Cooking with the children is something we do every week. It helps build their math and vocabulary skills. They also learn about new foods and their colors, textures, and tastes. On this day the children were trying out calzones as a new and different recipe. The recipe began with the teachers assistance in spreading the dough on the pan.
The first ingredient applied to the top of the dough was the sauce. The children observed that it was red. When the teacher explained it was called sauce they immediately began to repeat the word. Each child had their own way of applying the sauce. Some of them held the spatula different, some smeared it and others pat it on.
The next ingredient applied was the cheese. The children had not gotten used to the word calzone yet. They kept repeating the word pizza. That is exactly what it started to look like too. One child even said “pizza yum!” We incorporate as much as we can while the children are working. We focused a lot on colors during this project. They were encouraged to figure out what the color of this particular cheese was, and once they did they added the name of the color into each ingredient! They call it now the “white cheese.”
After the cheese and sauce the next ingredient was broccoli. When asked what color it was one of the children replied red. The teacher corrected her and said it was green. Another child described it as a tree. The teacher agreed it did look like a small tree. Some of the children applied the broccoli one by one. Others grabbed hand fulls and threw them on.
When finished applying the broccoli the children began to a put the corn. Most of the children knew what this veggie was. Some repeated “corn” when they began applying it. Then when asked what color it was a child immediately replied “yellow!” Another child decided to sneak a taste of it. She quickly grabbed on and put it in her mouth. She then said “hmmm, tasty!” While applying the corn, one child grabbed a handful and placed his hand high above the pan then slowly sprinkled it on top of the other ingredients. He watched it fall as if it was glitter or something intriguing.
Lastly the children added the turkey meat to the very top of the finished meal. One child even decided he wanted to taste the turkey! In the end the children were still thrilled at the fact that they thought they were making a pizza. So the teacher didn’t want to discourage their enthusiasm in trying these veggies so she decided to allow it to be a pizza by leaving it flat. The children couldnt wait for their pizza to be finished so they could eat it.