Peanut Butter and Jelly Lab; Following Directions Worksheet
This activity is a great beginning of the year lesson to teach students the importance of following directions. There are two components to this activity: 1) Students will complete the “classic” directions-following worksheet where they have to write down their name (and that’s it) and, 2) Students will write down instructions on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then the instructor (or possibly another student) will attempt to make it using only their instructions. If it is not written down, you don’t do it. For example, if the instructions say, “Grab a spoon,” then the person only grabs the spoon, possibly on the ladle part and not the handle. Yes, this lab is usually good for a few laughs—but it makes the point.
You will have to supply the ingredients for the students to use. Just make sure that no student has any peanut allergies before you begin this lab. This lab is great for middle or high school students. It is an excellent introductory lab for all science classes.
This lab activity is designed to last one class period, roughly 45-50 minutes, depending on the amount of time needed to make the sandwiches. Just make sure there is enough time for clean-up at the end of the period. If you have time left over at the end of class, you can elect to have the students make their own sandwiches to eat. And save your receipts, you can return any unused items to the grocery store for a refund. Or you can have the kids take extra food home with them at the end of the day. Many of them have very little food to eat at home.
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