Science and Engineering in the kitchen is a fun and exciting way for students to learn about science concepts or ideas. The students are able to have hands on experiences learning about foods and how they change in some way when they are combined and mixed together. I have started incorporating food as a part of my procedural unit of writing. Procedural writing through food allows the students to write the steps to explain how they have created their treats, along with creating something they can enjoy and eat. The students become more engaged in these activities and their writing has improved. Together with the students, I make more complicated recipes, such as chocolate chip cookies, so they understand the importance of properly following steps, so they can make a delicious treat to enjoy. As cooks it is important to follow the sequence of a recipe to ensure that the foods are being cooked properly and are edible.
The following unit is designed for students from kindergarten to second grade. The focus will be on the physical changes that occur when a variety of ingredients are mixed. The students will learn to describe the changes using the solid and liquid phases of food. They will compare the changes of several liquid ingredients mixed with two solid ingredients. The students will also use a mystery experiment to help them understand the concept of freezing, melting and evaporation. To tie everything together, we will explore the role of temperature and how food changes from a solid to a liquid and from a liquid to a solid. The final tie in will be to observe how a seed changes as it grows into a vegetable.
The students will keep a journal to describe the transformations that occur between the ingredients they mix together. The students will use their five senses to describe what is happening. In their journal they will sequence the various experiments and activities they work on. The students will focus their description on what they observe happening as the ingredients combine and change in some way.