Confessions of a Teacher Who Lets Her Students Play with Food

By History Gal
I like to keep my students guessing about they'll be doing in class each day. And, one of my favorite
twists is to let my students use food as a manipulative. In particular, I like to have my students use gummy bears to create scenes that represent various topics. It may seem a little odd, but my students (even my too cool for just about anything Seniors) love this change of pace. Here are some different ways I've used gummy bears in my classes.



1. Civics - As a introduction to different types of political systems, my Seniors used the gummy bears to illustrate a type of government.

2. World History - My freshman used the gummy bears to review the different types of government systems in Ancient Rome (Republic, Dictator, Triumvirate, Emperor)

3. U.S. History - My 10th graders in American 1 filmed their gummy bears acting out either Shay's Rebellion or the Whiskey Rebellion.

To do these activities you'll need to buy or have parents donate gummy bears, plastic bags, and paper plates.

Musings of a History Gal
These activities do take some prep work:
- Figure out how many gummy bears each student or group will need and buy the necessary number of bags.
- Put the appropriate number of gummy bears in each bag.
- Give each student or group a plastic bag and a paper plate.

Lastly, you'll need to decide if you will let the students each their gummy bears once the activity is completed. I give my students the option to eat them when they are done and most of them do!

Want to let your students play with gummy bears? Click for a free download of my Types of Government Gummy Bear Activity that I used with my Seniors.


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