One of the ways we like to integrate this key understanding into our daily classroom life is to create a project-based curriculum for a week. Plan to include families in this event as this helps the community become involved and assists you. Here are our suggestions for this meaningful and fun project:
- First of all, identify a few organizations in your community that need funds. After you narrow the list to three or four, involve children in choosing the group that will receive the money from your class. This makes the project more meaningful - children are "invested" in the outcome!
- Find a recipe that is age-appropriate for students. For our youngest children, we like no-bake goodies like Rice Krispie bars or no-bake cookies.
- Include children in chorally reading the recipe. Make a shopping list with them.
- Some of you may be able to take a field trip to a local food store to purchase the ingredients. If this is not possible, ask a few families to help with this. The children in these families can go along and report back to the class about the experience. These young shoppers can even draw pictures or take photos to share with their peers.
- Include family members and your students in the preparation of the treats. This is why we like to use a no-bake recipe as everything can be made in your classroom.
- You can duplicate the day and time along with the organization that will benefit from your sale. Have children cut out the wording and paste onto decorated posters, which they create. This helps them become aware that written language helps people understand about events.
- On the day of the sale, have children help at the sale table. While they may be too young to make change and count money, they can at least look at coins and identify them. It is amazing how much can be learned about math when children are involved in an authentic situation!
- Once all treats are sold, involve children in delivering the money to the organization which they chose.
In our experience, children feel proud of their work and reports from doing this for 20 years, tell us that this type of experience is a much-loved and remembered time in classroom life.