One of the best parts of teaching for me is finding ways to make learning relevant to student’s everyday lives and future.
We have been learning all about classroom chemistry this term and the topic itself is one of the most engaging and exciting units we have delved into so far. The students are learning about chemical and physical reactions, solutions, mixtures and the three states of matter through various hands-on experiments. One of the main outcomes for this unit was:
- Produce carbon dioxide gas through the interaction of solids and liquids, and demonstrate that it is different from air.
So, the most relevant way for students to understand this concept was for us to get messy and bake our own bread! And just for additional learning, we also incorporated measurement and math understandings while in our Foods Lab by converting oz to ml, g to cups and differentiating between teaspoons and tablespoons.
My students were so eager to learn about cooking and baking because they see it everyday but have not been able to be a part of it yet and most importantly understand the chemical processes that occur when creating a meal.
Their main focus going into this lesson was observing and creating different chemical and physical reactions, solutions and mixtures while working on everyday life activities such as baking a loaf of bread. We learned and brainstormed together prior to engaging in the Foods Lab and students wrote down their hypothesis and their understandings of the criteria. Each group was provided with the same basic bread recipe and they asked if they could add variations. They worked in groups to determine what variations they wanted to include and how that would affect the reactions they were looking for.
The were absolutely amazed watching the tiny yeast granules activate with the warm water and the sugar. The shock was even more so when their loaves began to rise and through the glass pans they could see the carbon dioxide pockets.
Here two videos of a few of my students sharing their bread with fellow teachers in our school and explaining their learning:
Sharing with Mr. Letendre:
Sharing with Mrs. Krefting:
When we went to cut their loaves, I heard comments like ” It looks exactly like store-bought bread!” and “This is the best bread I’ve ever had!” I told them it sure is…because you made it yourself!
They also all blogged their reflections and observations on our classroom blog: www.psdblogs.ca/dariss
Next up for us is a Bake-Off Challenge this week with three executive chefs where students are going to be provided with $25.00 and will have to make their own food creations that feature 2 chemical and physical changes and 1-2 mixtures and solution.