Cooking in the classroom
Our goal in the Montessori classroom is to encourage independence through practical life skills as well as academics. Children innately love the process of preparing and cooking, and they definitely take pride in the finished product. In the Lower Elementary classroom we introduce the students to cooking as well as washing up. We demonstrate cooking lessons the same way as any other lesson, giving step by step instructions to the children on how to prepare a wide range of recipes. Instructions always include safe handling of a hot pan, care in using knife, caution near heating surface, cooking food thoroughly, and proper cleanup of pan, cooking utensils, and cooking and preparation surfaces.
The students can carry these skills with them throughout life, whether they find their calling as a chef or simply cook for themselves.
Besides the obvious skill of preparing meals for oneself, cooking also requires the students to apply other lessons they have previously learned. Students need to use the academic skills such as following sequential directions, measuring, telling time, and reading. Nothing makes a math or language lesson come to life like using it to make a tasty dish!
The students cooked scrambled eggs for our visitors during the recent Grandparents Day. The grandparents seemed highly impressed and the students were confident and proud to share their tasty accomplishments.