Tuesday, March 12, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Cooking Magic

So, St. Patrick's Day is almost here. I know this because the kids are going bonkers. They're positive the little Leprechaun is hiding in the clock/intercom on the wall and we can't get anything done because they hear him giggling.

We do all the usual things that I'm sure everybody else is doing; itsy bitsy notes with hints about where to find him, we make traps, tiny footsteps across the tables, messed up class, little treats left behind. He even leaves worksheets for math and reading with teeny writing so they must use the magnifying glasses.

But there is one thing we do that makes them true believers; a magical cooking project that fools them every year. It's very easy but you really have to put on a show!

So, here's what you need: a box of white cake mix and all the ingredients
                                          2 eggs
                                          green food coloring
                                          two identical cups
                                          paper towels
                                          a paper grocery bag

Before the kids arrive, make a nest with the folded paper towels in one of the cups. Take one of the eggs and carefully tap around the upper portion. Remove the top and pour the egg into a bowl. Reserve the shell top and bottom. Put a few drops of green food coloring into the egg and mix well. As carefully as you can, pour the green mixture back into the egg shell and place the cap back on. Put the egg back into the cup and gently tuck a small piece of paper towel around and over the egg. Set aside while you get the cooking area prepared. This egg cup goes in the grocery bag last before the kids arrive. It spills very easily.

Set the cooking area up before the kids come. Place the grocery bag with the ingredients in a safe area where you will be cooking. The kids have to be kept away from this bag. I put the bag on a bench  next to the place where I sit for calendar. The kids know they can't bother that particular spot-we call it "Teacher Land." Put all the ingredients in the bag but be very careful with the egg that has already been mixed; if it spills, your magic will be ruined!!  The bowl, mixing spoons and cups are out in view. As the kids arrive, have them sit on the floor. Make sure they are back a few scoots from the bag.

Now put on your drama hat! Really ham it up! I tell them that I want to do a magic cooking project but it won't work if there is ANYONE who doesn't believe in the Leprechaun. We always invite a young man from a prior kindergarten year whose name is VERY Irish to come assist so that we have good luck. He sits in a place of honor and waves the wand over the egg mixture when needed ( he's in 8th grade now and I don't know what I'm going to do when he heads off to high school).

Ask for some magic words that they will use in the cooking project. Practice saying them with great enthusiasm while you or a helper waves the wand. When you think you couldn't possibly get them any more excited, move on to actually making the recipe.

I begin with the cake mix and pour it in the bowl ( use a clear Pyrex type bowl).Now for the fun! Do the egg next.

Tell them that if all goes well and there is Leprechaun magic in the room, the egg will turn green. Take the empty look-alike cup and make a nest that matches the one you did earlier while the kids watch. Make a big deal about it. Place the egg into the cup and cover it to match the other one with another piece of paper towel. Tell the kids that as you or one of the kids wave the wand over the cup, they need to say one of the magic words that they have practiced. Repeat with four or five different words. Really overdo the enthusiasm.

Uncover the egg and crack in a similar way to the already dyed egg. In a VERY disappointed voice, show them how it didn't turn green. DON'T pour it out or remove it from the cup. Carefully replace the lid and pack it with the paper towel. GENTY place it back in the bag away from the other cup so you don't get them mixed up. Tell them that you can try again in a minute after you add all the other ingredients. Be disappointed but hopeful and move on to the other ingredients.

Once you have finished adding all the other ingredients, very carefully take out the first egg cup that has already been dyed. Of course the kids think this is the egg that you had tried to change earlier. Ha! Tell them that their magic must not have been strong enough and that it is time to try again! Really act worried. Repeat the magic words and wand waving even more enthusiastically than before!. Very slowly remove the top paper towel. Expose the egg and take the lid off. Once they see the egg has turned green the room explodes with excitement. Settle them down (good luck!) and add the magic green mixture to the cake batter. Bake later! Time for recess!!!!!!!

Put the bag of ingredients up immediately! One year I had a very curious student who made a bee-line for that bag! I almost had to tackle that little rascal. He was bound and determined to figure out my trick and came back for years asking me about how I did it. He's probably in college now and the next time I see him maybe I'll confess! I hope you have as much fun with this silly activity as I have! You're going to be remembered for this one!

It's only Tuesday! You can be ready to go by tomorrow!

What do you do that's a little different for St.Patrick's Day? I would love to hear from someone!

BREAKING NEWS! I just uploaded my first two TPT projects! Only took me 6 weeks and cost me $6 for borders, $14 for fonts and almost my marriage. If I sell 10 of my Lucky the Leprechaun on a stick book, I'll break even.

This is a layered book, with the pictures building upon one another to create a landscape scene. Use Lucky the Leprechaun on a tongue depressor to look all around for his pot of gold! It supports the common core for positional words in kindergarten.

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