Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Feel the Need...the Need to Knead! Baking in Science Class for Thanksgiving

A beautiful tradition at my small, independent Montessori school is of breaking bread with the entire school community (toddlers, middle-schoolers, teachers and staff) on the day before Thanksgiving.

This year, in 7th year science class, we made a Hand-Kneaded Whole Wheat Bread, and had some science lessons along with it.  I do this with the 7th years because they already had life science with me last year, and they understand anaerobic cellular respiration, proteins in living cells and cell division already.   I got the recipe from Cooks Illustrated (a science lab of cooking!) and the science to go along with it from various sources.

Here are the loaves prior to baking (student-made!):
Before Baking

Here's the recipe: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B2mVNulXvlPlWDUyYzdKQTE3X3c

Here's the science of browning techniques: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B2mVNulXvlPlZktOUlBBR2VKbUE

Here's a chapter from the NSTA publication Everyday Science Mysteries on Baking Bread. 

Hand-Kneaded Whole Wheat Bread after baking


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Edible Science Model Projects: Part 5--Cell Cakes Project, Year #2

Last year, we did a Cell Cake Project in the grand tradition of edible science model-making!  It was a tremendous success, and it remains the most popular post on my blog by far!
This year's newest member of the project;  The Bacterial Cell

This year is the second year of the project, and I decided to make it meatier (or cakier, or whatever) by adding a research and presentation component to it, as well as adding critical thinking to the project by adding different cell types and asking students to compare and contrast them.

"Remember, the primary goal of this project is to describe the similarities and differences between animal, plant and bacterial cells. "
-Mrs. Kaplan
This year's Plant Cell

The Animal Cell--this cake was saved from a crumbly death by a large batch of delicious homemade fondant icing.

Cell Anatomy Resources: