Hi Guys! Fall is one of my favorite seasons not only because of the cooler weather and changes in scenery but also because it is such a kid-focused season. Ignoring the fact that I sound like a warty toad right now, I must say I take great delight in activities and holidays related to fall (See HERE). They are a perfect way to say “Bon Voyage” to summer and segway into the winter holiday season. To Californians, the months September, October, and November are fall, while for some northerners, even August can be a fall month. It is lovely to have kids settle into their classrooms and start the year with some fall lessons.
When I taught 4th grade in Palo Alto, I started fall with fun lesson plans incorporating Halloween, Native Americans, and anything that had something to do with candy or harvest. The kids loved coming to my class because I made the classroom so welcoming and fun during this time! The rest of the year resembled a scary prison. Just kidding. A teacher’s insider-tip is to connect real-life encounters with the lesson (or the teaching moment) to make it more familiar, approachable, and relatable. Ha Ha… Try it.
I have written down today’s lesson plan to teach several concepts & connected it to Halloween to make the concepts less daunting and more fun. The first concept in the lesson plan is to familiarize children with recipes. The second concept is to familiarize children with common measuring units used in recipes. This lesson is perfect for children 6-8 years old or those in grades 1st – 3rd. Okay.
*Warning: These recipes are not actually meant to be followed if you know what I mean. Just have fun as long as the two concepts are learned.
So let’s go:
- Introduction: Tell your students/kids they will be writing Halloween recipes with a few “common” ingredients from their fridge. You can have fun with this part and introduce the lesson by using Halloween puns like “Chase away your fears in the kitchen” or “Forget about your cooking fears and write a spooky Halloween recipe of your own”. (2 minutes)
- Model A Recipe: I suggest to re-write a recipe (such as this) to serve as a kid-friendly model. The trick is to demonstrate a recipe they can understand so you can focus on what is expected of them, which is overwhelmingly less scary (or rather less obnoxious) for them. For example, you can model a recipe of how to cook a kid or a “headless” goat that resembles a human (no, this is not a reference to Sir Nicholas from Hogwarts School Of Wizardry who looked like a goat) or an annoying kid who loves dairy. During the lesson, highlight the key components of a recipe: The serving size, prep and cooking time, ingredients, measurement units, & instructions. (5 minutes)
- Co-Write A Word/Phrase Bank: Divide poster paper or whiteboard (or your e-document!) into 3 categories: ingredients, measuring units, and common verbs associated with recipes. Brainstorm words like “tablespoons”, “teaspoons”, “eggs” “eyeballs”, “add”, “mix” or “garnish”. Once you feel you have a good amount that children can use, then send them off! (10 minutes)
4. Independent Work: Depending on how young the kids are, they can work in pairs or individually. If they are really young, you can have pre-made sheets that they can fill in (See Above). They should be given around 15-20 minutes to do this.
5. Sharing Time: Once your students/children are done with their independent work, they can share it with each other or with the class. They will either learn something pragmatic or have a belly-flopping laugh. Enjoy! (10 minutes)