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Bloomingdale Science Students Caught Loafing!

Carol Keppel, Fifth-Grade teacher, Walter T. Bergen Middle School, Bloomingdale, New Jersey
March 03, 1999 | FOSS in Schools

The FOSS Food and Nutrition Module was an interesting exploration for our fifth graders at the Walter T. Bergen Middle School. The lessons on the six nutrients and investigations into fats, sugars, and acids helped them increase their knowledge of what they eat and improve their menu choices. I wanted to summarize this learning and give them some real food for thought. After I opened a birthday gift of a beautiful bread machine, a plan quickly began to rise!

Students making bread

In class, we reviewed the bread machine recipes to try to find one that contained all six nutrients outlined in our FOSS lessons. We adapted one of the recipes and investigated nutrition labels on all of the ingredients. We recorded the presence of fat, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water. Our recipe included protein from eggs, carbohydrates from flour, and fat from canola oil. Different vitamins and minerals were found in the flour and eggs as well as in sugar, salt, and yeast. Water was the liquid that the recipe required. An added bonus was another opportunity to investigate the properties and applications of yeast.

We found the metric equivalents to the standard measurements in the recipe, gathered up our tools, and started baking. The bread machine made the process easy in a classroom with no kitchen facilities, but a portable broiler/baker oven would have served us just as well. The lessons took on added texture with interdisciplinary connections to language arts, social studies, and technology. We recorded the events in our journals, learned about bread-making throughout history, investigated the pretzel industry in Pennsylvania, and examined the workings of the bread machine. Internet links made the research intense and exciting.

Students making bread

As you can see, the activity generated a great deal of interest. We found it to be a delicious excuse to just loaf around in science class. If you'd like the recipe for our finished product, you can e-mail us at