A Pile of Pancakes

article by Karen Jameyson , Silver Dollar Pancakes with Blueberry by TheCulinaryGeek is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Learning intention

I am learning to use drama and improvisational skills to present my ideas, so that I can build my confidence in performing and interacting with an audience.


Success criteria

  • I can recognise key parts of presenting a cooking segment
  • I can plan performance ideas with a group
  • I can use improvisational skills to present my ideas to an audience.


Essential knowledge

Information about using speech and visual language to communicate can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Code and Convention.


After reading the article, ask students if any of them have experience in making pancakes at home and discuss the fact that we may have differences in the way we make them or recipes we use. Talk to students about different ingredients or methods they may use and ask them what toppings they like on their pancakes, or even some that they may like to try. Answers may include:

  • Golden syrup
  • Butter
  • Sugar / icing sugar
  • Chocolate
  • Marshmallows
  • Fairy floss

You may even like to create a tally chart on the board for the toppings to display the taste preferences of the class.

Watch the Play School video Make a Chia Pudding and ask students what strategies Luke and Hunter use to help viewers make their own chia puddings (video can be stopped at 3:35). Answers may include:

  • They show what the ingredients look like
  • They follow the steps of a recipe
  • They show the way they are measuring each ingredient
  • They make it fun and interesting to learn.

Inform students that they are going to perform their own cooking segments for the class to demonstrate how to make pancakes. Advise them that as they don’t have ingredients or kitchen utensils at school, they can either pretend through their hand actions, or improvise with classroom items.

Students should be divided into small groups of 3-4 students and given some paper to make notes for their planning. Each group should discuss which recipe or method they are going to use to make their pancakes. They may wish to start with the recipe in the magazine and modify it to plan their own cooking creation.

Once each group has worked out their recipe plan, they should decide on how their cooking segment will be presented and will fill different roles (e.g., they may have a host to announce what they are doing and a chef to take the host through each step of the recipe. Reluctant students may feel more comfortable assisting with the pretend ingredients).

Explain to students that each cooking segment should include:

  • Showing all the ingredients that will be used
  • Giving safety information (e.g., don’t touch the frying pan when it’s hot, ask an adult to help)
  • Saying the measurement for each ingredient as it is added (even if it is vague, like a pinch or sprinkle)
  • Presenting the instructions in the order of the recipe
  • Engaging the audience so that they want to keep watching and follow along (they may even want to include a quick song like Luke did, or make it funny through physical comedy or pancake puns)

The focus of this learning activity should be the students’ communication and interaction skills in presenting their segment rather than any written planning and scripting aspects.