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Kindergartners get in the kitchen with Gheesling's Greatest Hits

Kindergartners in the kitchen might sound like a frightening prospect, but for Jennie Gheesling, recipes and rug rats were the perfect mixture.


Students in Jennie Gheesling's class pose with copies of their cookbooks.

The Thomson Elementary School teacher came up with the idea to create a cookbook solely from recipes written and illustrated by the children in her kindergarten class. It turned out to be a project that was received well by everyone.

"We were studying food and nutrition, and as part of their homework -- it was a parent project -- we asked them to come up with their family's favorite recipe and to let the child write it and illustrate it," Mrs. Gheesling said.

The book, entitled Gheesling's Greatest Hits, was compiled and bound by Mrs. Gheesling and two paraprofessionals that assist in her class. Each student will receive a copy, and one will be placed in the school's media center.

The recipes in the cookbook include such childhood delicacies as peanut butter sandwiches, ramen noodles and strawberry smoothies. Parents and children were encouraged to pick out a recipe together, and most of the kids had similar reasons for choosing their recipe to include in the book.

"That's my favorite kind of food at McDonald's," said cookbook contributor Charlie Colberg of his recipe.

During the day that the recipes were due, several students chose to bring samples for the class to taste. The samples brought to class included cheese dip with tortilla chips and a fruit salad.

"They were real excited about sharing their stories because they were able to get up in front of the class and read what they had written and show their illustrations as well," Mrs. Gheesling said.

The cookbook went so well that it will become a yearly project for Mrs. Gheesling's classes. Next year's book will be called Gheesling's Greatest Hits II.

SEE the print endition of The Mirror for some of the students' favorite foods and recipes.

Web posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004

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