This would become the theme of outdoor play day after day. It would even influence the children in the other PreK class. I knew it have to become a topic of study. The only way to make it meaningful would be to make our own ice cream in the end.
There was a need in pre-k 108 and donorschoose.org is always my first solution to fulfill my classroom needs. I posted an ice cream project requesting books, tools, and ice cream makers called I Scream, You Scream, Pre-K Screams for Ice Cream! Promoting and spreading the word of our project and the promise of ice cream paid off as our project would get funded fairly quickly. We were on our way to making our children's interest into a learning experience.
Every day we added to the circle map, our response would be written in different color. This would begin to show all the things we learned about ice cream after each read aloud and discussion about ice cream. After the whole group discussion, students were invited to the writing center to add pictures to our responses.
We looked at different non-fiction books to learn how ice cream is made. We saw the steps factories took to mass produce ice cream. After reading and learning about the ice cream making process, we discussed how we would make our own, examined the machines, and brainstormed the different things we would need.
When we got back to school, we began the process. We took a quick vote about which flavor we would make. Chocolate would triumph. Into the mixing bowl went the cream, cocoa powder, and sugar. Each student took part in the process, whether it was putting in the ingredients, or whisking everything together, or adding ice into the ice cream maker. Once everything was ready, the machine was turned on and the ice cream maker went to work, churning the ice cream mix and making it cold.
As some students watched the machine churn and churn, others would help make a backup vanilla batch because there’s always a plan B. The second method of making ice cream was a more playful approach. The mix and ice would go into a ball and instead of churning via motor, we would roll it around manually to create ice cream!
The kids had a choice of which flavors they wanted and whether or not they wanted toppings. They would sit down to enjoy their own tasty cold creations. Some…,probably all, came back for seconds.
This isn't the end of ice cream making in pre-k 108. We hope to make more in the future and further look into possible topics that emerged from our study. Perhaps a family ice cream party is in store?