The Banana Bread Lesson

The simplest task can provide rich and delicious results. Mikey asked if he could bake some banana bread. We always use Dennis’ mom’s recipe because it is fail-proof and always turns out great. So we pulled out the textbook recipe.

His first challenge was to utilize his newly acquired skill of reading cursive. Sometimes kids’ exposure to cursive is neatly scripted workbook script. Reading what someone really wrote adds a new dimension to the task. He did well.

banana1Then the real decoding began. In the course of making banana bread, Mikey and I covered lots of abbreviations, identifying, reading and doubling fractions, and the symbol for ‘degrees’. We played with the measuring cups to make sure the 2 – 1/2 cups really fill a cup and so do 3 – 1/3 cups – they do! We talked about lots of ‘time’ concepts and had lots of math to do since we were doubling the recipe. We isolated some cursive letters for better identification. We talked about baking powder’s exciting effect when heat is added. A science-home economics-math-language arts-hand writing mash-up.

banana2 He rocked his home-ec class – using oven mitts and all. Little lessons are everywhere to be had – now go have them – with a side of warm banana bread.

Nana Geri’s Banana Bread

1Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 1 hr.

1/2 c. cooking oil1 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 ripe bananas mashed
3 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. flour

Beat the oil and sugar. Add eggs, banana pulp, milk and vanilla. Mix in sifted dry ingredients and beat well. Pour into greased and floured pans.


“’s easier to understand and remember something if we can relate it to something else we already know….This seems to be how our brains work at retaining knowledge for the longer term, and it would certainly seem to suggest that the most effective way to teach would be to emphasize the flow of a subject, the chain of associations that relates one concept to the next and across subjects. Unfortunately, however, the standard approach to classroom teaching does just the opposite. The is most obviously seen in the artificial separation of traditional academic subjects.” ~The One World Schoolhouse, Salman Khan

1 thought on “The Banana Bread Lesson

  1. Theresa Novak

    Looks great!!

    Missed you today!! When I saw the title I thought you were going to say that you slipped on a banana peel and hurt your back and that was why you couldn’t make it to co-op!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.