Shrove Tuesday provides an excellent opportunity to develop the children’s skills in a range of curriculum subjects.
Working in RE, the children can explore the special meaning and significance as to why different communities observe Shrove Tuesday in their religion.
The class can also develop their non-fiction writing skills by producing recipes for pancakes with a range of tasty fillings and toppings. The children can practise their number calculation skills by calculating the costs of ingredients for different pancakes.
Help the children celebrate the day by holding a series of pancake races in the playground where the class have to carry and flip pancakes over a range of different obstacles. Working in music, the children can compose and play jingles to advertise pancakes sold in a supermarket. Get the class to convert poems written in English into raps to use as the lyrics for their pancake jingles. The class also try following the recipes that they have written in a literacy lesson to prepare, cook and eat their own pancakes to share in a party for Shrove Tuesday.
Help the class settle quickly into the special day by getting them work with a partner to produce a pancake alphabet before a class assembly. Tell the children to make a list of pancake toppings and fillings to match each letter of the alphabet. The pairs of children can win a point if they have listed a unique topping and filling that is different from other members of the class. The winning pair of children can earn some pancakes to eat for a morning playtime snack.
Use an assembly to help the class understand the meaning and significance behind Shrove Tuesday. Explain to the children how Christians celebrate the special day by making pancakes so that they can use up all of the sweet things from their cupboard before the start of Lent. Read the story of the temptation of Jesus in the desert where he survived forty days and nights being tempted by the devil. Establish with the class that this period of forty days and nights is known as Lent in the Christian calendar and is the time when Christians try to give up something to remember what happened to Jesus in the lead up to Easter. The children can discuss some of the ways of avoiding temptation in their own lives.
Working in English, the children can prepare a recipe about how to make pancakes with a range of different toppings and fillings. Model how to make a simple pancake using basic ingredients which can then be complemented by adding tasty fillings and toppings. Encourage the children to make notes as they watch you prepare and cook the pancakes. The class can then use their notes to write a set of instructions about how to prepare and cook their own pancakes which they can practise following in a Design Technology lesson later on in the school day. Make sure that you check with the children’s parents and guardians about any food allergies before allowing the class to work with food.
The class can develop their number calculation skills by getting them to calculate the prices of different pancakes. Provide the children with the prices of different fillings and toppings that can be used on pancakes. They can practise using different mental and formal written methods to add the selected ingredients. Get the children to design posters explaining how they have calculated the total cost of different pancakes using a range of art materials to produce a collage of a pancake for classroom display.
The children practise their music composition skills by getting them to compose and perform jingles to sell pancakes that they created during an English lesson when writing a set of instructions. Split the class into small groups and get them to write some raps to advertise particular type of pancakes with a range of toppings and fillings. The children can then try using percussion instruments to add a backing track to their raps. The groups can then perform their jingles with some children rapping the lyrics whilst the remainder of the group plays the music.
In the afternoon, take the class out to the playground to participate in a series of pancake races. You can make some example pancakes for the children to carry and flip during the races by using some thick pieces of cardboard or plasticine. If you don’t have enough frying pans then the children can place the model pancakes on some plastic trays to flip during the races. Split the class into groups and provide them with some pieces of PE equipment such as skipping ropes and cones. Tell the children to set up their own obstacle courses which they can practise racing around whilst trying to flip their pancakes. Get the groups to rotate around each of the different obstacle courses during the lesson.
Following the pancake races, you can get the children to practise following the recipes that they produced in an earlier English lesson to prepare and cook some pancakes. Make sure that you check with the children’s parents and guardians about any food allergies before allowing the class to work with food. You can split the class into small groups to work with a teaching assistant or parent helper to prepare and make their selected pancakes by adding one special filling and topping. Allow the children to then taste and evaluate their completed pancakes and suggest improvements for when they make some more pancakes with their family in the evening.