odds and ends: sustained silent reading cake

During the first quarter of school, I give the kids a very general sustained silent reading project. Students are asked to pick a book for leisure reading that they’ve never read before… a book they know they will enjoy.

They are then asked, over the course of a few weeks’ time, to produce “a work of art” relating to their book. I purposely make the guidelines general because I want to give students the freedom to interpret the word “art” to their own understanding.

In the years I’ve been doing this SSR project, I’ve received delicately shaded pencil drawings. I’ve graded GIGANTIC paintings. I’ve examined elaborate sculptures and dioramas. I thought I’d seen everything… but I’ve never had someone turn in a cake for a grade before this week.

One of my students read Witch and Wizard by James Patterson and decided to make this cake as his art. The cake is chocolate with purple frosting and orange highlights and the hand with the magical fireball is done in Rice Krispie Treats and covered with fondant.

Seriously, I love my job. I love that I did something to inspire a kid to do this. He’s been bragging about it all week and he could not have been more proud to show this off and serve it up to his classmates. I couldn’t have been more proud of him… and I told James Patterson so. Check it out:

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