This summer, I had the opportunity to attend a Responsive Classroom workshop in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was an incredible week learning all about the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and learning, which seamlessly integrates the domains of engaging academics, effective management, and a positive community. I connected with fantastic educators and administrators from the Minneapolis area and took on the role of resident expert of New York City and the East Coast.
Over the course of the week, we learned many songs and energizers to designed to refresh and refocus the learning of our K-2 students. One song I especially loved was “Purple Soup:”
We’re making a purple soup,
Whip, whip, whip, whip
We’re making a purple soup,
Shoobie doobie doo!
With purple potatoes,
And purple tomatoes,
And we want you!
It’s a delightfully catchy tune that my kindergarten students adore! One person (me) starts in the middle, with everyone singing around the circle. On the “We want you” part, the person points to another individual to join the center of the circle. Then, the song repeats. Eventually, everyone is in the center, enthusiastically stirring their bowl or pot of soup. At the end, the students have the opportunity to “taste” their concoction. This song was also great for talking about the sound of the letter P at the beginning, middle, and end of many of the words in the song!
Last Monday, as my co-teacher and I served lunch to our kindergarteners, we were both inspired by the heaps of mashed potatoes we were spooning onto the plates. Why not make purple potatoes with the students? It was clear we were meant to make a potato dish this week after my mother sent me a crock-pot mashed potato recipe on Pinterest later that same day. Thank you so much to to Tiffany over at Creme de la Crumb for this scrumptious recipe! I will definitely be making this again!
We originally thought to purchase purple Peruvian potatoes, but the grocery stores near school did not have them in stock. So, we picked up an adorable bag of small “confetti” potatoes, along with sour cream, milk, and food coloring. The children enjoyed naming all of the colors they saw.
We added them to the crock pot to cook for a few hours.
After a morning of locating patterns around the school, we were ready for the last touches. I pulled out my handy dandy hand mixer to blend in some milk and sour cream to combine all of the potatoes together.
Based on their earlier experiences with color mixing, my students shared that we could add red AND blue food coloring to make the color purple. I’ve never used food coloring with potatoes before, so I was hoping the colors would combine nicely, and not leave me with a dingy shade of brown.
I was not disappointed.
The students’ eyes widened as they watched the colors mix together. They smiled as they whispered excitedly to each other, “It’s REALLY purple!” We planned the cooking experience so that lunch was immediately after we did the final mixing. This way, the students had the option to immediately try and taste the potatoes during lunch.
A little Play-Doh-esque in color, but boy, were these tasty. I know my students will definitely recall this multisensory experience for the letter P. It was also another wonderful opportunity for them to see me using a specific informational text (a recipe) and following the steps in order to reach a delicious conclusion.