Create a Recipe to Practice Writing Activity

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Updated on Feb 8, 2013

On Thanksgiving morning, do you often find yourself trying to whip up the turkey, stuffing and potatoes while also “entertaining” your third kids? Make the day more enjoyable and less stressful by putting your third grader on “menu card” duty. She can write the Thanksgiving menu on one side of the card and her own “Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving” on the other side. Your third grader will get experience with informational writing, and your guests will leave with a keepsake to cherish!

What You Need:

  • Paper/pencils
  • 4x6 index cards (one for each guest)
  • Markers

What You Do:

  1. Explain to your third grader that she's in charge of the menu cards that guests will read before dinner. On one side, she will write the dishes that will be served, and on the other side, she will create her own “Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving”. Explain that this recipe will have a fun twist. Instead of listing food ingredients, it will include family members and Thanksgiving memories.
  2. First, on scrap paper, help your child list the names of dinner guests. Next to each name, have her write a quick note that tells something special this person is known for doing on Thanksgiving. For example, Aunt Sue takes pictures, Uncle Bill brings flowers, Grandma bakes a pie, Uncle Jimmy falls asleep in the chair, Dad carves the turkey, cousin Chris tells jokes, etc...
  3. Once your third grader has compiled the list, show her how to write common measurements like cup, tablespoon (TB), teaspoon (tsp.), dash, and fraction amounts like ¾, ½, and ¼. In front of each item on the list, she should write a measurement, turning the list into a recipe. The “best” items should have the largest measurements (for example, “3 cups of Dad carving the turkey, 4 cups of Grandma’s pie”). The “least pleasant” items should have the smallest measurements (for example, “a dash of sister Janey screaming for her bottle, 1 tsp. brother Carl throwing his food”).
  4. On the other side of the scrap paper, help your child spell all the dishes on the Thanksgiving menu. Now that she has her rough draft, give your third grader markers and index cards, and leave her to create one-of-a-kind menu cards.

Note: Be sure to proofread the menu cards to be sure no one leaves with hurt feelings (for example, “a dash of cousin Chris’s dorky jokes!")

Brigid Del Carmen has a Master's Degree in Special Education with endorsements in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders/Emotional Impairments. Over the past eight years, she has taught Language Arts, Reading and Math in her middle school special education classroom.