Proportions, fractions, spreadsheets and waffles
As they've researched recipes made cornbread, pancakes and hot chocolate, the emotional power of food has fueled lessons in math, literacy, teamwork, and sequencing... as well as patience.
What does a project like this look like in sixth grade?
Last week, sixth grade math students collaborated on meal planning.
Groups each had three dishes to plan for their entire grade.
For each recipe, they needed to reduce the instructions to one serving, then multiply them out to serve all forty-three members of their class.
They also planned the shopping, using a local grocery store's website to calculate the cost of their ingredients.
With as many as twenty-five ingredients in a recipe, students got a workout calculating proportions and multiplying fractions.
It also was a lesson in project management, as they shepherded dozens of variables across a series of hand-written spreadsheets.
All the while, they were able to meditate on their chosen final products:
cold sesame noodles
tomato mozzarella pasta salad
mochi ice cream
macaroni and cheese
black-eyed pea salad
tsukune and soba noodles
lemon meringue pie
chicken florentine pasta
and pesto pasta.
Note: the teacher did not originally plan to have students execute and share these meals, but after making students work with these delicacies for a week, she may have to find a way to make that happen. No matter how it happens, more math will surely be involved.