In this lesson, students harvest fresh ginger from the garden. Following the harvest, students measure and prepare ingredients to make gingerbread cookies.
Depending on the age group, history and social studies lessons about the origins of ginger as a spice, trading, and recipes can be incorporated. The first gingerbread man cookies are credited to Queen Elizabeth I.
Students will be able to:
- Recall that ginger is a rhizome
- Identify what ginger looks like growing in the garden
- Accurately measure ingredients in a recipe
- Work cooperatively in small groups
- Compare fresh versus dried ginger
Students will be able to:
- Correctly identify ginger in the garden
- Define the word rhizome and give examples
- Successfully work in groups to create a recipe and measure ingredients
- Use the senses and their own descriptive language to compare the differences between fresh and dried ginger
- Gingerbread cookie recipe (see attachment) + all ingredients for each group
- Baking sheets
- Measuring cups, spoons, rolling pins
- Microplane zester for ginger
- A variety of cookie cutters
- Parchment paper and pencils for labeling cookies for each student
- Make sure there is ginger available growing in the garden and harvest and example
- Set up stations for small groups of students (5 students in a group usually works well)
- Make sure each station contains a set of measuring cups, spoons, at least 2 rolling pins, parchment and pencils
- Preheat oven and prepare baking sheets
At the opening circle
- Introduce the recipe and lesson for the day
- Ask students to recall their favorite ginger recipe or creation
- Discuss and give examples of rhizomes (depending on the age group)
- Show an example of fresh harvested ginger and ask students how they can identify it in the garden
In the garden
- Divide students into groups to identify the ginger and let each group harvest at least one plant
In the kitchen
- Bring the ginger into the kitchen, remove the leaves and brush off the dirt
- Cut open the fresh ginger to let students smell it and examine fresh versus the dried ginger- ask them to use descriptive language
- Divide into groups and give each group a copy of the recipe (younger age groups will need a volunteer at each table)
- Prepare the recipe as a group, letting each student take a turn with tasks. The dough will need to chill for at least one hour or overnight.
- When the dough is ready, give each student a small piece of dough, a piece of parchment and a pencil to label their cookies. Each student may work independently to roll out dough and cut shapes.
- Decorate cookies and bake according to recipe.