Elementary Programs Chapter

By Laura Douglas and Stacey Irish-Keffer

Section 3: Dining Car: Stories about Food!

Section 3: Dining Car: Stories about Food!

Welcome to the Reading Express dining car. Sit down at one of our luxurious dining tables and enjoy a diverse menu of stories about food.

Bulletin Board

Clipart - Text on side of Engine says 'Stories about people' on top and 'The Reading Express Dining Car Bon Appetit!' on bottom. Several characters are eating, a bird above train has text that says 'Mmmmm Yummmy!'

Featured Book

Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philemon Sturges.

Books to Display:

Pizza! Teresa Martino.

Pizza Counting by Christina Dobson.

Pizza for the Queen by Nancy Castaldo.

Introduction of Featured Book

Show the children the cover of the book, and ask them what they think the story is about. Ask if they have heard of the Little Red Hen. Ask if they know what happened in the original and what she made. Tell the children that Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) is called a spoof because the author is imitating the style of another author or story to make us laugh. Ask if they can think of any other stories that are spoofs.

Read

Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philemon Sturges.

Discussion

Ask questions about the story, such as the ones below, to start a short discussion of the book.

“What does the little red hen decide to make?”

“What does she buy at the store to make her pizza?”

“What do the other animals say every time she asks for help?”

“Do they want to eat the pizza?”

“What do the animals say when the little red hen asks who will do the dishes?”

“How is the ending in this story different from the original?”

Nonfiction Topic: Pizza

Use the World Book Encyclopedia, nonfiction books, and web sites to find facts about the nonfiction connections.

Ask how many of the children like pizza. Pizza originated in Italy. Show where Italy is on a map or globe. Italians ate flat bread with toppings for many years, but it didn’t start to look like the pizza we know until the late 1800s. In Napoli, pizza baker named Raféale Esposito was asked to make a special pizza for the queen of Italy. Until then pizza usually only had tomatoes and basil on it. Esposito wanted this special pizza to show the colors of Italian flag: red, green, and white. Since tomatoes are red and basil is green, ask the children what might have been added to this special pizza to make it look like the Italian flag.

The Food Museum Online, www.foodmuseum.com/pizza.html, provides an overview of the history of pizzas, how they are made, information on similar foods from other cultures, and other fun pizza-related topics and trivia. A video of how a pizza is made, including master dough tossing footage, is available on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTCCynybQc4.

Ask the children some questions such as the ones below and write the answers on the board.

“What is your favorite type of pizza?”

“What type of crust do you like best?”

“What are your favorite toppings?”

Then, show pictures of different kinds of pizzas with different crusts and toppings. Try Pizza Counting by Christina Dobson for pictures of lots of different pizzas.

Refreshments

Dessert Pizza

Materials
  • Plain pre-packaged sugar cookies
  • White (or other color) frosting
  • Raisins, dried fruit, chocolate chips, sprinkles, and other toppings
  • Plastic knifes
  • Paper plates
  • Napkins
  • Small bowls or plastic containers
Instructions

In advance, make or purchase white or other colors of prepared frosting and a variety of toppings. Before the program divide the “toppings” into small bowls or plastic containers. Set out containers of frosting and toppings. Give each child one paper plate, one plastic knife, and two cookies. Spread the frosting on the cookies. Add the toppings, as desired, and eat.

Songs

“I Am a Pizza” on 10 Carrot Diamond by Charlotte Diamond.

Rhymes and Poetry

The Baker

(By Arnold Adoff. Copyright 1979. Used by permission of the author.)

The Baker Poem

Crafts

Create Your Own Paper Pizza

Materials
  • White cardstock
  • Light brown construction paper
  • Scrap paper in various colors
  • White paper
  • Glue sticks
Instructions

In advance, cut 6” circles from white cardstock that will represent the pizza pan. Also in advance, cut slightly smaller circles out of light brown circles to be the crust. Each child will receive one pan and one crust. Shred the white paper to use for the cheese. At the program, give each child a pizza pan and crust. Provide a mound of cheese and some scrap paper for the children to use to glue toppings to their pizza. Encourage the children to come up with new and interesting combinations of toppings and then name their new kind of pizza.

Play Dough

Materials
  • 6 cups flour
  • 3 cups salt
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup oil
  • Food coloring
  • Mixing bowls
  • Air-tight containers
Instructions

Divide the ingredients evenly between the children, replicating the recipe if needed. Knead all of the ingredients, except the food coloring, together until the mixture is smooth. Add food coloring a few drops at a time until the desired color is achieved. Store the play dough in an airtight container.

Games

Pizza Dough Toss

In advance, make dough using a favorite recipe or one of the recipes found in The Complete Book of Activities, Games, Stories, Props, Recipes, and Dances for Young Children by Pam Schiller and Jackie Silberg. Divide the dough into several balls and play a game of toss. Pair the children up and form two lines facing each other. Each pair of children tosses the dough balls back and forth between them. Each time the dough is tossed and caught, the pair takes a step backwards, increasing the distance for the next toss. If the dough is dropped, the team is out. The team that is able to last the longest is the winner.

Guest Speakers

Invite a pizza chef from a local pizzeria to demonstrate how to toss and make a pizza. Since it would take too long to bake the pizzas at the library, be sure to provide pre-baked pizzas for tasting.

Featured Book

Minnie’s Diner by Dayle Ann Dodds.

Books to Display:

Great Number Rumble by Cora Lee and Gillian O’Reilly.

Multiplication on the Farm by Jennifer Rozines Roy and Gregory Roy.

The Best of Times: Math Strategies that Multiply by Greg Tang.

Introduction of Featured Book

Show the cover of the book, and ask the children what they think the story is about. Read the title and ask if any of the children have been to a diner. Ask what kinds of food might be ordered in a diner. Discuss how multiplication and other math skills might be needed at a diner.

Read

Minnie’s Diner by Dayle Ann Dodds.

Discussion

Ask questions about the story, such as the ones below, to start a short discussion of the book.

“Who was the first brother to go to the diner?”

“What did he order?”

“How big was the next brother compared to the youngest?”

“What did the next brother order? And the next?”

“How many brothers are there total?”

“Who is the last person to come into the diner?”

“What did he order?”

Nonfiction Topics: Multiplication and Math

Use the World Book Encyclopedia, nonfiction books, and web sites to find facts about the nonfiction connections.

Math

Mathematics is the study and science of figures and numbers. The major areas within mathematics originated from our need to calculate costs and other figures in commercial purposes, to measure land, and to predict astronomical events. Depending on the complexity and uses, math includes numbers, geometry, calculus, and more. Math is considered to be one of the foundations of civilization, because from the ancient past to the present, it has been, and continues to be, fundamental to advances in science, engineering, and philosophy. How do we use math every day? Counting, adding, dividing, and measuring are used for all kinds of activities. In addition to the more mundane uses of math, such as counting up the minutes spent reading for the reading program, many people enjoy playing math puzzles, like Magic Squares.

Multiplication

Multiplication is the easiest way to add up large groups of numbers quickly. When adding the same numbers repeatedly, multiplication saves time. Multiplication tables are used to help remember the answers and avoid having to do the same calculations repeatedly. Show a sample multiplication chart and discuss it. Talk about which of the multiplication factors are the easiest to remember. Look for those that are the hardest. Give the children a chance to recite some of the multiplication tables. A Math Dictionary for Kids, http://www.amathsdictionaryforkids.com/, is an interactive web site that provides definitions and illustrated examples of different math terms. For fun you might show some of the videos from Schoolhouse Rock, http://www.schoolhouserock.tv.

Refreshments

Strawberry Shortcake

Materials
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Packaged pound cake rounds
  • Whipped cream
  • Paper plates
  • Napkins
  • Plastic spoons
Instructions

In advance, wash and prepare the strawberries by stemming and cutting into quarters. If packaged rounds are not available, substitute slices of pound cake or sponge cake. Give each child a pound cake round and a spoon. Allow the children to create their own strawberry shortcake by assembling the cake, strawberries, and whipped cream. Remember to be aware of food allergies; some children may be allergic to strawberries or be lactose intolerant. Have alternative foods available like sliced bananas and non-dairy whipped topping.

Crafts

Weaving Placemats

Materials
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Markers or crayons
Instructions

In advance, draw a line on each piece of construction paper one inch from the bottom and one inch from the top. Distribute a sheet of construction paper and other supplies to each child. Fold the sheet of construction paper in half. Make a series of cuts an inch to two inches apart being careful not to cut past the lines. Provide additional sheets of construction paper in a variety of colors. Cut the sheets into strips. Weave the paper strips through the slots to make placemats. Glue the ends of the strips to the edge of the construction paper. Decorate with markers or crayons.

Design Your Own Menu

Materials
  • Construction paper
  • Markers or crayons
  • Old magazines
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
Instructions

Allow the children to look through the old magazines and cut out pictures of foods that they would like to have in their own restaurant. Arrange the food on a piece of construction paper, leaving room underneath for labels and prices. Glue the pictures to the paper. Use a crayon or marker to identify the food item and provide a price for it. Add additional sheets of paper as needed and staple together. Add the name of the restaurant and other decorations to the front of the menu.

Games and Activities

Magic Squares

Demonstrate the “magic” of numbers by doing the activity at Connect: A Magazine for Teacher’s Innovations In K – 8 Science & Math, http://www.synergylearning.org/cf/displayarticle.cfm?selectedarticle=445. A magic square is an arrangement of numbers in a square placed so that the sum of the numbers remains constant across the rows, columns, and diagonals. Magic squares can be found in all cultures and some are considered to be signs of good fortune. For example, the magic square pictured here adds up to 15 in each direction. Encourage the children to try to develop their own magic squares.

Image of a magic square that is three by three boxes. The numbers listed are from one to nine.

Mind Reader

Follow the instructions provided by Exploratorium, http://www.exploratorium.edu/math_explorer/tfl_mindReader_group.html, to perform some math magic.

Web Sites

Cool Math

http://www.coolmath.com/

This site is an amusement park for math and offers a complete menu of fun and learning.

Featured Book

George Crum and the Saratoga Chip by Gaylia Taylor.

Books to Display:

Imaginative Inventions by Charise Mericle Harper.

The Greatest Potatoes by Penelope Stowell.

Leon and the Champion Chip by Allen Kurzweil.

Junk Food by Vicki Cobb.

Introduction of Featured Book

Show the cover of the book, and ask the children what they think the story is about. Hold up a bag of potato chips and ask who likes this food. Talk about how food items are invented and ask if they have ever wondered who invented the potato chip. Read the title and the author and illustrator information. This is the story of the man who is credited with having invented the potato chip in 1853.

Read

George Crum and the Saratoga Chip by Gaylia Taylor.

Discussion

Ask questions about the story, such as the ones below, to start a short discussion of the book.

“Where were potato chips invented?”

“Did George Crum intentionally invent the potato chip?”

“According to the story, why did he invent them?”

“What would you like to invent if you had the opportunity?”

Nonfiction Topics: Potato Chips and George Crum

Use the World Book Encyclopedia, nonfiction books, and web sites to find facts about the nonfiction connections.

Potato Chips

While George Crum is credited with inventing the potato chip, they could not be mass-produced until the mechanical potato peeler was invented. Potato chips became available in grocery stores around 1895 in Cleveland, Ohio. In the 1950s, seasonings were added to potato chips, including salt and vinegar, barbecue seasoning, and onion. People in the United States eat more potato chips than people in any other country. The success of potato chips led to other kinds of chips, including corn chips and chips made from carrots and other root vegetables. Find other facts about potato chips in Imaginative Inventions by Charise Mericle Harper or at the entry for potato chips in the Atlas of Popular Culture by John E. Harmon at www.geography.ccsu.edu/harmonj/atlas/potchips.htm.

George Crum

Read the author’s note in the back of George Crum and the Saratoga Chip. George was born in 1828. Although George is generally credited with inventing the potato chip, the exact circumstances are still in question. Information about George Crum and the Potato Chip can be found at The Great Idea Finder, www.ideafinder.com/history/inventors/crum.htm.

Refreshments

Potato Chip Tasting

Materials
  • A variety of brands of potato chips
  • Bowls
  • Napkins
  • Score sheets
Instructions

In advance, list the brands of potato chips on a numbered sheet of paper and make enough copies for each child to have one. Before the program begins, pour samples of each of the various brands of potato chips (Regular Lays, Baked Lays, Pringles, Kettle Chips, as well as flavored chips) into separate bowls. Place a number in front of each bowl. Give a copy of the score sheet to each child. Allow each child to sample a chip and try to match the brand of chip by sight and taste. Let them vote on which one they like the most.

Crafts

Potato Prints

Materials
  • Baking potatoes
  • Tempera paints
  • Shallow dishes
  • Construction paper
  • Colored pens or markers
  • Paper towels
  • Sharp knife (for adult use only)
Instructions

Just before the program begins, cut each potato in half across the longest side. (Baking potatoes tend to work best because they are sturdier than some other varieties.) Draw a shape on the surface of each potato. Geometric designs work best but also try smiley faces, stars, clovers, and other simple shapes. Carefully cut away the potato that is around the design, being careful not to cut inside the shape. If enough staff and volunteers are available, the children could draw their own designs during the program and then have a parent or other adult do the cutting. Pour paint into the paper bowls. Carefully dip the potato stamp into the paint and press against the paper to make various designs. Embellish the picture with the colored pens and markers or just create patterns for greeting cards or wrapping paper. Provide paper towels for clean up.

Games and Activities

Top Chef for Kids

Materials
  • Packaged ready-to-eat foods (like cookies, crackers, snack cakes, various cereals, etc.)
  • Toppings (like chocolate syrup, whipped topping, sprinkles, tubes of icing, pudding, etc.)
  • Paper plates
  • Bowls
  • Plastic Silverware
  • Napkins
  • Drinks
  • Wet wipes
Instructions

Before the program, set out various food packages, such as macaroni and cheese, puddings and soups that can be prepared with hot or cold water, and ready-to-eat foods such as cookies, chips, crackers. Group like foods together. At the program, tell the children that they are going to become “Top Chefs” by creating their own signature dish using only the ingredients provided. Be sure to provide wet wipes for hygiene. Serve samples of each food along with water or juice to drink. Vote on the best creation. Be sure to consider food allergies and lactose intolerance when serving food.

Web Sites

Chip Tracker

http://www.fritolay.com/lays/chip-tracker.html

Enter your zip code and the first three numbers from the code on the chip bag to find out where the chips you are eating were produced.

Professional Resources

The Great Idea Finder

http://www.ideafinder.com

In addition to information on George Crum and the invention of the potato chip, this site offers history and tips about other inventions, inspiration for developing new ideas, and online quizzes about inventions. Look in the “invention categories” for information about other food inventions, including how Texas history played a role in the development of chewing gum.



Texas Reading Club 2010 Programming Manual / Catch the Reading Express!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011