Hal Henard Elementary Thanks-Stemming Project Nourishes the Mind and Bellies of Entire Student Body

Thanks-Stemming brings STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) concepts home for students and families.  During the project, the entire Hal Henard student body focused on the book Stone Soup.  Each class read a different adaptation of the popular folk story, did companion books related to Stone Soup and focused on procedural writing in form of recipes.   

Hal Henard partnered with Chef Danielle Carter, Greene Technology Center Culinary Arts Instructor, and her Culinary Arts class.  Chef Danielle produced daily videos for students on cooking concepts that highlighted various techniques and skills.  The video topics included careers in cooking, safe equipment use, knife skills, cooking vocabulary, measuring ingredients, components of a recipe, and flavorings and seasoning.   Chef Danielle will host a Zoom in December 2020 that will offer a virtual tour of her Culinary Arts Program for students and families.

A project highlight was families sharing a recipe along with a family photo.  All recipes will be collected into a Hal Henard cookbook that will be sent home with each student for the holiday break.  

Hal Henard Principal Janet Ricker said, “Thanks-Stemming has been such a fun learning experience for our school.  I have enjoyed going into classrooms to see how our teachers and students are incorporating the story Stone Soup in reading, writing, with STEM activities.  Our families have participated so well by sharing with us on our Eagles SOAR at Home Facebook page.  I appreciate our partners in making this activity a success: Apex Bank provided aprons for all our students, Modern Woodman of America purchased some of our ingredients, and Ingles worked with us on our food order.  I think in reflecting on Thanks-Stemming--it is a great analogy to how education is currently for everyone.   In the story, everyone works together and shares what they can to help the whole community.  This is what is going on in our schools--parents and teachers have to work together to help educate the students at home and at school.”  

Hal Henard 4th grade ELA teacher Sharon Norris said, “Thanks-stemming was such a fun way for us to reinforce the value of sharing and caring for one another.  Our students were able to celebrate the central theme of the traditional tale, Stone Soup, while exploring different varieties of the tale. We also explored ways to incorporate new cooking vocabulary into our own stories.  By including all members of our learning community, it was such a moving learning experience for everyone! 

Hal Henard 2nd grade teacher Kayla Dearstone said, “ThankSTEMing was the perfect project-based learning unit because it coincided with our second-grade unit on folktales and fairytales. My students enjoyed comparing different versions of the folktale Stone Soup and learning about the geography of where the stories took place. I have received so many heartwarming stories about their families gathering to cook Stone Soup. My students took their folktales home and are even requesting more versions of the story to read before bedtime! 

Visit Hal Henard Elementary School facebook group Eagles SOAR at Home for more student media from the project.