Teaching 6Th Graders Cake Decorating.....help?

Decorating By kerri729 Updated 10 Apr 2008 , 1:01am by buttercreamkisses

kerri729 Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 3:59pm
post #1 of 14

Hello everyone,
It has been a very long time since I have even visited CC- my job has me so buried, I can't get on here to browse much, and frankly, other than my kids birthday cakes, I have only done one small cake since last fall. SO, here goes- my DD's middle school has a "hobby day" every spring, and they have such hobbyists as model airplane collectors, coin collectors, etc come in and show their hobbies. They were looking for some additional new ideas, and she volunteered me for cake decorating. icon_eek.gif I have been given the information, and I have 3 sessions of 10-12 students ages 12 & 13 and about 30-40 minutes to demonstrate the hobby. My first plan is to have large undecorated sugar cookies for them to decorate- I think cookies at this age might be less messy than the cupcakes or small cakes.....I want to have made the icing and tinted it, decorating bags all full and ready to go, so all I have to do is show them different tip designs, and let them play a little. But, with that much time, I want to organize well, and need some advice for the experts out there. Does anyone have other suggestions? I appreciate any advice you can give!
TIA
Kerri

13 replies
kymscakes Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 9:50am
post #2 of 14

Kerri,
I am not only a novice cake decorator, I also teach middle school (my
real job I suppose). I would say you are right on track. I would give them a demonstration, perhaps show them some pictures finished cakes. Maybe even some pictures of cakes in progress. I know there are some on here and you could easily get permission to use them, or use YouTube. That way the kids would see how much work really goes into these things. I would then demonstrate for them on a pre-frosted cake a few decorating techniques, and last, let them demonstrate on cookies. The most important thing is to fill up your time, as you know, they get real squirrely at that age!
Have fun!
Kym

cvoges Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 10:02am
post #3 of 14

I'm a a middle school teacher, too, and I must agree with Kym--fill up the time, because they do become very squirrely at this age. I believe that if you have everything prepped for them, they should be able to handle a solid 15-20 minute demo. I would imagine they will be quite captivated by the tricks of the trade that you show them. Another 10-15 minutes to allow them to practice what the've learned should be plenty of time for this age group. A group of 10 or so students is quite manageable, and it sounds as though you will have a great time with them. I think the kids will love it! Have a great time with what you're doing, and the kids will have fun, too!

cvoges Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 10:03am
post #4 of 14

I'm a a middle school teacher, too, and I must agree with Kym--fill up the time, because they do become very squirrely at this age. I believe that if you have everything prepped for them, they should be able to handle a solid 15-20 minute demo. I would imagine they will be quite captivated by the tricks of the trade that you show them. Another 10-15 minutes to allow them to practice what the've learned should be plenty of time for this age group. A group of 10 or so students is quite manageable, and it sounds as though you will have a great time with them. I think the kids will love it! Have a great time with what you're doing, and the kids will have fun, too!

murf Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 11:06am
post #5 of 14

Hi,
I was asked to demonstrate to our Rainbows group last year. I had them all making sugarpaste animals - they were meant to be sheep but some were "on a theme of a sheep"!! I literally gave them all some fondant and then showed them how to do it - the results were great and they loved it. They were younger - around 6 or 7 but you could gear it to whatever age you have.
Jenny

bethola Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 11:35am
post #6 of 14

I did the FINAL EXAM for the Culinary Arts Class at a local high school last year. THAT has resulted in my getting invited back each semester to do something different. It was a beach themed cake. Every cake was different and boy were there some potential decorators in that group! Incredible talent!

Yep! Fill the time! High Schoolers can get squirrelier than middle schoolers! LOL I was so excited when the teacher approached me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I could do another session, this time on cookies!

It's really not fair, I have more fun than the kids! LOL

gingersoave Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 11:37am
post #7 of 14

I am a wilton instructor and I think it sounds great and organized. My daughter is in 6th grade and I agree with the 6th grade teachers. I also like the idea of the fondant, while they are waiting they can make fondant figures or whatever they would like. I just wouldnt recommend that they eat it after its been on their desk. You could tape down some wax paper on each desk so they can eat their creations.

Good Luck!

bellatrixothersis Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 12:04pm
post #8 of 14

At this age they can mix their own icing, if you want to use up the time. Maybe put them in groups of at least four. With each group having their own supplies. (Move desks together if need be.) Preprint instructions for each group and let them follow it - after you have demonstrated. I do projects with kids of all ages and putting them in groups help...also if you put them in groups, maybe you can give them a bag of icing with different tips, they can share and switch with other groups..

annacakes Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 12:37pm
post #9 of 14

Hi! I'm a Wilton instructor and often teach a class called "Kakes 4 Kids". You have the perfect age group there. Attention span exists! Organization will be key for you. Do a little demo, then let them practice on waxed paper taped to the table. They could then each have 3 cookies or cupcakes to do on their own. Wilton publishes a book called "Cake Decorating for Beginners". This is the "text" for "Kakes 4 Kids" and you would find it very helpful. Good Luck and Have Fun. You'll be great.

Bossy Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 12:39pm
post #10 of 14

I teach special education and filling the time is very important. I also agree with the suggestion of letting them work in small groups. This will support different level of skills in understanding and reading the directions. The use of written diretions with supporting pictures (could be actual photos) is also great. Pictures of whow the frosting looks after it comes out of the bag at the table would also help them plan what they want to do. They would really enjoy mixing their own colors and placing it in pre-tiped bags. With a group of four they could mix one color each and share. I think they will decorate a cookie very quickly once the frosting is in the bags.

frstech Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 12:48pm
post #11 of 14

Hello, I have done this with second graders at my daughter's last school. What you have already planned out is what we did with them and it worked out nicely. I had a great time showing them and it was surprising how well they listened and tried to do everything I showed them. Just practice your patience as there will be a few who go "nuts", but most of all make sure they are having fun and it will all work out great!!

Ursula40 Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 10:42am
post #12 of 14

AT that age you could do all sorts of things, show them shortcuts (Tootsie roll roses for example) so they can decorate a ckae for the upcoming moother's day. Open their eyes to all sorts of things I did a cake decorating party with 10 yr olds, it was awesome, just had everyting ready, bags of coloured icing, pre iced cakes, showed them how to pipe straight lines and leaves, tootsieroll roses and off they went. 45 minutes wasn't near time enough, they could have gone on for ages

kerri729 Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 1:39pm
post #13 of 14

WOW- Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions- now, to get organized and get everything together tonight- As Randy Jackson would say........"you guys are the bomb!".
icon_cool.gif

buttercreamkisses Posted 10 Apr 2008 , 1:01am
post #14 of 14

on the wilton site they have a lesson for teaching cake decorating to students-it's geared towards girlscouts and it's free!

I did cupcakes with my scouts-we just used my supplies (although the troop did buy each girl a 2d tip and bag). Some have gone on to make cakes for thier families.

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