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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Taste (07/15/10)

TITLE: Fifty Billion Hours
By Allison Egley


"Okay kids. This is our last day before Christmas break. What is your favorite part of the Christmas meal?"

The fifteen preschoolers looked up at Miss Pat with bright, excited eyes.


"Mashed topatoes."

"You mean potatoes, Billy."

"Yeah. Topatoes."


The children shouted out their answers, and for once Miss Pat didn't really mind that they weren't waiting for her to call on them.

"Those are all great foods. Yum! Let's make some cookies." Miss Pat looked around. "Oh no! I lost my recipe. Oh well. We know how to make cookies, right? Let's try to make our own. What do we need to make cookies?"

"Sugar," replied Sara.

"Okay, Sara. Sugar is good. How much sugar should we put in?"

"Uh.... five cups."

5 cups of sugar

Does anyone else know of something else that usually goes into cookies?


"And how much flour should we add?"

"Two cups."

2 cups of flour

"What else?"

"Butter," another student replied. "One stick."

One stick of butter

"Anyone else know of something else your mom adds to cookies?"

"Uh... banilla?"

"Vanilla. Very good, Hailey. How much?"

"I like b... b... vanilla. 4 BIG spoonfuls."

"Anything else we should add to our sugar cookies?"

"Noooooo," the class replied in unison.

"Okay. How hot should we set the oven?"

"500 degrees," Billy suggested.

"How long?"

"Cookies take forever to bake. Like... Fifty billion hours," Cade said.

"I don't think we have fifty billion hours, Cade. Can you think of a better time?"

"Well, sometimes my mom tells me to wait for something for 'Three Mr. Rogers.' How long is that?"

"That would be 90 minutes."

"Yeah. That's a loooooonnggggg time," Sara said.

"Okay, class. Here's what our recipe looks like. Should we try it?"


Miss Pat's Class' Christmas Cookies

5 cups sugar (Billy)
2 cups flour (Ashley)
1 stick butter (Justin)
4 BIG spoons of vanilla (Hailey)

Mix ingredients together (Alex)

Bake at 500 degrees for 90 minutes (Billy and Cade)


She let the class add the ingredients, and tired to stir it.

"This isn't working very well. What do you think we should add?" Miss Pat asked.

"Water?" suggested one student.

"Let's add some water to see what happens," Miss Pat said.

She finally got the dough to a consistency where she could roll it out.

"Okay. I'm going to give each of you a little bit, and you can make a cookie out of it."

Once all the cookies were on the tray and labeled, the class paraded to the classroom oven. Having a classroom that used to be the old kitchen had its advantages. She has specifically asked to keep the oven after the renovation, just for activities like this.

"Now while our cookies bake, let's read a story."


"Miss Pat?" I think our cookies may be burning. I smell something bad.

"Oh no! Let's go check." Miss Pat opened the oven door, and black smoke spewed from the door. Thankfully, she had the foresight to remove the battery from the nearest smoke detector.

"Who wants to try one?"


"Oh, someone should try it. Maybe it just looks bad, but actually tastes okay. I'll let it cook and then you can decide."

A few minutes later, she asked the class again. "Does anyone want to try one?"

Finally Billy spoke up. "My mom always tells me to try something, because I might like it."

Billy tentatively took a "cookie" and stuck he tongue out. As soon as his tongue touched, his face scrunched up in a frown.


"Hmmm..." Miss Pat said. "That didn't work very well. What do you think we should do next time, class?"

"Use a recipe!"

"That's a great idea. And you know what? I found the recipe I was looking for. Who thinks we should try again?"

Fifteen hands shot up in the air.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shirley McClay 07/22/10
Great job! Very real and creative. I can totally see this happening although that would be one brave teacher!
Beth LaBuff 07/25/10
I could see this class shouting out all their answers along with banilla, and topatoes. :) I enjoyed your creative story!
AnneRene' Capp07/26/10
What a wonderful lesson at such a young age...follow directions :) This was cute as I could see all their little faces adorned with excitement.
Phee Paradise 07/26/10
I know a bunch of kids like that. What a brave teacher. And what a fun story. Thanks.
Christina Banks 07/26/10
I wish I had tried this when I was teaching preschool. Love the interaction between the teacher and the children. Darling story!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/26/10
This was such a fun read and a great lesson. I could see teachers doing that with their class up to 4th or 5th grade. Delightful. I did notice a tiny typo near the end you said let them cook when I think you meant let them cool :) But still a fantastic story!