One of the key principles I build my preschool on is to provide kids every opportunity to experience all life has to offer. When I sit down to do these lessons or update projects on the site, it always astounds me exactly how much kids learn from everything they do. Even so many things grown-ups take for granted. I can't tell you how many times the kids have asked me a question and I have to stop, think, and remember that most of the knowledge I have in my head wasn't magically bestowed upon me when I reached a certain age. I had to learn through experience, hard knocks, listening, experimenting, and observing. Today was one of those astounding days.
"Mrs. Leanne. I don't know what the word ingredients means."
It took me a second to think. It never occurred to me that something so everyday to me like ingredients for a recipe would be a foreign concept to these little ones. I said, "Ingredients are the foods you put together to make... other.. food..." I trailed off because I could see that confused scrunch come across his face. In a split second I paused to listen to myself. "Food that makes food..." well no wonder I sound like a lunatic! QUICK! Think of a different explanation, STAT!!
Let's think of it like this. You know how we make projects right? (little nods and "mmhmm"s of understanding)
Well, when we make projects, I give you a bunch of material, tell you the directions, and you put the material together to make our project, right? (more nods, now I can see the shining glimmer of understanding creep into their eyes)
Cooking is the same thing, except with food. (more excitement) Ingredients are our project material. The recipe is the directions that tell us HOW to make our project. And the food at the end is our finished project. So right now, instead of being art creators, we are going to be cookers that make art.... with... food. ("wow!!" "that's so cool!" "we're gonna be cookers!") WHEW! Teacher save! Mental fist bump.
I then demonstrated how to put a pizza together and then relinquished project control to their eager little hands. The results were amazing! And to listen to them was amazing:
"I'm gonna put some sauce on because every pizza has sauce. If you don't have sauce, then the pizza would get cold cause sauce is like a red blanket for pizza."
"I want all the cheese because it feels funny in my fingers."
"I help my mom cook all the time before she tells me to get out of the kitchen."
"I always get big pepperoni on the pizza that the pizza guy brings so I want to only have little pepperonis. Because I'm little. And so are these pepperonis. Cause they didn't eat enough to grow up into big pepperonis."
When they were finished we used teamwork to bring the pizza to the oven and continued with class while they cooked.
I gave them our P is for Pumpkin worksheet and told them to imagine what they think a pumpkin should look like on Halloween. I had them draw and color the pumpkins how they wanted it to look.
When they were finished, I surprised them with real pumpkins to decorate. Except they had to think of ways to color it themselves. They thought about crayons, but tho it colored on the pumpkin it didn't show up very well. So they asked for markers. I also surprised them with glitter paint and they went to town.
Here are our preschool pumpkins:
I'd definitely call it a Caramel Drizzle kind of day!