Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Johanna Hicks presented this award-winning program, which uses children’s books as a tool to teach several educational concepts. “Book Cooks” links reading with child-friendly recipes, which in turn, helps develop literacy, math, science, safety, health and nutrition skills.
Reading to children increases their literary skills by learning the meaning of new words, recognizing rhyming words and anticipating what will happen next in the story line. Math skills are learned when children measure ingredients (cups, teaspoons, tablespoons and even simple fractions — learning that it takes two 1/2-teaspoons to make one teaspoon). Safety (involving oven, stovetop or knife) and health (including hand and surface hygiene before food preparation and eating) are also learned.
Science is involved when children explore what happens when certain foods are exposed to heat, or what happens when separate ingredients are mixed together (such as pudding mix and milk). Of course, nutritional concepts are learned as children recognize which food groups and nutritional benefits are represented in the recipes.
Participants were given the “Book Cooks” booklet which included children’s books and recipes to go along with each book. Hicks included a display of numerous books, pointing out the recipes to coordinate with each book.
She then read “Wild Boars Cook” and “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” to the audience. Following the book reading, each participant was given the opportunity to measure the dry ingredients for Banana Pancakes to take home.
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