## Wednesday, January 14, 2015

### Minecraft, Cookies, Math - and Jules Verne.

...and we've used cookies to study surface area and volume...

...but we've never combined the two, and we can always use review.  So, while the children were busy adding a Steve, and pick-ax to our Perler bead play-set...

...I was mixing up a batch of sugar cookie dough, coloring it with drops of green food coloring, and unsweetened cocoa powder, to be flattened out into 1/4'' deep squares, and rectangles ready to be covered, and placed into the refrigerator for a few hours...

...so they'd be nice and easy to cut, with a butter knife, into 1/4'' (more or less) cubes (more or less).

My youngest (ages 8 and 10), remembering the Minecraft mosaic cookies from the summer, were not overly surprised when I asked for help piecing together a Creeper face.  And, since we'd just reviewed area the day before, they were ready when I asked them what the area of our cookie face was.  It was an easy one anyway, 10 cookie cubes by 10 cookie cubes equaling 100 cubes of cookie dough.  That sounds like a lot of cookie cubes...

...but we weren't done, because Creepers don't just have height and length...

...they also have depth.  The girls and I made up, and baked 10 - 10x10 cube cookies, making sure the outside cookie cubes were green, or white "Creeper colors".  Then, once they were cooled, the girls frosted them together, into a single, large, cube shaped, Creeper head.

Ideally, we would have stacked up all 10 cookies for a 10x10x10 cube block.  But of course, the cookies had puffed up some while baking, and the frosting layers added some depth, so we only needed 6 of our cookies to make a cube...

...that was 10 cookie cubes high, deep, and wide.  We measured the sides of the cube with a stack of extra cookie cubes, just to be sure.

Not that the girls really cared.  They had the idea down - a cookie measuring 10 cookie cubes by 10 cookies cubes by 10 cookies cubes has a volume of 1000 cookie cubes, even if it only took 600 cookie cubes, and a few layers of frosting to create.

They were ready to move on, and asked if they could use the extra cookie cubes (of which there were a surprising amount - baked as large cookies, and then cut completely apart, while still warm) and some of the left-over frosting to build there own things.

At first I was disappointed, that instead of staying with our Minecraft and Math theme, they were building strange little people...

...and some kind of island (with plans of adding a cave).

But then, I listened a little closer to their excited, giggling chatter, as they planned, and worked, and realized they were playing out a cookie reenactment of a scene from Jules Verne's Mysterious Island.  And, you know, trite or not, that really is the way...

Ticia said...

My daughter is very confused your daughters are not building My Little Pony or something like that.
She's also looking over my shoulder as I type and objecting to my comments.

You're always so thorough with your reviews and I knew cookies would come into it somehow.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Ticia - My Little Pony, much like Strawberry Shortcake, has to be played secretly in our house to avoid loud, and persistent objections from a certain teenaged older brother.

Dawn said...

You make learning so much fun and delicious! What a fun activity.
Blessings, Dawn

MaryAnne said...

You do the best math activities! I need to try making sugar cookie cubes like this.

claireshomeeducation said...

My son thinks you are the coolest home schooling mum ever to exist!

Anonymous said...

Love the results here. The part that would fascinate my children (were they to be patient enough to get through the project) would be the way that the cookie puffs up so that you wouldn't need ten layers for the volume to be right. ;-)