Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

Chocolate Covered Christmas Mice!

 

 

 ”….Not a creature was stirring, not even a (chocolate) mouse.”

This week, I’ve taken a line from one of the most recognizable holiday poems of all time, and turned it into a “speechsnack!”  

We are all familiar with this famous holiday poem and now here is a way to use it to address language targets (including grammar, categorization, direction following/sequencing, tier-2 vocabulary development and sentence building) with your older students!
You will need a copy of the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore for this activity.

night b4 xmasYou can find this activity in my TpT Store:

This activity includes:
•One grammar review sheet with definitions/examples of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.
•12 categorization cards for brainstorming lists of nouns, verbs, adjectives and other categories. Help your students create a list of words for each category. Write answers in the spaces provided.
•2-page fill-in the blank ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas worksheets. Insert words into the blanks from your categorization cards. Then, read the silly version of the famous poem aloud .
•Vocabulary building worksheets for 14 tier-2 words taken from the poem. Each word exercise contains the definition, multiple choice questions, and WH questions for applying knowledge of newly learned words.
•Sentence building worksheets that include context clues to help develop sentences.
•One full-color step-by-step photo page of Chocolate Covered Mice food-tivity . Blank boxes are provided to fill in the steps in the sequence. As an option, photo boxes can be cut apart and then reassembled together in the correct sequence.
•One written recipe page
•One comprehension page for recalling the recipe and answering other questions related to the food-tivity
•Answer key for multiple choice questions provided

 

 CHOCOLATE COVERED MICE

***all the pictures below can be printed out and used for sequencing the steps of this activity.  Simply right click and print!

Ingredients:

1 jar maraschino cherries with stems
1 bag Hershey’s kisses
sliced almonds
white decorating icing for eyes

 

Directions:

Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper.
Rinse and drain cherries. Pat dry with paper towels. Check for pits and remove if found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let your kiddos unwrap 2 Hershey Kisses for every mouse  you plan to make. Place 1/2 in bowl, and reserve the other 1/2. This is a great FINE MOTOR activity for little fingers and  hands! 

Microwave for 45 seconds or melt the kisses in a double boiler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holding the cherry by the stem, roll into chocolate, fully coating. This will become the body.  Look out….this could get FUN and MESSY !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let kiddos push a Hershey kiss from the reserve pile onto the front of the cherry to make the head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place on cookie sheet. The melted chocolate should hold the kiss onto the body. Continue until all cherries are coated and have heads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place 2 almond slices onto the mouse between the Hershey kiss and the cherry to make the ears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make eyes with the icing.    Place in fridge until chocolate hardens.  Enjoy your sweet creation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Election Day Apple Pie—{with SpeechSnacks for APPLE ELECTIONS—cast your vote!}

apple electins

It’s Election season AND apple season—-what a perfect combination!  Both are so symbolic of what defines us as Americans—we love our freedom to vote and we love our apple pie!  This week’s post features a rustic all-American apple pie just like the kind our forefathers would have enjoyed four score and seven years ago!   The kiddos will have fun kneeding, pressing and rolling the dough and then filling the pie crust with delicious, sweet, crunchy, tart apples!!  And because it’s a rustic pie, those little imperfections in the shape, size and folded edges make each one uniquely special.   Enjoy your slice of America as you watch the results roll in on Election Day!  

And I’ve created a simple ballot and voting activity to help teach our young American citizens a little about the election process.  Check out my APPLE ELECTIONS printable freebie.  You will need a sampling of several different apples for this activity.   Cut up a variety of apples (see  the printable ballot for the types used for this activity) and place each type in a separate bowl and label with the proper name.  Give students a  sample of each apple to taste.  Using the ballot provided, each student should check off ONE box as they vote for the apple they liked best.  I have also included a blank write-in ballot so that you may “nominate” your own candidates (this is for those of you who are using different types of apples, in addition to or in place of the ones I have provided)   Tally the results and declare a winner. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For this activity, the following comparisons/analogies can be made when discussing the election process and teaching  ELECTION VOCABULARY: 

apples=CANDIDATES

students=VOTERS

“apple elections” ballot=VOTING BALLOT

blank ballot sheet=WRITE-IN’S, NOMINATE

desk=VOTING BOOTH

classroom=POLLING PLACE

discussion about the different apples (taste, size, color)=DEBATE

counting the most votes/least votes for apples=TALLY, MAJORITY, MINORITY

winning apple=PRESIDENT ELECT 

 

 

 

 ELECTION DAY APPLE PIE!

 

Combine 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 stick of COLD butter (8tblsp.), 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1-3 tbsp ice water.

 

Mix together flour, butter, salt and sugar with your hands, a fork or pastry blender. Mix until it starts to form small pea-size pieces. Add in ice water.

 

Lightly knead, handling the dough as little as possible until the dough forms a ball. Add a little more ice water if necessary. Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for one hour.

***GREAT SENSORY ACTIVITY FOR THE KIDDOS!!  ALSO GOOD FOR STRENGTHENING MOTOR SKILLS

 

To make apple filling, peel and slice 3-4 medium sized apples—granny smith are best, but other varieties can be added as well.

LANGUAGE BUILDING IDEAS:

DESCRIBE the apples using words like: round, shiny, green, red, crunchy, sweet, tart, hard.  Model the descriptive word+apple to help build sentences.

Have your child name as many fruits as they can to work on CATEGORIZATION, do the same with the concept of round and have them name as many round objects as they can think of.

Print and cut out the pictures used in this post and have your child put them in the correct order and try to RECALL as many STEP or DETAILS of the recipe as they can.

Have your older children identify the fractions used for measuring the ingredients in this recipe.  Let them use the measuring cup and spoon to practice this math skill.

 

After apples are peeled and sliced, squeeze the juice of a 1/2 lemon on the apples to add some mild tartness.  Don’t throw out those apple peels!! They make a great snack—full of fiber and vitamins.  Be sure to use organic apples only , especially if you are eating the skins—avoid ingesting pesticides by doing so!

 

In addition, you can add roughly chopped walnuts, dried fruit such as cranberries, cherries, raisins, apricots, crystallized ginger.  To your apple mixture also add 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar.  Mix well.

 

Roll out your pie crust until 1/2 inch in thickness. Place crust on a buttered cookie sheet. Add apple filling to the center of the rolled out dough. Carefully fold up the sides of the dough toward the center, leaving a small opening at the center. Lightly brush the top of the pie crust with egg wash (one beaten egg with a tablespoon of added water). Sprinkle granulated sugar over the top.

THE KIDS CAN DO MOST OF THIS!  LET THEM ROLL THE DOUGH, FILL THE CENTER OF THE CRUST, FOLD THE CRUST AND BRUSH THE TOP.  FOCUS ON MODELING ALL THE GREAT ACTION WORDS USED HERE!!! 

 

Bake pie in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

 

Remove pie from oven and place onto a plate to cool. Cut and serve while still warm. Serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Trick or Treat Chocolate-Cherry-Pumpkin Bark–{with “SpeechSnacks” for /ch/}

ch chocolate pix

Autumn is, hands down, my favorite season!  I love the change in temperature, the falling leaves and all the traditions of the season, like hayrides, corn mazes and pumpkin picking.  I must admit, however, that Halloween is not my favorite holiday.  While I love the decorations and costumes–both cute and scary, I am not a fan of the trick or treat candy and snacks.   Although I’ve tried to  buy the less sugary snacks, like popcorn balls, chips and pretzels, the candy bars are always the first to go.  And if there are left overs, they always seem to make their way into the mouths of my family members–and even myself during a weak moment.  I recently discovered a delicious treat that is also a trick.  While it is made with chocolate–DARK chocolate that is, it is also packed full of antioxidants and other good stuff.  Your kiddos might just opt for this yummy treat instead of those high fat milk chocolate bars and gummy candies.   And if you have close friends and neighbors visiting on Halloween, package this candy in a clear, festive Halloween baggie and share it with them too.  Remember to tell your kids not to consume homemade candy or other products from people they do not know, always examine their treat bags before letting them eat any candy, and EVERYTHING IN MODERATION!  Happy Trick or Treating!!

Speech Snacks for the sound /ch/:

According to developmental charts, 90% of children produce this sound between  5-7 years of age.   To make the /ch/  sound, the lips are puckered and the back teeth are closed. The tongue tip is pressed against the gum ridge ( the bumpy part of the palate behind the  teeth).  Once the positioning is correct, the student needs to pull the tongue down and release a little puff of air.  To help get the tongue in the correct position, try placing a dab of peanut butter on the bumpy ridge or rub the ridge with the bristles of a toothbrush .

I show my students how to play “sound math” to help them make this sound.  Here’s how it works: T+SH=CH If you make these sounds, you’ll hear how they add up!  It’s a great way to break down the sound and blend its parts together.

To address this sound at the syllable level, we imitate the sound of a train, slowly and QUICKLY (“choo-choo!!”)  We also imitate the sound of a sneeze (ah-choo!)   We also  practice other syllables (cha, che, chi, cho, choo).  Once the syllable level is mastered, you can move on to /ch/ in words, phrases, sentences and finally conversational speech.  Here are some ways to address these levels:

GRAB YOUR FREE PRINTABLE CHOCOLATEY /CH/ GAME CARDS HERE!!!     Use them to  address the /ch/sound for articulation OR language goals —-(laminate all cards for better durability)

 

(Game was created using template and symbols from Custom Boards by Smarty Ears)

GAME OPTIONS:

*for ARTICULATION: make two copies of the chocolate words and play a matching game for addressing the /ch/ sound 

*for SEQUENCING AND MEMORY: using one copy of the cards , place cards in a pile, face down— players take turns choosing a card.  Each player must remember the word on the previous players cards, plus their own.  Keep the game going as long as players can keep remembering all the cards.

*for CATEGORIZATION: ask players to think of as many chocolate foods as they can.  Give them the cards for the ones they have named=1 point. Give them an extra point if they can think of other chocolate foods that there is no card for. 

 

How to address LANGUAGE SKILLS while making Trick or Treat Chocolate….

  • Ask your child–What makes the chocolate melt? COMPARE the solid chocolate to the melted chocolate.
  • Cut open a pumpkin and COMPARE the slippery, gooey pumpkin seeds to the dry roasted seeds from the store.  Try drying and roasting your own seeds in your oven.
  • Copy and cut out the photos of the recipe below and have your child retell the steps.  Mix up the order of the steps and ask him/her to re-sequence them, using key /ch/words practiced at the word and phrase level above.
  • Play the board game “Hi-Ho Cherry-O!” It has lots of fun opportunities to pick cherries off the tree and practice the /ch/ sound.

 

TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CHERRY PUMPKIN BARK:

For this recipe, use bittersweet chocolate, which is 60% cacao. The higher the percentage of cacao, the more antioxidants present in the chocolate!

 

Melt two 4 oz bars of bittersweet chocolate over very low heat, stir constantly. You can also use a double boiler to melt chocolate and avoid burning.

 

When melted, chocolate should be smooth, glossy and contain no lumps.

 

 

 

The micro-nutrients present in dried cherries include iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin A (as beta-carotene). In fact, cherries have 19 times as much beta-carotene as blueberries and strawberries. Tart cherries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit.  You can also substitute dried cranberries or raisins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkins are a great source of magnesium, protein, vitamin K, zinc, iron, and other important vitamins. One half cup of pumpkin seeds contains 92% of your daily value of magnesium.  You can purchase dry, roasted, shelled  pumpkin seeds in the bulk section of some supermarkets–(I purchased mine at Whole Foods)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add about 1/3-1/2  cup roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds and 1/2 cup dried cherries (or raisins or cranberries) to the melted chocolate. Stir until well blended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Line a 9X9 inch glass dish with wax paper. Pour chocolate mixture into dish. Sprinkle 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds over the top. Set in refrigerator for a least 3 hrs or until chocolate has completely hardened. Remove from pan and break into pieces. If there is any left over, keep it refrigerated to prevent melting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facts about Dark Chocolate:

#1 Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are:

  • Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
  • Lower Cholesterol: Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.

#2 Despite its sweet reputation, dark chocolate has a low glycemic index similar to that of oatmeal — meaning it does not send your blood sugar spiking.

#3 One bar of dark chocolate has around 400 calories. If you eat half a bar of chocolate a day, you must balance those 200 calories by eating less of something else. Cut out other sweets or snacks and replace them with chocolate to keep your total calories the same.

#4 Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate. These other two chocolates cannot make any health claims. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content. You should look for pure dark chocolate or dark chocolate with nuts, orange peel or other flavorings. Avoid anything with caramel, nougat or other fillings. These fillings are just adding sugar and fat which erase many of the benefits you get from eating the chocolate.

#5 It may taste good but some research shows that washing your chocolate down with a glass of milk could prevent the antioxidants being absorbed or used by your body.

 

 Stories to Read with the /ch/ sound:

Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak

Ah-Choo by Mercer Mayer

 

 

Pumpkin Parfait {with SpeechSnacks for Pick-a-Pumpkin Word Game}

pumpkin

 

Fall is a great time to introduce new and nutrient-dense foods and flavors to your kiddos.  With such a great variety of beautiful squashes in season, this is a great opportunity to sneak some important vitamins and minerals into their diets —namely, beta carotene which is found in pumpkin.  In addition, pumpkin is extremely high in fiber and low in calories,  contains disease-fighting nutrients, including potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E.   Although I love using pumpkin in my baked goods, I recently discovered a great way to use pureed pumpkin without cooking it.  (I used canned organic, pure pumpkin—do not use pumpkin pie mix for this recipe.)  This parfait  doubles as a breakfast or dessert for anyone who is itching for a fall-inspired treat!   Check out the amazing combination of healthy ingredients used to create this lovely autumn concoction and I think you will have a hard time deciding whether to eat it first thing in the morning or as a delicious treat to end your day.

I’ve created a Halloween-themed versatile game using templates and symbols from  Custom Boards by Smarty Ears

Print out the  PICK-A-PUMPKIN  game boards and use with a set of dice HERE!!!!

 

Each of the four pumpkin templates consists of a different set of words:  SET 1—Halloween ADJECTIVES, SET 2–Halloween NOUNS, SET 3–Present tense VERBS, SET 4—more Halloween NOUNS. 

GAME OPTIONS:

OPTION 1: Use the templates to address SENTENCES FORMATION.  Write a number in each circle from 1-9–on each template.  Roll the dice.  Pick the word that corresponds with the number on each template.  ie:  Template 1 : DREADFUL, Template 2: GOBLIN,  Template 3:   CACKLE,  Template 4: FOG.  Create a sentence from these words “The dreadful goblin cackled in the fog.”

OPTION 2:  AUDITORY MEMORY/SEQUENCING: Pick one word from each template and ask your students to repeat each word.  i.e. “ghoulish, bat, carve, demon”  You can add more words or use less depending on the ability level of the student.

OPTION 3: CATEGORIZATION:  Use each pumpkin template to BUILD VOCABULARY.  ie:  Name some more NOUNS that are Halloween words.  Name more DESCRIBING WORDS that are associated with Halloween.

OPTION 4: TARGET SPEECH SOUNDS:  Choose template picture symbols that contain speech sounds you may be addressing with students in therapy.

OPTION 5:  IDENTIFY PARTS OF SPEECH:  Randomly give your students  words from the templates and ask them to label the words with the correct part of speech: NOUN, ADJECTIVE, or VERB.

OPTION 6:  ELABORATE ON IDEAS/BUILD DESCRIBING SKILLS:  Use individual templates as “I Spy” game boards.  Ask your students to take turns describing and giving clues about the picture.  The rest of the group must guess which picture is being described. 

DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER WAY TO USE THE PUMPKINS TO ADDRESS SPEECH AND LANGUAGE GOALS???  I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS! 

 

 

Overnight Pumpkin Parfait

Ingredients:

(these measurements yield ONE serving—increase accordingly!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 3 Tbsp pure pumpkin puree
  • ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, & cloves to taste
  • 2 Tbsp honey or brown sugar
  • splash of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large banana, peeled & sliced
  • 4 squares whole wheat graham crackers, (equivalent of 2 sheets)—I used cinnamon graham crackers for a little extra flavor 

Directions:

The night before you intend to eat the parfait, combine the oats, yogurt, milk, pumpkin, spices, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap
and refrigerate overnight.

LET THE KIDDOS POUR AND MIX THE INGREDIENTS—-THEY WILL BE MORE LIKELY TO TRY NEW FOODS IF THEY CAN SEE, TASTE and, TOUCH WHAT YOU ARE MAKING—IT WILL TAKE SOME OF THE MYSTERY OUT OF ATTEMPTING NEW FOODS!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                  

 

 

Also the night before, place the banana slices in a Ziploc bag and freeze overnight.

COMPARE THE FROZEN BANANAS TO THE FRESH BANANAS.  TALK TO YOUNG CHILDREN ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE AND HOW /WHY THE BANANAS BECAME FROZEN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the morning, place the frozen banana slices into a food processor (or
high-speed blender) and process/blend until smooth and creamy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the graham crackers into a plastic bag and crush with a skillet or
other heavy item until they turn into coarse crumbs.

WHAT FUN FOR KIDDOS (AND ADULTS TOO!)  USE A ROLLING PIN TO BREAK UP THE GRAHAM CRACKERS INTO SMALL PIECES

 

 

 

Layer the cold pumpkin spice oats with the banana soft serve and graham cracker crumbs.  Enjoy!

REVIEW ALL THE INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE THIS HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS TREAT—SEE HOW MANY INGREDIENTS THE KIDS CAN RECALL AND WHICH SPICES THEY CAN IDENTIFY AS THEY EAT THEIR PARFAITS !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This recipe idea was based on a post found at Healthy Foods For Living.  It has been modified to suit this blog.

 

Fall Fig Streusel {with Go “FIG”ure game for figurative language}

go figure

Many  Americans have never eaten a fresh fig—(blame fig newtons and dried figs)— those are NOTHING compared to a fresh fig.  A fresh fig tastes like a mix between  a peach and a strawberry.   This September I found a great use for my fresh figs that are growing like crazy on the Celeste fig tree in my backyard.  Figs can be eaten straight from the tree or used in a variety of appetizers, main courses and desserts.  Today I’m sharing a recipe for homemade fig streusel that will leave you wanting for more!      And if you would like to check out a great recipe that uses dried figs, read my post on Fig Bars from last September—and some great ways to incorporate the /f/ sound while cooking with your kids.   I give full credit to my Italian ancestry for my interest in growing fig trees.  I blogged about this a while back  and thought I’d share my cultural story with you here again.

This week’s therapy idea is a continuation of the “Listening theme” from my last post.   I created figurative language bingo cards (inspired by my fig recipe, the game is called Go “FIG”ure) that can be used to teach idioms associated with listening and communication.  I found pictures that represent the idioms in a very  literal and humorous way.

GO “FIG”ure Game Rules:

1–Each player gets  a bingo card (there are three layouts).  Grab them here.

2–Copy the bingo index/hat draw cards  included in the download—make three copies and cut out all cards.  Place cards into a pile or container.

3– Draw a card and cover the spot on your bingo sheet.  You can make this game “four corners”, “t-shape” , “full card”  or traditional— vertical, horizontal, diagonal.

4–When the card is draw, ask the student to read the idiom on the bingo sheet.  Explain the idiom by DEFINING/DESCRIBING IT, USING IT IN A SENTENCE and/or RECALLING A REAL-LIFE application of the expression— Ask your kiddos to try giving their own sentence for the idiom—This is a good way to apply their comprehension of the idiom in a practical way.    See my idioms sentence examples for use with this activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE:  the images used for this bingo game are not the property of LessonPix

 

 

Fig Streusel

***Remember to use the photos included in the recipe portion as a sequencing activity AFTER you have finished making the recipe—-print them out and have your kids practice putting them in the correct order and recalling the details—a great way to work on comprehension and memory skills!!!

Ingredients

3/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/3 cup All-purpose flour
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
 3 tablespoons softened butter
 3 cups quartered fresh figs*YOU CAN FIND FRESH FIGS IN THE PRODUCE SECTION OF SUPERMARKETS AND SPECIALTY MARKETS (such as Whole Foods and Italian markets)
1/2 teaspoon, ground cinnamon
1/4 cup skim milk
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Coat a Pyrex pie plate with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine  oats, flour and brown sugar in a bowl. Add butter and blend them well.

THIS IS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO LET THE KIDDOS MEASURE, POUR AND MIX THE INDREDIENTS –let them use their hands!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take the coated pie plate and press half of the mixture into it.

LET THE KIDS PRESS THE MIXTURE INTO THE PIE PLATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the quartered figs in pie plate and sprinkle with cinnamon

HELP YOUR KIDS COMPARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE WHOLE FIG/OUTER SKIN TO THE INSIDE FLESH OF THE FIG 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine  milk, eggs and vanilla and mix them well. Pour over the figs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top.

LET THE KIDS SPRINKLE THE REST OF THE CRUMB TOPPING OVER THE FIGS BEFORE BAKING

Bake for around 40 minutes until golden brown in color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let cool to room temperature. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh fig on top!

 

 

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