Third & Fourth Grade Activity

“Exploring Pancakes”
James Earl Jones: “We are who we are for much more interesting reasons than our color.
Third Grade & Fourth Grade Baking Activity Objectives:
  • Explore the pancake connection between culture.
  • Explore personal food tastes through pancakes
  • Tell about your favorite flavors
  • Prepare pancakes for another’s tastes & to sample
  • Build acceptance of different tastes and new options
  • Use food to help members explore and express their personal tastes and respect individual differences
  • Explore cultural pancake connections in the U.S.
  • Build acceptance of cultures, tastes, new food options
  • Build cooking skills to help with family meals/snacks
Tips for Great Pancakes:

1. Do not overmix the batter. Mix just until the dry mix is mixed with the liquids.2. Spray or grease the skillet/griddle. Then preheat it to 350 degrees F.

3. Sprinkle fruit or nuts onto each pancake just before flipping.

4. Turn the pancake only once, when bubbles appear on the surface and edges are dry.

Ingredients and Equipment Needed:

INGREDIENTS:

You’ll need to gather ingredients to make pancakes from a purchased mix or ingredients to make the Favorite Pancakes recipe.

  • Pancake Mix (choose from whole wheat, buttermilk or multi-grain varieties)
    Ingredients required by mix such as: oil, eggs, milk
  • Favorite Pancakes Ingredients:
    1 ½ cups all-purpose flour*
    ½ cup cornmeal**
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 egg, beaten
    2 cups low-fat milk
    3 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
    *may substitute up to half whole wheat flour
    **Option for multigrain pancakes: Instead of ½ cup cornmeal use ¼ cup cornmeal and ¼ cup whole wheat flour or any combination of cornmeal, oatmeal, soy flour or other flours to equal ½ cup..
  • Pan spray or oil to grease griddle or skillet
  • Optional Sprinkles:
    Chopped nuts (peanuts, walnuts, pecans or pinenuts)
    Chips (chocolate, butterscotch, cinnamon or peanut butter)
    Chopped fruit pieces (dried, fresh, canned or frozen drained fruit)
    Other Ideas: sunflower seeds, shredded coconut
  • Optional Toppings:
    Butter, cherry fruit pie filling, syrup, honey, applesauce or molasses

EQUIPMENT:

  • Electric skillet or griddle
  • Pancake turner
  • Dry and liquid measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Bowl for mixing batter
  • Wire whisk
  • Mixing spoons
  • Ladle
  • Paper pad, pens to write pancake orders

Before you begin:

  1. Wash hands and dry thoroughly. Clean area for cooking.
  2. Read the mix directions or the recipe for Favorite Pancakes.
BAKE FOR FAMILY FUN EXPLORATION:
  1. Why are pancakes made and served in almost every country?
    (Quick to prepare, use almost no fuel--wood, coal, electricity, or oil to cook; uses staple grains; only a few ingredients needed.)
  2. Why are they so popular in America?
    (When people from many different countries settled here, pancakes were quick, simple and inexpensive to prepare. In America, pancakes helped natives, settlers and escaping slaves survive. The “journey cake” or Johnnycake and flapjack are just two “campfire” cakes that became staples—eaten almost every day. Cornmeal was a major ingredient—especially in the Eastern, Southern and Southwestern U.S. Settlers might have died without the corn native peoples shared with them.
  3. Can you name pancakes from some other countries?
    (blini (Russian), crepe (French), aebelskiver (Danish), latke (Jewish), palacsinta (Austrian-Hungarian)
  4. Do you eat pancakes? Name your favorite pancake. What is your family’s “custom” for eating pancakes?
    (When do we have pancakes, who cooks …)
  5. Let each family member choose sprinkles and toppings. Write each family member’s name and choices on a slip of paper.
  6. Make the pancake “to order” from the slip of paper and serve it to that person.
  7. Flip out! Why not do as they do in sister cities in England and Kansas? Have a pancake race! First one to the finish while flippin’ their cake (and not dropping it), wins the prize.
  8. Stack up! Great creations begin with pancakes, fruit, yogurt, whipped cream or other gorgeous tastes.
    See how to make pancakes at www.kidsacookin.ksu.edu
  9. Say it with food…”Sells Like Hotcakes” Hotcakes are the same as pancakes, flapjacks, or griddle cakes. They’ve been fund raisers for a long time—since the 1600s hotcakes were sold at fairs and community events. By the nineteenth century, a popular purchase was said to be selling like hotcakes.

VOCABULARY:
Journey cake: cornmeal cakes carried with, or made by travelers for quick meals. Also called “jo’rny” or “jonny” cakes.


BOOKS FOR READING TOGETHER!
Snuggle up and read a few books with your kids.

  • Pancakes, Pancakes. Eric Carle
  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake. Laura Numeroff
  • Pancakes for Breakfast. Tomie dePaola
  • Uncle Phil’s Diner. Helena Clare Pittman
  • Marven of the Great North Woods. Kathryn Lasky
Favorite Pancakes

Makes 16, (2 oz.) pancakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour*
½ cup cornmeal**
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2 cups low-fat milk
3 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
Pan spray or oil to grease griddle or skillet
Optional Sprinkles
Optional Toppings

*may substitute up to half whole wheat flour
**Option for multigrain pancakes: Instead of ½ cup cornmeal use ¼ cup cornmeal and ¼ cup whole wheat flour or any combination of cornmeal, oatmeal, soy flour or other flours to equal ½ cup..


1. In mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt with wire whisk.
2. In a separate bowl, blend together egg, milk and butter with wire whisk.
3. Spray or oil the griddle and preheat it to 375 degrees F.
4. Add liquid all at once to flour mixture, stirring with spoon only until the ingredients are blended.
5. For each pancake, ladle or pour about ¼ cup batter onto preheated skillet or griddle. Bake until small bubbles begin to pop and edges are dry. Sprinkle on chopped nuts, chips or fruit pieces before flipping pancakes.
6. Turn pancakes over and bake on griddle until brown.

Option: Multigrain pancakes: Substitute for ½ cup cornmeal- combine soy flour, oatmeal, cornmeal or other grain flours.
Source: Home Baking Association,

Fruit Butter Topping:
½ cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons favorite preserves
Mix well. Makes 2/3 cup
Source: Land O’Lakes

For breakfast there were pancakes, and Ma made a pancake man for each one of the children. Ma called each one in turn to bring her plate, and each could stand by the stove and watch, while with the spoonful of batter Ma put on the arms and the legs and the head. It was exiting to watch her turn the whole little man over, quickly and carefully on a hot griddle. When it was done, she put it smoking hot on the plate.

Little House in the Big Woods. Laura Ingalls Wilder

Created by: Sharon P. Davis, Family & Consumer Sciences Education, Home Baking Association