Mapping Georgia... An Edible Experience

Last week in my 8th grade Georgia Studies class, we learned about the regions of Georgia and various points of interest in the state. On Monday, I began telling the students to bring in toothpicks and gel icing because they would need it to take a they could eat! This really sparked their interest, so they immediately began bringing in the requested items. On Thursday, I gave each student a handout with a map of Georgia. I told them this would be the size of their exam. I also told them the regions and various points of interest I expected them to know for the test on Monday.

In the past when I have used this activity in my classroom, I put the students into groups of four students per group. This year I decided I wanted the students to complete this activity individually. I knew it would be a little more preparation work on my part, but I wanted to experiment and try it out this way.

On Sunday, I spent several hour in the kitchen. I made a wax paper template of the map of Georgia (from the handout I gave the students). I used my grandmother's old cookie recipe (1 box yellow cake mix, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of oil). I mixed the dough and then spooned some onto a large cookie sheet. Then I used a rolling pin to smooth the dough. I used the wax paper template and traced the outline of Georgia in the dough. I removed all excess dough and repeated this process until I had several cookies on the pan. I baked them in the oven for approximately six minutes.

I continued tracing and baking until I had all of the cookies I needed. I also had a lot of help from my four-year old daughter who loves to help bake! Once all of the cookies were baked and cooled, I put a cookie for each student on its own plate. I then stacked the plates and put them in containers for safe-keeping. Then I waited until Monday morning to arrive!

I distributed the "cookie" maps to each student. They were given labels to make location flags with their toothpicks. This was the first time I printed out the labels for them, and it worked so smoothly.

Once their location flags were assembled, they were able to begin dividing their "cookie" maps into regions. The gel icing works best for this because it goes on smooth and isn't too thick.

Below are some pictures of a couple of my students' edible maps. They had fun taking this test! Not only were they showing their knowledge, but they were creating memories that will go with them forever.

I had to work quickly to get around to grading each "cookie" map before they devoured them. On their way out of the classroom, one of my students said, "This is by far the coolest thing we have done!" Score a point or two for me today. We will see what else I can develop to keep their attentions this year!

If you teach about Georgia and are interested in the handouts I used, click HERE to go to my TpT store. It has the handouts for completing this activity as a group or individually.

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