What It Takes to Bake a Cake

Delivery Method: 

During pretend play children often make careful efforts to approximate the adult social world as nearly as possible. To achieve this goal, children will sometimes incorporate tools they have seen adults use into their pretend play. In this Thinkprint , Anya and Riley, are about to bake a pretend cake for Anya’s pretend birthday. To accomplish their task the girls use the pictures in a children's cookbook, "Pretend Soup," as a guide for choosing the ingredients. Real-world tools such as a cookbook, can introduce exciting new challenges for children to resolve. Not only do Anya and Riley negotiate the shared meanings of their symbols (butter, milk, eggs), the girls invent strategies for coordinating their invented symbols with the recipe in the cookbook.

Watch as Anya shows Riley what supplies she has brought back from the store for their cake. When Anya hands Riley an object (block) they have not yet defined, Riley asks, “What’s this Anya? Is that that (points to picture in cookbook)?” Anya answers, “That is a line of candy.” Riley comments, “We don’t need a line of candy. We need a knife, okay? There’s the knife (holds blocks near picture in cookbook). Here’s the knife.” By noting the resemblance between the shape of the block and the picture of the knife in the cookbook, Riley convincingly supports her suggestion that the block symbolizes a knife, rather than candy. This and other strategies help the two girls negotiate the meaning of their symbols as they move through the recipe step-by-step.

Keywords: Fours, Books, Children-Teacher, Literacy, Sequence, Directions, Thinkprint

Length of Thinkprint: 16 paragraphs, 12 video subclips