What Learning Takes Place in the Kitchen?

One of the most popular and consistently used centers in Peace & Unity is the kitchen.

Where is the Kitchen Center?

It sits in the back corner of one of the classrooms with a table and chairs in the middle. The kitchen also includes 2 ovens, a shelf set-up like a pantry, and 2 shelves that function as cabinets. The space is large, and is set-up in a square, with many items such as food, pots/pans, dishes and utensils.  Here the children cook food and create stories with their peers.  Since the beginning of the school year, every child in the Peace & Unity has used this center, and we have seen relationships formed, as well as all 5 Elements of the PYP demonstrated. We are excited by all the learning we have seen, and would to share.

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What PYP learning is taking place?

In the PYP their are 5 Essential Elements. They are concepts, skills, knowledge, attitudes, and action, and in the Kitchen Center we see all of these elements demonstrated.

Concepts:

  • Perspective- In the kitchen children are able to explore the different view points their peers may have through the pretend stories they act out.
  • Responsibility- Many children act out family stories where they explore the different responsibilities family members have.
  • Reflection- Children reflect on their own home lives and apply their reflection to the stories they act out.

Skills:

  • Social Skills- We see children practice resolving conflict, group decision making, and adopting various roles within the kitchen daily.
  • Communication Skills- While in the kitchen, children practice listening, speaking, viewing, presenting, and non-verbal communication skills.

Knowledge:

  • Language- Children use their words to describe and communicate different pretend stories with peers.
  • Personal, Social and Physical Education (PSPE)- In the kitchen children develop and form relationships. They also learn how to solve peer conflict.
  • Who We Are– While we have officially finished this Unit of Inquiry, it is always running in the background in the Peace & Unity classroom, as relationships are at the heart of this age group. The Kitchen Center allows children to continue to explore the ideas presented in our first Unit of Inquiry.

Attitudes:

  • Cooperation- In order to play with peers at this center, children test, expand, and use their ability to cooperate.
  • Creativity- While playing in the kitchen, students get the creative juices flowing by coming up with many different pretend sequences.
  • Empathy- Through acting out the pretend sequences, students develop empathy.
  • Independence- In the Kitchen Center, student create the stories, interact with peers, and clean-up at the end of Integrated Program with little help from teachers.
  • Respect- While creating stories with peers, student develop respect by allowing their friends to contribute to decisions and stories based on their respective backgrounds.
  • Tolerance- Students practice, test, and develop tolerance while playing with peers in the Kitchen Center by being understanding of background and the wants and needs of their friends.

Action:

  • Students choose, act, and reflect on different pretends stories and their action in the Kitchen Center daily.
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What learning will happen next?

In the future, we plan on further expending children’s learning by adding different props, such as a shopping cart or basket, bringing in real food, having a picture or shopping list and bringing in a real microwave and use it to pop popcorn.  For our upcoming Unit of Inquiry: How the World Works, we plan on bringing in different kitchen tools.  What are your ideas to extend the learning happening in the kitchen?

Upcoming:

  • Wednesday November 23rd- Peace & Unity Field Trip to the New Campus

 

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About the author

Ms. Kelsey
Ms. Kelsey

Ms. Kelsey has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Michigan State University, in the United States. She is currently working on her master's in Early Childhood from the Erikson Institute in the United States. Ms. Kelsey enjoys teaching pre-literacy skills to her young students. Prior to moving to Thailand, Ms. Kelsey taught in Beijing, China and the United States. In her spare time, Ms. Kelsey enjoys traveling, going to the gym, and reading. She is very excited to be teaching Third Grade this year.

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