Reading and Cooking Family Literacy Night

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So I will apologize with the writing on this picture above. I forgot to take a picture right away and by the time I got around to it my 3 year old at the time had already taken it upon herself to write all over it.

I happen to be on the Parent Advisory Board for my daughter’s pre-school so at one of our monthly meetings a parent night was brought up. In the past they just had the parents come in and the director/teacher presented information to the parents. I chimed in that at the school I teach at we have the students come with the parents and actually have them do the activities with them. Last year at my school we combined literacy and math night and did a cooking theme for our kindergarten grade level. We first read a book (Literacy) and then did a recipe (math) that related to the book.  I mentioned the idea to her teacher/director/board and they loved it. I worked with her teacher for the next month through emails and she gave me the recipes that she wanted to use for the family night.

Since I am such a ‘nerd’ when it comes to this type of stuff I told her I would create a hand-out for the parents. I thought what a better idea for a parent handout than their own personal Reading and Cooking recipe and learning activity book. So on the left side of the book I put the recipe that they used/made/ate with their child at the family night so that they could re-create it at home with them again. On the right side of the book I put the title/author of the story the book related to that we used at the family night. As an added bonus I also thought of an activity that they could do at home based on literacy/math in relation to the story that was read.

Here are the pages of the book we did at the family night:

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Book: Pete’s A Pizza by William Steig. Students made personal pizzas to go along with the story. The activity to go along with this book was to have students roll out dough (play-doh) and make their name with their own pizza dough.

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Book: The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola. We did not actually end up using this one but I didn’t know that before hand so it was included anyway! The activity to go along with this book was to print out popcorn kernals on paper (hello clip art!). Have your child (or parent) write one letter of their name on each kernal. Then they need to string the popcorn together to create a name necklace.

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20140711-220304.jpgBook: If you Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff. The kids made donuts with their parent’s help. The activity to go along with this book that we used was to cut a circle out of brown or white paper to be a donut and then to cut out a long rectangle to be the line for the lowercase d. They would then have their kid put the pieces together to make a d and then decorate it to look like a donut.

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20140711-220349.jpgBook: The Puddle by David McPhail. Cooking activity= Puddle Cake. Activity to go with story: Puddle memory game. Cut out pieces of blue paper to look like puddles. Put letters on them in pairs so that they can play a matching game.

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20140711-220434.jpg This was what I put on the back cover.

This is how it looked at her school during family night: The teacher had pre-arranged groups with a board member to be the reader of the story. I had The Puddle Book with the Puddle Cake (let’s just say I didn’t think it was going to turn out because I am not a baker!). But I was up for the challenge. Each group read a book and created the recipe. While everything was cooking parents and kids read stories together. When everything was done cooking we had a big group meal (which is possible when you have a small private preschool with a full working kitchen right there).

This is how this all worked at my public elementary school when we did this type of family night: Each teacher was responsible for one “stations.” The kids rotated around to the different stations and were able to do each one. We had less time and parents were juggling between going from one grade level to another. I did counting and graphing fruit loops. Another teacher did following a recipe to make trail mix.  One teacher read a book about cookies and made cookies in her toaster oven. Honestly there were two more stations but it was at the beginning of last school year so I can’t remember what the other ones were.

Overall anything that has to do with food is successful!

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