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Steps of a Recipe

Writing the steps of a recipe in order will help develop your first-grader's thinking skills.

By Nicola Salvatico, Consulting Teacher

Read your child one or more of the following books:

The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges (Dutton Children's Books, 1999)

Cook - A - Doodle Do by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel (Harcourt Children's Books, 1999)

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005)


After reading one or more of the books, have your child write a recipe on how to make something she likes to eat and can make by herself, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, ants on a log or tortilla pizzas. Point out the importance of writing the directions in order, starting at the beginning and writing step-by-step directions. Ask questions such as, "What do you do first? What happens if you make the recipe out of order?"

Writing directions for a recipe allows your child to learn to write in sequence and understand why order is important. Order helps us understand how to do things, as well as enjoy good food. This skill is important in making a science hypothesis, collecting data and reaching conclusions; writing research papers; and understanding mathematical equations. You can make the recipe with your child and discuss whether the directions were successful.

Nicola Salvatico has taught both kindergarten and first grade and is currently teaching first grade. She received the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year award in 2005 and was awarded the USA Today's 2005 All-USA Teacher Team Award for her exemplary work at General Wayne Elementary School in Pennsylvania. She holds her certificate in early literacy as well as a master's degree in multicultural education.