A Recipe for Writing: Fairy Tale Feasts
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In this lesson, students use the book Fairy Tale Feasts to examine recipes written based on their favorite fairy tales. Students then decide on a story, book, or fairy tale for which they would like to find their own recipe. A student-created recipe book showcases the students' findings and the class' favorite stories.
- Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers & Eaters by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple: This children's book contains short fairy tales and accompanying recipes for students to read and learn about the recipes.
- Recipe Card (printed on cardstock or heavy paper): Students use this recipe card to create a classroom book of favorite recipes related to their favorite story, book, or fairy tale.
From Theory to Practice
"[Students] bring to school powerful life experiences that can be easily tied to state or district guidelines. By using what they bring, I can empower these older emergent readers and writers to succeed in school" (10).
In this lesson, students are able to showcase their life experiences with food and recipes. By bringing their background knowledge of family and other recipes to the table, they are able to make the connection between different foods and their favorite stories, books, or fairy tales, thus linking everyday life experiences to literacy within the school walls.
Common Core Standards
This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.
This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.
NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts
- 1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
- 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
- 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
- 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
- 8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
- 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
- 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
Materials and Technology
- Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers & Eaters by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple
- Computers with Internet access (for each student)
This site includes some some fun, easy recipes for kids to read and try.
Included on this site are plenty of recipes for kids to try - from pizza to pancakes!
Cooking with kids is fun and easy. These easy childrens recipes will get kids in kitchen cooking and having fun!
- Locate Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers & Eaters in your classroom library, your local library, or a bookseller. Familiarize yourself with the content and the images within the book. Choose a few fairy tales and recipes to share with the class.
- Preview the following websites: San Diego Zoo.org Kid Territory: Recipes, Recipes for Kids, and Cooking with Kids. Bookmark these websites on your classroom or lab computers.
- Photocopy the Recipe Card (printed on cardstock or heavy paper) and the Sample Recipe for students.
- Gather the book binding supplies for the class recipe book (based on the binding method you choose from the Three Ways to Bind a Handmade Book printout).
- think critically and creatively about recipes that relate to certain stories, books, or fairy tales.
- use online websites to research, and ultimately choose, recipes that are related to the story, book, or fairy tale of their chooing.
- rationalize, in writing, why the recipe they chose is related to the story that they picked.
- Choose a few stories/recipes from Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters to read aloud to the class (click here to view an excerpt and story/recipe from the book). If the fairy tales you choose are common (such as "Cinderella," "Snow White," or "Jack and the Beanstalk"), you may wish to just briefly recap the story and then share the recipe. Additionally, you may wish to make an overhead transparency of the recipes you are sharing with the class to project for the students to see.
- Before you start and as you read the story, ask the students to keep a list of all of the food-related references in the story.
- When you are done reading, ask the students if they can come up with a reason for why a certain recipe was chosen to go along with a certain fairy tale ("Cinderella"=Pumpkin Tartlets, "Snow White"=Snow White’s Baked Apples, etc.). Allow students to share their rationales with the class. Ask students to share additional recipe/food ideas that could have been used in place of the ones that were chosen ("Cinderella" could have used pumpkin pie, "Snow White" could have used apple cobbler, "Jack and the Beanstalk" could have used green bean casserole, etc.).
- Explain to students that they will be examining different kids' recipe sites to find recipes related to their favorite story, book, or fairy tale. Allow students to think for a few moments about what story they have read and would like to use. Students should brainstorm ideas about recipes they’d like to find before the next session.
- Remind the students that they will be finding their own recipe based on their favorite story, book, or fairy tale. Before allowing students to begin searching online for their recipe, make the Fairy Tale Feasts book available for viewing, and allow students to take a look at some of the recipes on the San Diego Zoo.org Kid Territory: Recipes, Recipes for Kids, and Cooking with Kids websites or in children’s cookbooks. You may also wish to share the sample recipe with the students.
- Allow students to get online to begin their search for their own recipes (the suggested websites should be bookmarked, along with any others that you deem appropriate). Remind students that the recipe they choose must be related to the story that they chose ("Cinderella"=Pumpkin Tartlets, "Snow White"=Snow White’s Baked Apples, etc.), and they will be expected to explain this relationship after they find the recipe.
- Students can use the remainder of the session to find their recipe and print out a copy to be transferred to a recipe card (or typed using a word processor) in the next session.
- When students have found their recipe and are ready to publish their piece in the classroom recipe book, you may choose one of the following options:
- Give each student a copy of the Recipe Card (printed on cardstock or heavy paper) and have them write their final recipe and cut it out (if you choose). Students should include their rationale for the recipe on the back of the card (why they chose it and how it is related to their story/book/fairy tale).
- If students have computer access, they may use a word processing program to type and print their final recipe. Students should include their rationale for the recipe on this document (why they chose it and how it is related to their story/book/fairy tale).
- Before students begin writing their recipes on the card or via the word processor, model for students how you would like their work to be done for inclusion in the book. If they will be using the Recipe Card, share with students the Sample Recipe and perhaps create one example as a class. If students will be using a word processing program to rewrite their recipes, discuss the proper title, format, etc. and model the process if students are unfamiliar with the word processing program.
- Once students have completed their final published recipe, create a class book of recipes using one of the three options for book binding in the Three Ways to Bind a Handmade Book printout.
- Have students share their recipes with the rest of the class by reading them aloud.
- Help the students gather the ingredients and tools, and allow the each student to create their recipe. See if any of the steps were left out. Talk about whether the food in the recipe lives up to its title while students enjoy sampling their work.
- Create multiple copies of the classroom recipe book and sell it as a fundraiser or give them as gifts for holidays, etc.
- Host a family potluck in your classroom where each student and their family can bring their chosen recipe to share with the rest of the students and families. This would be a great opportunity to showcase other projects that your class has been working on in an open house-style affair, complete with goodies!
Student Assessment / Reflections
- Students should be assessed on the completion of the tasks outlined in this lesson. You may choose to assess students on the following questions from the teacher's perspective, or you may wish to have students self-assess by answering each question on their own (or completing a checklist with the following questions included):
- Did I (the student) follow all instructions in regards to finding a recipe online that relates to my (his/her) story?
- Did I (the student) contribute to the classroom recipe book through the use of a recipe card or word processing program?
- Did I (the student) clearly rationalize why I (he/she) chose the recipe I (he/she) did and how it relates to the story, book, or fairy tale that I (he/she) chose?