Reading for Life: In the Kitchen
© Beverley Paine, 2004
Even if you cook from instinct and never open a cookbook, you still read as a cook and your children can help you do it. The kitchen is a great place to insert casual, but important, reading skills into your home learning program. It is a basic, everyday task, but planning and cooking dinner is a wonderful example of how people use reading in everyday life.
Start a 'favourite recipe' card file. These could even be recipes your children make up and then try out, or you could dictate the ingredients and how to make their favourite meals. They could cut and paste recipes from magazines.
Ask them to write a shopping list of all ingredients they will need.
Encourage them to ask for recipes for food they like when you are dining out with friends and relatives by doing this yourself.
Have one child read the list of ingredients and ask another to find them as you cook.
Read the whole recipe together, and then as you cook, ask your child to read the steps one at a time.
Point out the different reading tasks required in preparing the food: reading the time and temperature gauges on the oven and stove, reading measuring tools, reading the packaging of ingredients.
Plan entire menus together; find books that have suggested menus and recipes and try them out.
Write shopping lists for dinner parties or camping trips.
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