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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Keeping Students Engaged Around the Camp Fire

When I cook on a campfire with students I often cook cakes or pizza as this is something they probably wont have done before. The problem with this is once the dutch oven is on the fire there really isn't any need for the students to stay involved with the camp fire until it's time to take the oven out of the embers. They might cook marshmallows or do other things to occupy them while it's cooking but they're not involved in the cooking of 'their' cake or pizza.

Today I experimented with a way of keeping all my students involved in a camp cooking task; They had been doing some plant ID looking at Umbelifers and identifying them from stems and seeds, having learned to identify cow parsley and hog weed we collected some hog weed seeds to make biscuits with. Keeping students involved in the preparation of a campfire and mixing of ingredients rarely presents any problems, all of them were fully engaged with lighting the fire, grinding the seeds and mixing the ingredients. Once everything was mixed and ready instead of using a dutch oven as I normally would each students wrapped the blade of a spade with tinfoil and cooked their own biscuit in it. 

This worked really well, everyone was fully engaged with the whole cooking process including checking the biscuits while they cooked and making sure they were done which they would not all have been able to do if we had done the cooking in a dutch oven.   

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