Top 10 Lists – Why the Chocolate Chip Cookie School?

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critical thinking kids at libraryWe’re so excited about our Kickstarter campaign helping us prioritize as we learn what people want. For now, here are some things we imagine will come out of this project…

10 Skills and Habits Kids Will Learn

Real-world, 21st Century Skills (that of course also were handy in 2100 BC and the 20th century too). While it may appear they only learn things that start with c, other learning-related words starting with other letters in the alphabet will be well-represented:

  1. Critical thinking, detective style, deciphering clues and connecting the crumbs.
  2. Question formulation: Deconstructing the cookie centers on asking how, what, why etc. about the past. Then asking the same about the future. Drilling down like cookie detectives will hone the invaluable skill of asking the right questions.
  3. Curiosity: The exciting process of connecting the cookie crumbs will become a habit. We hope all kids will develop a “childlike curiosity” that made that phrase commonplace.
  4. Comprehension: The topics can get sophisticated and will be real…not glossing over horrible history and hard decisions. This real-ness will inspire kids to understand the truth—the whys and hows.
  5. Collaboration: The many inventions and food system-changes, as well as companies, involved partnering and negotiation.
  6. Creativity: Multiple-sized spoons instead of estimating measurements?
  7. Communication: Being a cookie detective and part of a cookie company (even if mock) means positive interactions and understanding.
  8. Calculated risk-taking: vanilla boyCookie history teems with inventions, from tools to botanical explorations to recipe experiments. Kids will learn about risk vs. reward and, the realm of literacy,  expressions like “no pain, no gain” and “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
  9. Confidence: A woman walks into a big chocolate company and proposes they print her recipe on their package. In the 1930s. When women did not do that. (Well, obviously some did.)
  10. Mindfulness: Imagine looking at a cookie. Now imagine having learned 1-9, then looking at a cookie. Suddenly a cookie is a learning tool, not merely an object of desire. These thinking habits surely will transfer to other foods and other life experiences and products.

We’ll, of course, refer to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as a guidepost for turning the Cookie School into a fun curriculum whether or not a state follows CCSS or its own standards.

10 Things Kids Will Take Away

  1. That a backstory and connections underly everything
  2. A deep appreciation for how much labor, effort and time went into, and goes into, food
  3. How good businesses listen to customer needs
  4. What goes into a full product launch
  5. Who kids can connect to in pursuit of knowledge and their goals
  6. How reading, writing, math, science, history etc. integrate and how knowledge is so useful in the real world
  7. That collaborating in teams produces much greater results than alone
  8. How one person has the power to do big things — “I’m empowered to do anything!”
  9. How the real world works
  10. That a few communication and life skills are a great foundation for life

Now, substitute any other noun for “food” and see how this program is merely a vehicle for kids to learn a set of lessons to last a lifetime.

10 Reasons the Cookie School Idea Excites Us

  1. It’s relatable, tapping into a cultural icon everyone loves. (Say the school name to anyone, and you’ll see!)
  2. It’s scalable and covers just about every scholastic topic area…the sky’s the limit.
  3. It’s far reaching, with potential to help kids, teachers, parents, food manufacturers, farmers, and the world
  4. It’s different. We’ve never seen anything like it!
  5. It’s NOW, tapping into the unschooling home schooling trend in kids learning through what interests them.
  6. It’s relevant. The cookie is so real world, and programs can eventually connect kids with kids producing ingredients
  7. It can tie to Common Core. No coincidence that “Chocolate Chip” has the same initials. (Well it is a coincidence, but they do seem to go hand in hand with many standards teachable through cookie-related exercises.)
  8. It’s flexible. Kids can weave into and dig deep into whatever topics they’re most interested in.
  9. It’s inclusive. Gluten free and allergic kids are left IN to the conversation…what once were thought as limitations are, in the context here, really opportunities for innovation and problem solving!
  10. It has staying power! No matter how many cookies there are in the world, people keep coming out with new chocolate chip cookies. It’s a classic and we aspire for this program to become a classic.

Need something ready to print? Here are some cut-and-paste information blurbs about the project. Thanks!!!