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Activity

Oat seed bars

Summary: 
Make and bake oat bars. Use in a study of smell, or discuss the ingredients as sources of food for other animals.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Sensing, Organ Systems (4, 5, 6)
Lessons activity is in: 
Materials: 
    Ingredients for oat bars (enough for 12 students):
  • veg oil with 1/4 cup measure
  • milk with 1/4 cup measure
  • brown sugar with 1/2 cup measure
  • baking powder with 1/2 tspn measure
  • flour with 1/2 cup measure
  • oats with 1/2 cup measure
  • optional: other fruit or seeds
    Ingredients for oat/seed bars:
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup bran
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
  • optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts
    For either recipe:
  • bowl and spoon
  • oven, toaster oven for 12 students
  • baking tray
  • oven mitts
  • knife to cut oat bars
Procedure: 

For a lesson on smell:
Add each of the ingredients to the bowl, smelling each one as they go in.
Spread the oat mixture on the tray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 mins.

During baking time, do another activity e.g. perfume making.

When the baking oat bars start to smell, ask students if they smell them.
Did they smell this smell in the original ingredients?
During baking, chemical reactions between the ingredients and the heat of the oven made new odour molecules. These smelly molecules bump through the air until they reach your nose.

Once the oat bars are starting to brown, remove from the oven and divide among the students.

Discuss with students that smell is a big part of what we call taste. Ask if they have noticed that when they have a cold (and their nose is stuffed up) that they can't smell so well, and that tastes also change.
Ask students to hold their nose when they take their first bite of oat bar. How does it taste?
Now ask them to release their nose and take more bites. Does the taste change when smell is added in? A lot of what we taste is actually smell.

For a lesson on sources of food for birds:
Add each ingredient to a bowl, while discussing where it comes from (which living thing makes it) and who would eat it.
Mix all ingredients together. Firmly press into a lightly greased baking dish (about 6X7 inches). Bake in a 350F oven fro 15 mins, or until golden.
Let cool and cut into squares and give a bar to each student.

Grades taught: 
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Teacher: 
Ingrid
Teaching site: 
General Gordon Elementary Science Club
New York Botanical Garden
Activity originally developed and delivered: 

Gordon Elementary Science Club