Learning is on the rise at Fayetteville Elementary where 3rd graders learning about yeast and heat energy baked up bread.
After reading two chapters in “The Case of the Gasping Garbage” in language arts, they decided to crack the story’s mystery of a gassy garbage can, which turns out to be caused by a mixture of bread baking ingredients. The students had no idea what yeast was.
Students created a miniature duplicate of the garbage can using yeast, flour, and water. They placed it in a warm area to observe what happens over the course of a couple of days when the ingredients are placed near a heat source. The learners were shocked at how smelly and how many gas bubbles the mixture created. This further engaged students as they learned about heat energy in science.
Students were able to see wheat berries in their natural state and grind them into flour to make the bread. So many of the learners had no idea where flour comes from, even though they eat it daily. Due to food allergies, they made the bread free of dairy and eggs, so each 3rd grader was able to take part in creating the bread and eating it.
Being able to learn about, touch, and smell the yeast really brought the concepts of the book to life for them. The students came away from the hands-on activities with not only a greater understanding of the text and heat energy, but also a basic foundation of where our food comes from and the process needed to create an edible product.
“It was such a fun and educational activity,” said teacher Tanya Fairbanks. “Our whole school smelled divine for the four days of this experience, and the scholars loved it!”