I am teaching four classes of 8th graders for approx. 30 minutes each class.
If anyone has suggestions on ideas that would be great. I will be having them do a project they can do as a class as well as the learning of cakes decorating that would be great. Thank you and all ideas are welcomed ~
You have only 30 mins of class time? Obviously, you will have a LOT of prep time (material ready to go), cuz you have to hit the ground running with that age.
How many students per class? Any kids with special needs?
What are your thoughts? Are they each to bring their own cake? Are you doing cupcakes? cookies?
I'm not clear - Is this just a one time lesson given to 4 different 8th grade classes OR four different 30 min. lessons presented to 1 eighth grade class? You can do a lot more, obviously, if you are giving progressive lessons; for example:
1) icing a cake smoothly
2)piping (getting the hang of how much pressure to use is a challenge for many).
3)buttercream flowers and design
4)put it all together
Include in each phase lots of pictures and touch on exciting new techniques. Your enthusiasm is contagious, but keep careful track of any of your own materials. Cake books tend to "disappear".
I've worked with a wide variety of ages and abilities. 30 minutes goes soo quickly. It can be so much fun, but you gotta be ready.
Keep it simple with out trying to do too much at once! Even at that age they will probably be more inclined to play and/or create their own thing. You can show them easy stuff, dots, stars, zig zags.
Are they decorating on something? You can do cupcakes, use the mini cutters for desings and they can outline and fill in. If you want something holiday, then you can do santa head and reindeer head cupcakes.
30 mins isn't alot of time, so I wouldn't give a bunch of different options either.
The classes are to discover different occupations.
The class will not be bringing anything...I however have to bring it all. I was thinking along the lines of cupcakes and cookies to decorate. Hoping next year it will be different due to me going in to this for the first year. I know I have to keep things simple due to I don't have a multiple of items and tons of time. Its gonna be a challenge put I'm hoping to get through it and hoping for some ideas.
Thank you to those you have responded
I teach a class in our local 4-H club... I supply the tools....(so many times their equipment, bag, tips, etc would get mixed up with others and sometimes not cleaned properly at home....etc...) a couple of the first classes they do a clown cake cake, doll cake (using a large cupcake - muffin size- and a fish, using an 6" round.....most decorations are with the star tips. It is amazing what you can decorate with just the star tip.. later they work on icing the cake...borders, flowers....etc ...as their skill get better....
30 minutes is plenty of time... After they finish their cake design they have a free hand to create or add more. It lets their creative juices run, adding their own touch and it is amazing how creative they are.....it is so much fun to work with kids...
I agree with TexasSugar, keep it simple. Perhaps start with a 10 min tutorial that you are the only one doing something then let them loose. Maybe some pre-made royal icing decorations and sprinkles and then let them decorate cupcakes or cookies. With only 30 minutes, it's more about the fun of it and getting a treat out of it.
In 30 minutes, to inspire them into this field, I would take at least one wow display, a turntable, pre-filled decorating bags, a finished cake of the design you wish to make (not the wow display design though), several bags for the kids to use amongst each other (the schools I go to don't allow them to mess with the stuff...it may get on the carpet...), a bag/small box for their finished item, a pre-filled cake for your demo (one per class...can be enough for the class to enjoy at lunchtime). They can be doodling and experimenting the the bags and various tips while you talk and decorate the demo cake...there's a wide variety of topics to discuss, pick one or two topics and talk about those while decorating...stopping periodically to talk about what technique you did or are about to show....pause for questions between topics. That 30 minutes will flyyyyyyyyyy! You won't have time to instruct decorating their items...it'll be more to occupy their hands while they're absorbing what you're saying.
Ok, so ghe goal of the lesson is to showcase cake decorating as a possible career option?
That is very different from just teaching a class how to decorate. (Most fun I had was teaching 32 5th graders how build their own gingerbread house - they even made condos!).
You will be discussing focusing on the business end, training options, pros and cons of cake decorating as a profession, as well as demonstrating decorating, right? You will likely begin with a story of why you chose this as a career. You have to bring a neat showpiece to display. Lots of visual displays.
You provide all supplies - are you being reimbursed? Also, our schools are really strict about food in the classroom, (allergies food laws: no treats from home, etc.).
Is it a one-time class, or 30 min. a day over several days?
8th graders are short of attention span, so you have to keep it as simple as possible, while letting them achieve something.
I suggest, for a first class project, a single 5-6 inch layer that they can frost like a sheet cake, then decorate with candies or sprinkles. Let the projects grow in technical skill from there.
I teach at my local Middle/High School...most of my kids are in 7th grade. I do it weekly one 2-hour class each week. The first thing I always teach each year is how to set up and fill a decorating bag. That takes atleast an hour for 20-25 kids.
I then *demonstrate* how to level and ice a 6-inch cake.
The next class, I have them fill a bag with white, and level and ice a 6 inch cake. Nothing more.
For piping lessons, though....Cookies work best. They are the least messy and let them work on piping without worrying too much about crumbs.
I demonstrate for Careers classes...demo and discuss bakery business...
Thank you everyone for your advice. My classes went well. I had 4 wonderful classes and the interest the children had was wonderful......I think I inspired a few students and they were going home that night to bake and decorate a cake.....I am waiting on their pics that they are going to email me. I can't wait again to do this next year cause I am using alot of advice I got from the replies. Thanks again and happy baking and cake decorating.