Bakery field site visits like this one sparked the children's interest and fueled their investigations in bread making.
Bon Appetit! A preschool class discovered a French bakery near their school, and all the exhilarating smells and shapes led to a number of intriguing questions. How do you make bread? What makes the crust? Do you like cinnamon or chocolate bread the best? These queries led to five months of absorbing, child-directed activities.
Because of their visit, the three- to five-year-olds investigated various aspects of making bread and created an entire bakery in their classroom. Some inventive children constructed an oven, adding a stone and a wheel like the oven they saw at the bakery. Two resourceful groups of four- and five-year-old girls made their own bread. As a final project, four-year-old Eric, who was into superhero characters, created a diorama of a "batman bakery."
The children's explorations into bread included literature, mathematics, science, language, and other areas of study. They read books about bread and acquired new vocabulary words like grain, kernel, knead, and fungus. They learned French phrases like bon appetit and merci beaucoup. The class practiced their skills in writing and speaking. As they investigated breads, the children used measurement techniques and tools, collected data, graphed results, and conducted scientific research. They also experienced different people's heritage and culture. Through bread making, these young people gained knowledge, skills, and confidence in their abilities.