Okay, we all know that isn’t true … but he did create the plant that started it all! Marshmallows date back all the way to ancient Egypt, where it is believed that a wild herb was discovered in a wetland from which a “sweet substance” could be taken. The sap of the marshmallow plant was combined with honey to make a sort of desert reserved for only the most royal and noble.
By the 1800s, the confection industry found a way to replace most of the “natural” ingredients to create what we commonly know of as our delicious, synthetic, treats. Marshmallows have been in mass production ever since, gracing campfires and delighting every age wherever and whenever they’re served. From their illustrious history, it cannot surprise anyone that marshmallows also find themselves in a high ranking status in education! Used as natural pillows of adhesion … they are the perfect, safe, scientific snack!
Alfred Mercier is quoted as having said, “What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.” How fortunate for the second graders at Westlake that this past week, Mrs. Krass decided to teach a math lesson with the aid of marshmallows! Blending geometric vocabulary and architecture, Mrs. Krass delivered delicious instruction on how to create three-dimensional shapes using lines (toothpicks), vertices (marshmallows), and a whole lot of creative engineering energy! Little by little, the obscure pieces became miniature prisms, cubes, and more complex structures. The children were able to translate something they knew (building) to something they needed to know (geometric patterns).
As we all know, we remember best, that which leaves an impression on us. We recall with the fondest of memories, that which was fun. It was such a delight to witness the second grade’s “hunger” for knowledge, and even sweeter to witness their reward of a job well done … delicious demolition of their figures!