I am currently out of the classroom, as I move around with my husband (in the Navy) and raise my ten-month-old cutie. As I reflect on some of the coolest writing activities of my former pre-k, kinder, and first grade classrooms, many of them had one thing in common...food!
Engaging senses is great start for writing, and learning in general! I once attended a conference where the instructor asked everyone to introduce themselves and give their favorite scent. Everyone in the room instantly smiled. Rather than hear each other list grade levels, school districts, and number of years taught, I heard about favorite flowers and grandmothers who made the best apple pie.
I wish I had time to dive deep into the research behind motivation and project-based learning, but I will have to save that for another post! All I can say is that food is an incredibly engaging, motivating subject. I wanted to give a quick list of some food-related writing activities:
1) This kind of writing will make kids...hungry! Make sure activities like this are done around lunch or snack time, for your own sanity!
2) This one is serious. I once had a student who was born in a stark situation, and remembered the trauma of not having food available when hungry. As a result, she suffered from something I had never heard of before her mother mentioned it to me: food anxiety. While she LOVED writing about food, and her independent journal was filled with stories about cupcakes and candy, I had to be very careful about offering food in the classroom. For instance, if students were told they could earn a snack prize, but only if ___ happened, and ____ didn't happen...this little girl would be completely thrown and go home in tears. If you notice a child is uneasy about the topic of food, make sure to address the concern properly.
With the cautions in mind, I hope this post helps you engage the sense of taste in your writing instruction! I will add more ideas as they come:)
My name is Laken Slate. I was an elementary school teacher for six years, before becoming a mom. I am set to graduate with a master's in Curriculum and Instruction in July 2021! Someday, I would love to be a picture book author. I am represented by the world's greatest literary agent, Joyce Sweeney :)