Saturday, August 27, 2011

Using cookies to teach Social Studies

Well, I made through our first FULL week of school! In our Social Studies standards we have to teach the Land Bridge Theory, which I know can be a hot topic for some. We really discuss what a theory is. With this, we talk about artifacts and how archaeologists use artifacts. We talk about how sometimes we get bits and pieces and we have to try to determine what things could have been used for etc. So, for our activity I gave everyone two chocolate chip cookies. I told them they could eat one and save the other for our activity! I gave them each toothpick and they had to use it to try and get the chocolate chips out in whole pieces.
Some did get a few whole chocolate chips, but most were in parts. We connected that to artifacts and how we don't always get the whole picture (or the whole chocolate chip) of things that happened long ago, but historians and archaeologists use what we have to make a scientific explanation. Now, I'll be honest...when I was told about this activity from another teacher, I wasn't 100% convinced that it would go right along with our lesson, but it did! The kids really connected the chocolate chips to artifacts. It was super cute! You could also talk about qualitative and quantitative observations, which I had completely planned to do and I totally forgot during the lesson! Aaaahhh, I hate when I miss good teaching moments! But, I have to admit, I got tickeld when someone said, "Wow, you cook cookies way better than my mom! She always burns the bottom!" I LOVE finding fun ways to teach things, especially in Social Studies! I have a few more activities that involve cooking that I'll share soon!

2 comments :

  1. Great idea, Lana! I have done this before, but not with the twist you provided. I wanted to comment, too, because my new post is called "Teaching with Cookbooks", though it is a writing activity. - Victoria (love4thgrade.blogspot.com)

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  2. Fun! I do an activity similar to this when teaching the Gold Rush - they go "mining" for chocolate chip cookies :)

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