Welcome to week 40 of Kitchen Classroom, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids is sharing a weekly kid-tested and kid-approved recipe, hands-on experiment, or activity paired with a Learning Moment that brings learning to life in the kitchen.
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In this week’s edition of Kitchen Classroom, kids will head into the Kitchen STEAM Lab to explore what gluten is and how it works in our Taking Dough Down the Home Stretch activity. In addition to their science learning, kids will stretch their language arts skills in this week’s Learning Moment, practicing how to describe their observations with figurative language using similes. For more hands-on science activities for kids ages 8 to 13 to try at home, check out our newest book, The Complete Cookbook for Young Scientists, available now!
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Here’s what’s cooking for the week of October 4th through 10th, 2021.
Kitchen STEAM Lab: Taking Dough Down the Home Stretch
What is gluten, and how does it work? Young chefs can find out in this flour-powered activity. Kids will make one dough with a lot of gluten and one dough with none and then STREEEEEETCH them out. Then, they can build on what they’ve learned and see the science of gluten in action by trying out our recipes for Cinnamon Swirl Bread and Crepes.
[GET THE ACTIVITY]
What You’ll Need
¼ cup (1¼ ounces) all-purpose flour, plus extra for counter
¼ cup (1¼ ounces) white rice flour, plus extra for counter
English Language Arts (Knowledge of Language):
Explain to kids that part of being a good scientist is making observations of what you notice during an experiment. Those observations are the most valuable when we use descriptive language to describe the details of what we see, hear, smell, or taste. As kids make their wheat flour and rice flour doughs, ask them to use describing words to tell you what the doughs are like. What words could kids use to describe how the doughs look and feel? How are they the same or different from each other?
Share with kids that one way to use descriptive language to tell someone what something is like is to use a simile. A simile compares two things using the words “like” or “as.” For example, something might be “as cold as ice,” or it might “shine like a diamond.” Similes help someone get a picture in their mind of what something is like by comparing it to something familiar. For some fun examples of similes and how to use them, kids can watch this video.
Challenge kids to use similes to describe each of their doughs before and after stretching them. What does the wheat flour dough remind them of? What does it feel like or look like? How about the rice flour dough? For example, kids might use a simile to say “The wheat flour dough is as stretchy as a rubber band,” or “The rice flour dough breaks apart like a cotton ball.” How many similes can your young chef think of to describe these doughs?
On Sale October 2021 Say Cheese Box
The November edition of the Young Chefs' Club is all about cheese. Young chefs will find recipes for DIY Ricotta Cheese, homemade Cheddar Fish Crackers (use the cracker cutter included in the box!), and Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese. They'll learn all about the Science of Stretchy Cheese in a fun experiment, and participate in a surprising blind taste test activity. Make a sweet and salty cheese snack plate in this box's Make It Your Way Challenge. Then, play a few rounds of a cheesy card game.