drying clay
- Tempera paint or food coloring
- Clay tools, including rolling pins, cookie cutters, garlic press, and craft sticks
- Photographs of different types of food from magazines or cookbooks
- Sturdy white paper plates
- Paper chef hats (optional)
- Creative thinking
- Fine motor
- Language development
- Social awareness
Invite small groups of children to make this salt dough recipe: 4 cups flour, 2 cups salt, 2 tablespoons cooking oil, 2 cups water, tempera paint or food coloring (optional). Combine the ingredients in a large plastic bowl. Paint or food coloring can be mixed into the water and added to the ingredients to color the dough. You may want to consider keeping one batch of plain dough and making a few batches in different primary colors. Store the dough in plastic containers or resenlnble plastic bags.
Show children pictures of foods from various cultures. Invite them to talk about their favorite foods. Pass out paper chef hats and tell them that they will be "chefs" and pretend to make their favorite foods.
Bring a few children to the art area and provide them with dough and clay tools. Show how the different tools can be used for cutting, creating different textures like spaghetti noodles or rice, or for rolling the dough into a pizza or tortilla. Offer children plates to place their food creations on. (If you are using white dough only, invite children to paint their "food" once the dough dries.)
The following day, provide children with paper plates, markers, or tempera paint and invite them to decorate their plates.
Suggest each child place his food on his special plate. Plan time for children to share their "meals" with the group. Encourage them to notice how their foods are similar and different.
Remember: Talking about and sharing food is an excellent way for children to learn about cultural similarities and differences.
Favorite recipes: Send home a note requesting that families send in the recipe for their child's favorite food. Create a class cookbook using their recipes, and incorporate them into classroom cooking activities. Make photocopies of the cookbook to send home.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: LITERACY
Table Gallery: Invite children to dictate information about the foods they created. Suggest that everyone help to decorate an old white sheet or large sheet of mural paper to make a tablecloth. Place each plate of food, along with children's dictations, on the table. Plan a special celebration to exhibit the creations. You may also want to photograph their work to include in a class book.
Baby Food by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers
First Book of Sushi by Amy Wilson Sanger
Let's Cook by Robert Crowther