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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Home Schooling: Grammar in the Kitchen

Like stories, articles and poetry, recipes also have their own rules of grammar. Have your kids look at a few different recipes, ideally from more than one cookbook or online source, to see if they can figure out how a recipe goes together. They could write out their own recipe for something they know how to make.

What did they come up with? Here are some things they might see.

The recipe has a title.
Just like an experiment, a recipe should first list the materials used (ingredients), and then the method.
Did they notice that the ingredients are listed in the order they are used?*
The instructions should be in chronological order.
The recipe should also indicate how many servings it makes.

Word order and punctuation can also be important, especially in the ingredients list. For example, a recipe calling for:

1 cup of pecans, ground

is asking for a different quantity of nuts than one that calls for:

1 cup of ground pecans

Have your kids grind a cup of pecans and measure the result. How does it differ from the cup of ground pecans, and why?

Was there anything in the recipes they looked at that they found confusing? How would they change it to make it easier to understand?

*Not all recipes are written this way, but they’re much easier to follow if they are.

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