A simple thing, right? To many it may seem. The majority of my ELLs have never frosted cookies.
I remember when I was little my mom made sugar cookies and taught me how to frost them. It was actually somewhat of a tradition around the holidays because we would make platefuls of cookies for our customers (when my parents owned a sweet party supply store) and friends. There was nothing complicated about it. Just dipping the knife into the frosting, carefully spreading it to avoid any breakage, and then decorating it til my heart’s content.
Coming from the classroom, I still felt inclined to give my students a gift of some sort. My gift to them this year was frosting cookies. I know I often complain about sugary snacks, lousy lunch options, and my own struggle with weight since childhood, so I really shouldn’t have. But I indulged on this holiday tradition. After two nights of baking copious amounts of sugar cookies, each grade level had their chance to frost cookies. Before we could jump right in, I presented a very short tutorial or “How-to” with pictures on the Smartboard. I didn’t overwhelm them with words or directions. We discussed how frosting is both a noun and a verb. We learned the synonym for frosting is icing. We went through each step of the process and restated the directions using first, second, third, etc. We applied listening and speaking skills in a fun way. We frosted cookies with milk chocolate, chocolate fudge, and cream cheese. We decorated with rainbow sprinkles, colored sugar crystals, M & Ms, and even gum drops.
It was not the most innovative idea of the year. But to my students, it was a new way of applying their skills and learning about a holiday tradition that can so often be overlooked as something that everyone does.
So, how many cookies have you frosted this holiday season?