Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cooking Up Reading---recommended website!

If you know very much about my teaching philosophy, you know that I adamently stress the importance of cooking with your kids. Matter of fact, if you asked me to rate activities you could do to help them cognitively by level of importance, cooking would be #2 right behind reading aloud....

Hope that cements it in your mind a bit....and the best part? Cooking is fun and ANYONE can do it! You don't have to have special materials or lots of money or time....Best of all, the easier the recipe, the better!

So here is a website I love sharing with you:
Cooking up Reading
This website has recipes that go with book titles. So basically you can search by title for books you might be reading with your kids and see what recipes they have posted for you to cook together that are based on that book.

THIS BRINGS TOGETHER THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, people!! My husband would call it "The Perfect Storm." Cooking and reading. Can't get much more powerful than that...and not much more fun, either!

So, click on the link that says "recipes" and then find the link on the left that says "books with recipes" and you will come to an alphabetical list of books. When you click on a book, it gives a summary of the book, the recipe, equipment needed and some explanation.

You can also do a search to see if they have recipes for particular subjects or titles you are reading.

I am a big fan of using themes because it helps me stay organized. So our theme this month is babies.

I did a search for "baby" and it came up with the title Avocado Baby. I could then check it out at the library. The cooking activity is to cut up an avocado and eat it together! This is an easy activity, but as we do it we could talk about:
-the features of an avocado using our 5 senses
-where avocados come from (what country they are grown in and why)
-where we buy avocados
-what you do with avocados
-who in our family likes avocados
-the best way to cut an avocado
-kitchen safety
-fractions (as child cuts)
-how much an avocado costs (find store ads and look for avocado prices...actually count out that amount of money)

Then we could cut it and eat it and talk about the taste and texture. Then we could clean up and get some practice with practical life work. Finally, we could paint or draw an avocado or write a story about eating the avocado. Non-writers could dictate with Mom or Dad writing the words, and then child could illustrate.

In this way such a simple cooking activity could really be stretched out to encompass such a holistic approach to learning that involves different learning modes and engages science, math, language arts, culture, etc., etc.

That whole lesson cost less than a dollar for the avocado and your child grew more intellectually than doing a entire math or science workbook.....

And they will for sure remember it much longer!

But then again, that's just my soapbox. :)