Our children had a great time preparing for our garden party and open house. We’ve been busy planting the fall gardens, preparing the chicken coop, and making salsa. We made salsa to serve to the guests at the open house garden party and to show a sample lesson from our new curriculum. We wanted to show how following a simple recipe provides a variety of educational opportunities for our class.


The children had great fun washing and chopping vegetables. It was a great fine motor workout and cooperative endeavor. Some children began the cooking lesson and stayed on task until our salsa was completed. Other children alternated between making salsa and other activities.


The recipe we followed was fairly simple. I prepared a pictorial version for the children to read. For the open house, I created a display with the recipe, the following lesson description and photos of the children making the salsa. We served the salsa with tortilla chips at the party and it was a big hit.


Following a Salsa Recipe

Following a Recipe begins with children washing their hands and joining the group at the table. The children are shown the recipe and asked what meaning they understand from it. The group discusses the list of ingredients. Vegetables are washed and then chopped. Each child has a cutting board and knife to chop vegetables. Chopped vegetables are put into a mixing bowl. Scraps are put into a bowl to feed the chickens, worms, or compost. When chopping is completed, extra ingredients are measured and added. Each child takes a turn mixing. Finished product is sampled by all.

This lesson addresses the following CT education goals for young children:


  • Sustain attention to task
  • Participate in teacher-led group activities
  • Interacts cooperatively with peers


  • Uses coordinated small-muscle movements


  • Uses complex sentences and vocabulary to describe ideas and experiences
  • Understands and participates in conversations
  • Identifies printed words
  • Engages in scientific inquiry

This lesson also addresses the following additional skills:


  • Reading the recipe in words and pictures


  • Measuring and counting ingredients


  • Discussing where the ingredients come from

A pair of hens our class hatched and raised in the spring returned for the party. They were a big hit also!