Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)

How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)

You probably already know I love to cook with children.  Yes, it can be messy.  Yes, it's a challenge to manage everyone when your hands are in batter, or eggs, or... well, nothing at all.  Still, it's a fantastic experience for the kiddos, and can cover a LOT of academics while seeming to be only a prelude to eating.  Cooking is fun!

Cooking, by it's very nature, involves reading (the recipe),
measuring (ingredients),
counting (eggs, spoons of spice),
personal hygiene (hand washing, averting your sneezes),
environmentalism (recycle those empty cans, compost the peelings) 
and self help skills (clean up your messes).
Don't forget cool things like learning to use the can opener,
or watching how a bread machine works.

To take that learning just a little further, we often wrote class experience stories, such as our annual "How To Make a Pumpkin Pie" book.  As we enjoyed our cooking experiences, I would take pictures, and when all was said and done, we'd sit down together as a class and brainstorm all the things we had done.  Everyone would tell me the things they remembered, and I'd write them on a chart, then we'd put them in order from first to last.  I would type up the sequence of events the children had generated, and print photos of each activity along with the words.  Slipping everything into page protectors and then a bradded folder made for a quick and sturdy book.   I always put those books in our classroom library, because it's fun to go back and revisit the experience, and it's fun to look at pictures of you and your friends doing fun things - so the kiddos were motivated to read these class books over and over again.

Another perk to making our class experience books was looking back on previous years, seeing our big brothers and sisters doing the same activities when they were little, or seeing friends who had graduated to "big kid school".

In case you've never made a pumpkin pie before, here's how it's done:

Wash your hands.
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
 Crack two eggs into a bowl.
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
Add 3/4 cup sugar, 
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills) 
1 teaspoon cinnamon, 
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon cloves.
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
Stir it all up!
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
Add a can of evaporated milk,
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)

How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)

How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
...and stir up some more.
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
Add one can of pumpkin, or the equivalent of home made cooked pumpkin if you are an overachiever.
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
While one friend is stirring, other friends hold the bowl steady. We all get turns stirring!
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
When it is really well mixed, pour it into 2 uncooked pie crusts.  The canned pumpkin recipe says to use one deepdish pie crust, but we've always found there to be too much mix to fit.  While the filling is delicious baked in a pyrex bowl without any crust, I liked to use 2 pie shells, so each child had a pie of their own.
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
Bake at 425* for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350* for 40-50 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack, then serve or refrigerate.
How to make a pumpkin pie (and teach math, language arts and life skills)
Each year at Thanksgiving, each child made their own pumpkin pie to take home to their family Thanksgiving feast.  Can you imagine the pride these children felt when their families served food they had made?

Yes, it can be messy.  Yes, it's a challenge to manage everyone when your hands are in batter, or eggs, or... well, nothing at all.

Wishing you a Thanksgiving full of pie, children and laughter!


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