My students have been practically begging me to let them bake cookies. They have been relentless! Since they were so excited, I gave in! Because I haven’t taught this in many years, I had to update my cookie unit. I decided it was the perfect time to share my Cookie Baking unit with you because it fits so well sandwiched between the holiday breaks!
There’s a big push in education to incorporate more technology into the classroom! Because of this, Kara Emig of Oxford, PA wanted to develop a project that would be interesting to her students. She also wanted them to be able to add their own element of creativity. The fun and engaging food preparation video project she designed has students creating their own recipe videos just like the ones you see all over social media! Kara’s students created their videos during the cookie unit, but the beauty of this project is that it is versatile enough to use with any food unit!
Students always want to bake cakes! Maybe it’s because the cakes they get at home are typically prepackaged or out of a mix! Don’t get me wrong…those are great once in awhile and have saved me on more than one occasion, when time was at a premium! However, when talking to students, I get the impression that most only get scratch baked cakes in rare instances or on very special celebratory days! I guess I was lucky growing up because my family baked cakes often, as desserts were a delicious way to end the evening meal! Because of this, I was fortunate to be exposed to a variety of different cakes. The funny thing is that while growing up, I thought there were tons of different types of cakes, but in reality there are only a couple! This lesson focuses on a cake overview of history, types, solving cake problems and includes some labs, focusing on the two basic types of cakes!
I have had some requests to share ideas for teaching about quick breads…so, here you go! One thing about teaching quick breads is that there are a plethora of ideas for labs so you can mix it up from one year to the next and secondly, the labs are pretty inexpensive to make so they won’t break your budget! Another thing I like about teaching quick breads is that it’s easy to include math and science concepts into your lessons and labs. Take a look below to see some things I’ve used over the years as well as some links to previous lessons and activities on the website about the topic.
Some of the most cherished gifts our family has received over the years have been made by the hands of the people we love. In fact we look forward to those gifts every year as they’ve kind of become a tradition. Sometimes those gifts made with love were born out of necessity due to limited resources available to go out and purchase store bought gifts, but many times they were made and given out of love for the recipient(s) of the gift. For example, many years ago, very close friends of ours began making us a delicious candy-like treat that can only be described as “Christmas Crack” because once you start eating it, you can’t stop! We love the candy and our friends and look forward to that gift every year! After all, how can you look at, use or consume that wonderful gift without thinking fond thoughts of the talented person/people who took the time to make it for YOU! Why not teach your students how they can use their talents, time and resources to make gifts of love to give to those in their lives that they cherish most during this Christmas and Holiday season?
It’s fall, apples are in season and they are relatively inexpensive! Varieties of apples are sold everywhere from roadside stands to grocery stores so why not incorporate them into your foods class? That’s exactly what Jessica Uplinger of Field High School, Ohio did. Jessica created this lesson and lab because she has very large classes and needed a thematic unit where she could divide up her class and have half of them in the kitchen preparing a lab while the other half is engaged with an assignment. The end results? Her students ended up enjoying every aspect of this lesson, especially the labs! Why not give it a try in your foods class?
Sometimes there are seemingly obvious tips and tricks that we know about baking and pastry equipment that might be really helpful for others. I know when I was developing a brand new baking and pastry arts class, I knew nothing about commercial baking and every tip and “obvious fact” was hard to come by. So here is a list I’d like you all to contribute to so we can make it easier for new teachers.
There are lots of cake decorating classes students can take at the local craft store so I thought I was off the hook when it came to cake decorating, but my students begged me so I gave in. I didn’t want it to be so complex and more of an overview so I planned a week (3 blocks) of instruction with practice then I had them work on their own cake for another 3 blocks and present the final results. In fact there was so much excitement from this unit, students actually came to class early. Ha!