By: Rebecca Helgerson, School Garden Coordinator at Tubman Elementary School …..
Tubman students have opportunities to incorporate cooking into the classroom throughout the year, but the cold winter weather gives us an excuse to really focus it. Others than a couple of beds growing greens and roots, the garden is put to bed for the winter and all of our gardeners stay inside where it’s warm. We use this time to make garden art, plan for the next season, and learn more about healthy foods. With the help of our new cooking cart and supplies, it has never been easier to bring cooking into the classroom!
During December, Tubman’s kindergarten classes had their first cooking lessons with the cooking cart. Kindergarteners are busy learning addition, and since cooking is a wonderful and easy way to teach math concepts and make them meaningful, that’s just what we did. Using a recipe inspired from a City Blossoms recipe, the kindergarteners made Bird Seed Snacks. The recipe was for only half the number of students in each class, so they had to help double amounts in order to have enough for everyone.
The Bird Seed Snacks also give an opportunity to talk about what seeds are for and why they are good for us. Students learned that many seeds have lots of protein, vitamins, and healthy fats, in addition to being tasty. Each student tasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds. They then voted for their favorite seed and we made a graph to see which were the class favorite. Pumpkin seeds overwhelmingly won in almost every class!
Coming up in January, fifth graders will use cooking to reinforce what they have learned about fractions, and first graders will get their first cooking lessons. While our Gardeners can’t wait to get back outside we are keeping busy and healthy indoors for now!