Bread Baking Experience at Middle School

  • Middle School Students Bake Bread for Fun and Food Pantries

    with King Arthur Flour Educational Program

    Nearly 300 Sayville Middle School students gathered in the auditorium and paid close attention to the bread-dough demonstration given by Mrs. Amy Driscoll, regional instructor for King Arthur Flour’s Life Skills Bread Baking Program. The students were focused for several good reasons.

    • First, because it was truly fascinating,
    • Second, because King Arthur flour would be giving each student who wanted to participate the recipe and ingredients for baking two loaves of bread at home, and
    • Third, because, if the students succeeded, they would be able to enjoy one tasty loaf with their families and bring another back to donate to either the Sayville Food Pantry or the Light House Mission.

    During the bread-dough lessons, Mrs. Driscoll engaged the students by sharing tips and techniques in a hands-on presentation. With the help of Seventh-grade student volunteers, Kristin and Conor, she explained how water, flour, and yeast combined to make bread dough. The students viewed every move, thanks to a video camera that was linked to the overhead projector and which filmed it for display onto a large, on-stage screen.

    Even more amazing, the life-skill demonstration satisfied the Middle School’s curriculum on so many levels. Mrs. Driscoll taught the students about the biology of sanitary habits, the science of rising yeast, the math of fractions for measuring, the language of recipes, the problem-solving of assembling ingredients, and the art of patience. When completed, the project would also have students contributing towards community service.

    “Through this fun, real-world application of skills they have already been learning in school—math, science, reading, following directions, problem solving, and more,” the King Arthur Flour’s Life Skills Bread Baking Program website states, “ the students can now use their new bread baking talents to help people in their community.”

    The students were not the only ones who enjoyed the demonstration. The bread-baking assembly was interdisciplinary in nature, crossing all curricula. Responding positively, both in attendance and reaction, were many Middle School sixth-grade teachers, Spanish and French teachers, Physical Education teachers, and Art teachers, along with their students.

    In addition to the educational aspects, the success of the King Arthur Assembly was a collaborative effort by Middle School faculty and staff. Family and Consumer Science Teachers Andrea Cacciatore and Cheryl Scantlebury cleared the calendar for the Life Skills Bread Baking Program; Buildings and Grounds unloaded the pallet of over 1,600 pounds of flour when it arrived before the assembly; Food and Nutrition personnel Cheryl Heckle and the ladies in the kitchen baked 16 loaves of bread to distribute as samples to the students; teachers Phil Anzalone and Gerard Sampson, along with their students, assembled over 300 bags of ingredients for distribution to the students and faculty. In preparation for the presentation, the Instructional Technology staff set up the overhead projector and remained present to assist with any technology issues during the assembly.

    Mrs. Scantlebury received positive feedback about the presentation from students, like Ryan Muscarella who loved eating the freshly baked loaves and Leah Tama who went home and took complete charge of her baking project with confidence, thanks to her Home and Career Skills classes from last semester. Faculty members Leslie Davis extolled the entire concept of King Arthur Flour’s Life Skills Bread Baking Program, for their generous donation of flour, the high-quality of the instructor, and the remarkable opportunity for the students; Anna Martin reported that the PTA parents were similarly delighted by the program and their children’s excitement for such an important life skill.

    In the end, the participating students rose to the occasion and produced more than 220 scrumptious loaves to distribute to local charities.