Resources can be difficult to get right. Ones that take hours to create are simply not worth it, unless you are enlisting help from your colleagues to make the time scale more reasonable or you can at least guarantee you will use the resource over and over. Sometimes, we assume a resource will be really versatile and that is not the case. Perhaps the pupils don’t engage with the resource the way you wanted, or you change topics and it becomes irrelevant the following year.
I’ve always found food, drinks etc. to be a great resources for engaging pupils in the classroom. They are a fun and can often be cheap resources that don’t stretch the school budget. Additionally, using real objects such as food can be really useful for explaining mathematical concepts such as fractions and division.
There are many, many ways to use food in a fun way in the classroom, including getting your pupils to prepare and cook dishes! These are just a few different ideas to get you started.
- Use sweets to conduct an experiment to see which stretch and why
- Use a packet of smarties (or other sweets/chocolate with different colours) to predict the most popular colour and record and present the data in different ways
- Use pasta, lentils, rice, pulses etc. to experiment with different textures in art and create different images
- Use the above and a few extra resources to make musical instruments
- Make portraits using fruits and vegetables (grated vegetables can make great hair!)
- Create a shop for pupils to use for role play and to learn about money- this could be a sweet shop, supermarket, bakery etc.
- Have a fractions picnic
- Guessing games linked to healthy eating – Will this food be green/red/orange on the traffic light for sugar/salt/fat? Why do you think that?
- Group real foods in to food groups and/or healthy and unhealthy
- Add food colouring to water in capacity lessons to make it easier to measure accurately
- Conduct experiments with food colouring- Does it change the flavor? Does one colour taste different to another? Get children to predict and give reasons.
- Measuring with food- Are all carrots in this bag the same size? Why/why not? Prove it. Would it be fair to give you this one and your friend this one? Why/why not?
- Use packets of food for multiplication and division e.g. If I have 5 packets of grapes with 6 grapes in each, how many students could eat a grape?
- Healthy living – What will happen if I leave this coin in coca cola? Why?
- Use your imagination in cooking lessons, for example, if you were making pizza for a witch, olives could be frog’s eyes.