But first, we needed to find a good gingerbread recipe!
|Gingerbread photo credit: CC USAF Wikimedia|
GINGERBREAD COOKIE RECIPE
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon peel
3 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Additional Materials for continental cookie plates:
Large glass baking dish (or large flat baking tray)
Blue food coloring
In a big bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the molasses, egg, vanilla, and lemon peel. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Gradually beat dry mix into the wet mix.
Divide the dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap it in saran wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to approximately 1/4" thickness. Then, cut your shapes!
Bake for 7-9 minutes, then cool for at least 15 minutes before continuing with the experiment.
|Robinson Map outline|
Image Credit: Here and There
We cut out our map shapes and then pressed them directly on to the cookie dough. We used toothpicks to lightly scrape our outlines. Then we used a sharp knife to cut them out, trying to keep as much detail in our continents as possible.
Next, it was time to pour our milk oceans! This was interesting, as we could immediately see some erosion occur as we poured the milk. Of course, we tried to do it as slowly and as carefully as possible, but it was really neat to see some milky rivers begin to form on the continents!
Once we had our oceans, it was time to add the polar ice caps! This was fascinating, as we could immediately see some of the currents of cold water as it melted off the caps and entered into our oceans.
It didn't take long for us to see some results, as we saw the significant erosion that occurred on our cookie continents! We were able to see rivers forming, which in some places, turned into wetlands! Islands formed as pieces of land broke apart, and waves caused small floods in the shallow depressions in the land!
We could also see more of the cold blue water entering into our ocean. In fact, it didn't take long for our polar ice caps to melt in these warm temperatures!
It was so cool to see the icy blue water spread out into our oceans. It was a very real reminder of the currents that can be disrupted on our planet, with the addition of such large amounts of cold water entering the ocean's circulation. Perhaps the coolest part though, was watching how the cooler waters grew into a current of its own before taking over and blending in with the ocean at large.
This was such a great way to bring a sense of fun and creativity into our lessons on geography and geology! It also proved to be an excellent way to look at erosion, global warming, melting polar ice caps, flooding, the formation of wetlands, and it provided a clear example of what cold fresh water entering the currents of the ocean could do in the years to come.