Flavors melding, texture developing, mixing, heating, cooling, freezing ... there’s truly an art to homemade ice cream. But for students in Williams/Ledger Elementary School’s resource reading and language arts classroom, they were just trying to make sure they got all of the ingredients in the bowl and did everything in the right order.
The young students were trying their hand at making homemade cookies and cream ice cream for the first time. Teachers Dominique Bush and Stephanie Williams reinforced the concept of procedural text through this hands-on activity to help students understand that a recipe is a step-by-step process for preparing something.
The activity also evaluated the students’ math skills as they had to use their knowledge of measurements to help them determine how much of an ingredient to use, Williams said.
“Students had to identify the ingredients required to make the ice cream as well as understand that the recipe required steps that needed to be followed in sequential order. Furthermore, the steps in the directions help the scholars recognize the ingredients necessary to make the recipe. By reading the steps, the scholars had an opportunity to confirm that they had all of the essential ingredients to make the ice cream,” Williams said. “Additionally, the class discussed the importance of following the instructions in the correct order. If the scholars skipped a step or even an ingredient, it was likely that the ice cream would not taste as it should.”
Fifth-grader Haylee Moser found it to be a delectable experiment.
“It was fun, and I learned something from it,” she said. “When we ate it, our hard work paid off.”
Bush and Williams aim to provide meaningful and engaging lessons that capture and keep the attention of their students.
“Making ice cream was one way in which the we were able to excite our students about learning,” Williams said. “Many of the students had never made homemade ice cream and did not think that it would be possible, especially in a school setting. Yet, they were successful, had fun making the ice cream and reaped the fruits of their labor.”
After the ice cream sat in the freezer overnight, students arrived at school the next day, eagerly waiting to taste the ice cream they made and were pleasantly surprised at how tasty it was.
Fifth-grader Austin Hall found it hard to believe the ice cream turned out so well.
“It tasted good, looked good, and it was fun to make,” he said.