The Super Lollipops wanted to explore the science of cooking and baking. They have set up a kitchen in dramatic play and enjoy playing using the themes of food exploration, including making their own ice cream shop and restaurant. Bringing this enthusiasm for learning about food into science class just made sense.
Exploration 1 – Let’s Bake
Baking offers a great way to introduce science and math concepts in a fun and engaging way. The children enjoyed working through various developmentally appropriate learning opportunities, including measuring, one-to-one correspondence, fractions, and exploring changing matter (solid, liquid, gas). Not to mention the use of the physical senses such as taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight. Baking is a community experience that allows students to engage cooperatively with one another, sharing jobs, using and learning new language and terminology, creating schedules, and working together to create a treat. Baking, especially when it features seasonal and local ingredients, also offers students insight into new foods and where those foods originate.
For Exploration 1, the Super Lollipops made Pumpkin Oat muffins. But they decided to do it with a scientific twist – what if they made two batches of muffins using the same recipe, but left one ingredient out of one batch? After reading all of the ingredients in the recipe, the children took a vote and decided to leave out the baking powder from one of the batches.
They made a prediction as to what might happen to the muffins without the baking soda:
1) won’t taste good
2) won’t grow, will be flat
3) won’t bake (will stay liquid)
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or skim)
2 tbsp maple syrup 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chocolate chips (we used white chocolate chips)
1 tsp baking powder
1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl.
2 Once combined, add the oats, chocolate chips, and baking powder. Stir until combined. Note: we also added dried cranberries to some of our muffins.
3 Pour into a standard muffin tin lined with muffin liners or sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked through.
The Taste Test – Compare and Contrast
The Super Lollipops did a taste test. Using the concept of compare and contrast to show similarities and/or differences between two or more things, they were asked to describe what they saw and tasted and to decide which batch of muffins they loved, liked, or disliked. They also started to vote on what they wanted to cook/bake next. Sweet things seem to be the favorites, so I will have to start making some suggestions for savory items. 😀