Illuminations: Ideas with Food

# Ideas with Food

## A Brownie Bake

 Students determine the amount of each ingredient needed to make brownies, and then they figure out how to divide the brownies evenly among their classmates. This lesson helps students reinforce their measurement skills in a practical situation.

### Learning Objectives

 Students will: use problem solving skills, measuring techniques, and food preparation experiences to practice various math concepts prepare, after determining minimum amounts of ingredients required, a commercial brownie mix and serve equal portions to all class members

### Materials

 Commercial brownie mix Additional ingredients to bake brownies Two different sized baking pans for each working group Utensils to make brownies Access to an oven or microwave Glass or clear plastic measuring cups for liquid use Bowl or pitcher containing 2 and 1/2 to 3 cups of water Sign-Up Sheet for Baking Duties (one per group) Half-inch grid paper

### Extensions

 Hold a lunchtime or after-school brownie sale. Students should make their own brownies and price them to make a reasonable profit. Purchase a container of ready-to-use frosting. Determine from the volume of the container the approximate depth of the frosting if the contents were used to ice the top surface of one 9-inch-by-9-inch pan of brownies. Would the same amount of frosting make a thicker or thinner layer on a 13-inch-by-9-inch pan of brownies? Why? By using two containers of frosting, one for a 15-inch-by-9-inch pan of brownies and the other to be divided equally between two 8-inch-by-8-inch pans of brownies, which pans would have the thicker layer of frosting? Why? Bake a batch of brownies, frost them, and compare your approximation with the actual result. Prepare and bake a cake mix and divide it into at least six equal servings. Unlike brownies, a cake will rise more at the center; therefore, the term equal will then relate to volume. Frosting the cake will cause what further difficulty? How should this situation be handled? Why? This activity could also be used to introduce prime and composite numbers, powers, and multiples by using square tiles, cubes, and half‑inch grid paper.

### NCTM Standards and Expectations

 Measurement 3-5Understand such attributes as length, area, weight, volume, and size of angle and select the appropriate type of unit for measuring each attribute. Understand the need for measuring with standard units and become familiar with standard units in the customary and metric systems. Number & Operations 3-5Develop understanding of fractions as parts of unit wholes, as parts of a collection, as locations on number lines, and as divisions of whole numbers.

### References

 Brumfield, Emalou and John Firkins. "Ideas." Arithmetic Teacher 41 (February 1994): 309-316.

2 periods

### NCTM Resources

Principles and Standards for School Mathematics

 More and Better Mathematics for All Students
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