If you teach older students or students who are working on more grade level academics, you may be thinking that cooking isn’t going to work for your class. Oh how wrong you are my love. You can adapted cooking activities to include high level skills like multiplication, inferencing, problem solving, paragraph structure, and more!

Use the Recipe on the Box

No need to get fancy here. Use the recipe on the box or find a recipe online. The goal is generalization and real world living. In the real world, we look up recipes and follow steps on a box. This is great to target reading comprehension, context clues, and inferencing. Some of the words in the recipe may be unfamiliar to your students so you can go through the problem solving process to determine the meaning. Hint: if you aren’t sure how to teach your student this think about what you do when you don’t know a word in a recipe. (If you’ve ever done Blue Apron – you know what I am talking about….).

Up the Math Factor

When working on complex math skills like multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, place value, etc. – it’s important to always be thinking about functionality. When and where will your student be using these skills? Practicing with paper and pencil isn’t enough. We need to apply these concepts to the real world. It’s time for some live word problems (aka cooking!). Some ideas:

  • working on making half of a recipe or doubling the recipe
  • divide the finished product into equal parts based on number of people eating
  • look at the serving size and measure the serving size for each person
  • determine how many calories in the whole recipe
  • use smaller measuring tools and determine how many cups etc. you will need for each step

Back Away

The key to letting students work on all of these tricky skills and really make some nice progress is you’ve got to back off. Bite your over prompting teacher tongue and let them figure it out. If they make mistakes – it’s okay! That’s how you learn. True story – I boiled away an entire tea kettle of water this weekend because I didn’t put the lid on tightly enough and completely forgot about it. I lived. I figured out what went wrong and made the right change the next time. Have kids work together. Observe. Don’t jump in. If they ask for help talk them through the process of coming to their own solution!

Sasha Long
Sasha Long

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