Objective and Prior Learning
Before you begin this preschool recipe for “Dirt,” the students should be made aware of safe food practices, including clean hands and
hair pulled back.This dessert can also stand alone or as a back-to-school science lesson. To use it as a science lesson, discuss gardening and the earth with your students. Talk about what they or their parents may have planted over the summer. During this discussion, explain what compost is and how it can benefit the earth or a garden, then move on to the dessert portion of the lesson plan.
You also could simply use it as a fun dessert lesson plan where students learn to use foods in a whole new way that is fun and creative. Ask students if they have ever eaten dirt as they were playing. Tell them that today they get to eat a whole new kind of dirt that is fun to make and tastes really yummy!
Making the Earth Snack
To make this dirt dessert, you will need the items listed below. The dessert is explained in single serving sizes, so you will need to
adjust it to fit the size of your classroom. There is some measuring involved and preschoolers will need assistance with this step. They may not understand the amount of the measurement, but they will understand that a measuring cup is used and that this is a tool for measuring foods. Gather the items below and then move on to the instructions to learn how to make this fun and yummy dessert.
You wIll need:
- 3 chocolate sandwich cookies or other chocolate cookies that will crumble
- 1/2 cup fruit yogurt
- 1/2 cup coconut
- green food coloring
- 3 gummy worms
- clear disposable drinking cup (This makes it easier for students to see their creation.)
- plastic, resealable bag
- a bowl for mixing
- 1 cup water
To begin this project, mix some of the green food coloring with the water. Pour this mixture in with the coconut and mix it up until the coconut has a green tint to it. This will be the “grass” of the compost mix. Drain the water out of the coconut. Please note that some children do not like coconut. As a substitute you can also use white chocolate by mixing it with green food coloring, then grating it so that it forms strands for the “grass”. Once the grass is prepared, follow the instructions below.
- Ask the children to wash their hands and pull their hair back. They may need help in pulling their hair back. Explain how important it is to have clean hands and hair pulled back when working with food, even if it is “dirt”.
- Give each child an empty cup, a plastic bag and their cookies with instructions not to eat the cookies. You can always have mercy on them and give them one cookie to eat before preparing the dessert.
- Ask the children to crumble up the cookies inside the plastic bag. This can be done by placing the cookies in the bag, closing it and them mashing the cookies with their hands.
- Instruct the children to place about 1/2 of the dirt in the bottom of their cups. Explain that this is the “dirt” of the compost.
- Take the fruit yogurt to each child and ask them to spread it on top of the cookies. This represents organic kitchen scraps.
- Help the children to place the coconut or white chocolate on top of the fruit yogurt. This represents grass clippings.
- Place a worm in the “grass”. Explain to the children that worms eat the mixture of the compost and help to make it nutritious (it may not be prudent to explain exactly how unless you are prepared for lots of giggling and bodily waste jokes).
- Top off the dessert by adding the rest of the “dirt” and the other two worms.
Now you can let the children have some with this preschool recipe, to eat dirt!