Cultures have many similarities and differences come together to break bread. The kids have been able to learn about places and people not found in their everyday lives through an easily accessible and identifiable part of their daily routine and diet. The idea was first introduced through a neighborhood walk and observation of all of the varied cultures we see in our great borough. A field trip to the Brooklyn Children Museum and their popular World Brooklyn exhibit gave the Crickets a fun and interactive experience. They could visit a Mexican Bakery and an Italian pizzeria where they could see how the two countries used bread in their daily lives. Taking the experience and knowledge from the trip back into the classroom, they knew that the best way to explore the fun and versatility of bread was to make different types of bread from different countries around the world.
Throughout the study, they observed the curious Crickets displaying a true understanding of collaboration. They prepared themselves by making aprons and chef hats, learning about the rules to keep them safe in the kitchen, and jumped into the hands-on experience of baking bread. Dramatic Play area turned into a bakery, fully stocked with real cooking tools and different types of bread made out of clay and paper-mache, created by the children. The Sensory Table has been filled with flour, measuring cups, and a scale, which has given the children further opportunities to problem solve. They’ve been reading books and examining pictures that showed them how bread could look from country to country. The story of The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza and Sun Bread have been two favorite reads in the classroom! The children are so proud of themselves as they take on the roles of the characters in the stories and act out each part.
Parents were invited to come in with recipes that they grew up loving and now made at home as well as having the Crickets voted on the types of bread they liked the most that they wanted to learn to make themselves. The Crickets were excited to discover that though many breads may look and taste different a lot of them have the same basic ingredients, but with small extras that make them unique. They have made sweet Banana Chocolate Chip Bread, herb-y Italian Focaccia, traditional German Pretzels, sweet challah, versatile Mexican Tortillas, and fun Artisan Bread in a Bag (which was prepared in school and baked at home with family members), just to name a few.
As they begin to wrap up the study, they are realizing the best reason to work so hard becoming great bread bakers is so that they can share their baked goods with their friends at The Co-op School. They’ve been making invitations and special decorations and having two classes a week come to their room to sit on their friendship quilt to share and break bread.
Preparing Artisan bread in a bag to bake with Mom and Dad.