Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ah, the Power of Coffee

When it comes to choosing a beverage, I will admit that 9 times out of 10 a cup of hot coffee is my choice. It could be 90 degrees or 40 degrees, but a steaming cup of coffee is my favorite way to start the day, begin the afternoon, or wind down the evening. Because of this, I almost always have my travel mug with me when I am at work, and it is always full of strong coffee with milk, and maybe a little sugar depending on what mood I'm in.

My summer school class enjoyed the fact that I had a coffee cup everyday, and they were good about helping me keep track of it. I was always setting it down in the classroom and wandering off, only to discover that my "brain" was not with me. Coffee became a part of our daily conversation, and they enjoyed the banter that ensued. Since I had a class of coffee aware students, our last day became a coffee celebration of sorts.

We began the day by writing a coffee poem on a sheet of paper that featured a large coffee cup with lines in the middle. After this, we created coffee art: the kids drew pictures and traced the outlines with glue, and then we sprinkled the glue with coffee and let it dry before shaking the excess coffee off. The coffee vocabulary featured a discussion (and some artwork) of the words "coffee bean", "biscotti", "mocha" and "latte". Before recess we spent some time decorating Styrofoam coffee cups with stickers.

After recess, we discussed the ingredients for our mocha lattes. As a group, we brainstormed a sequence of steps to create the lattes, and then we set to work. My favorite moment of the celebration was when the coffee pot was brewing in the front of the room. The kids gathered around it and watched as the coffee pot filled with fragrant coffee. Of course, what coffee party would be complete without biscotti? Each of the kids had their own biscotti to dunk in the coffee. It was quite the day of coffee experiences for our class.

Mocha Lattes:
Strong Brewed Coffee
Milk, warmed to take the chill off
Chocolate Syrup

Fill cups to about half full with coffee. Fill the cups the rest of the way with milk. Add a spoonful of chocolate syrup. Add sugar as desired.

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