Step 1: Gather materials.
- Pancake recipe (written out on chart paper)
- Pancake ingredients (choose a recipe that accommodates the dietary restrictions/food allergies of the children in your classroom)
- Mixing bowl
- Mixing spoon
- Electric skillet
- Book: Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle
Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.
Step 2: Introduce activity.
- During a large group time, read the book Pancakes, Pancakes.
- Discuss with the children that we will be making pancakes today.
- Ask the children what we might need to make pancakes.
- Create an ingredients list with the children’s ideas.
- Review the rules related to the use of an electric skillet: “The skillet is very hot, so do not touch. Only teachers will flip and remove the pancakes.”
- Introduce the recipe that you will be using.
Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.
- Assemble the children in small groups and ask them what will happen when we mix the ingredients together.
- With the children’s help, add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl.
- Invite the children to observe the dry ingredients and describe what they see.
- Ask the children to predict what will happen when the wet ingredients are added.
- Have the children pour the wet ingredients into the bowl.
- Before mixing, again ask the children to observe and describe what they see.
- Ask the children to predict what will happen when we mix the ingredients together.
- After the mixture is mixed smooth, ask the children what will happen when the pancake batter is poured onto the hot skillet.
- Review the rules about the electric skillet again.
- While the pancakes are cooking, ask the children to observe and describe what is happening to the batter.
- Discuss the changes that took place while the pancakes were cooking, then eat and enjoy the pancakes!
Step 4: Vocabulary.
- Mix: To combine materials together
- Combine: To add materials together, resulting in a new, changed material
- Predict: To guess what might happen next
- States of matter: Liquid, solid or gas
Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.
Adapt Lesson for Toddlers
- Be interested in touching the ingredients to explore the textures
- Not fully understand the recipes
- Not follow the rules about using electric skillets
Child care providers may:
- Allow the children to mix the ingredients with their (clean!) hands
- Have all of the ingredients ready to mix, without reviewing the recipe directions
- Involve the children in the mixing steps, but cook the pancakes away from the children
Adapt Lesson for Preschoolers
- Be interested in exploring different proportions of wet and dry ingredients
- Be interested in adding other ingredients to predict what might happen
Child care providers may:
- Guide experiments with different recipes to examine and compare the different batter consistencies
- Add food coloring to explore color mixtures in pancake batter
- Froggy Bakes a Cake by Jonathan London
- Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
- Loaves of Fun by Elizabeth Harbison
Music and Movement
- Play with dirt, sand and water mixtures outdoors
- Make mud
- Leave mixtures out to dry to see what will happen, encouraging the children to make predictions