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Linking Children’s Literature with Cooking

Children’s literature is an obvious part of early childhood classrooms. Children learn about and come to understand the world through their experiences with fictional and nonfictional stories. Cooking is another part of early childhood classrooms that I feel should be just as obvious. The skills that children learn when participating in a cooking experience are too many to list: Math, Science, Literacy, Social/Emotional…and on and on.

 

A great way to combine Literacy and Cooking is to tie a snack in with the story in the book. Many children’s books have a food mentioned (or even a food theme) that you can then prepare and eat with the children in your class. Read the story, identify the food/snack, and then prepare and eat it with the kids.

Here are a few examples from my early childhood students this semester:

Book: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Snack/Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Book: Curious George Makes Pancakes

Snack/Recipe: Pancakes

Book: Cook-A-Doodle-Do

Snack/Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake

Book: If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

Snack/Recipe: Cupcakes

Book: Blueberries for Sal

Snack/Recipe: Blueberry Muffins

Book: The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food

Snack/Recipe: Fruit Salad

After choosing the book and the recipe, it’s time to cook with the children! Create an age-appropriate recipe for the children to follow with you. These recipes include pictures AND words, and allow the children to either follow the pictures or the written directions to participate. The recipe can be on sheets of paper in list form, or have each step largely printed on a separate sheet of paper. However you choose to display the recipe make sure that it is clear and visible so that the children can follow it easily. I also suggest laminating it to preserve it from the cooking elements.

Here are a few examples from my early childhood students this semester:

A flip book of the recipe with one step and numerous pictures per page: Individual or groups of children can flip the round card over and read and complete their step in the recipe.

A large print book of the recipe with one step and one key picture per page: Individual or groups of children can flip the page and read and complete their step in the recipe.

A recipe in list form with numerous pictures and words: Individual or groups of children follow each step of the recipe as they read down the page.

Whatever book, snack or recipe form you choose, you will create a fun and enriching learning experience for the children in your classroom (or your home). Try it and enjoy!

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