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Bush tucker cook up - experience plan

In this cooking experience, children make wattleseed damper, a delicious recipe using Indigenous Australian ingredients.

In this cooking experience, children will learn about the function of written text, develop early reading comprehension and learn content-specific vocabulary skills.

This experience should be differentiated depending on the individual children/group level.

This learning experience plan relates to:

  • emergent literacy
  • language and emergent literacy Learner (36-60 months)
  • learning foci: making meaning and expressing ideas, concept development and vocabulary
  • teaching practise: reading with children.

Collect information

What information has been gathered as evidence to inform this experience?

Outcome 5: communication

Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts:

  • View and listen to printed, visual and multimedia texts and respond with relevant gestures, actions, comments and/or questions.

Children begin to understand how symbols and patterns work:

  • Develop an understanding that symbols are a powerful means of communication and that ideas, thoughts and concepts can be represented through them.

Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes:

  • Demonstrate an increased understanding of measurement and number using vocabulary to describe size, length, volume, capacity and name of numbers.

Victorian Curriculum: levels F-2 language and writing

  • Understand that texts can take many forms and that imaginative and informative texts have different purposes.
  • Understand that some language in written texts is unlike everyday spoken language.

Learning intentions

  • For children to understand the structure and use of a recipe.
  • To develop children’s emergent reading comprehension – attending to pictures, print, using memory and experience to carry out the necessary steps during the experience.
  • To build children’s awareness and use of content-specific vocabulary, including number and measurement concepts: wattleseed, wholemeal, damper, half, full, pinch.

Assessment of learning

Learning is demonstrated when children:

  • follow/refer to the recipe throughout the cooking process and after the experience, explain (in simple terms) what a recipe is
  • use memory, experience and/or visual information to inform actions throughout, e.g.:
    • recall the first step in the process, begin kneading the dough without explanation, refer to a picture of the oven and place the dough on the tray for cooking, or look at the number symbol and say, “that means step two”
  • demonstrate understanding and/or use of content-specific vocabulary during the experience e.g. “we need to add the wattleseed.”


  • six-eight recipe sheets for children, plus one enlarged version of the recipe for group time (see recipe below)
  • three cups of self-raising wholemeal flour.
  • one pinch of salt.
  • one tablespoon of wattle seed.
  • half a cup or more of water
  • damper recipe (see below)

Group size(s)

Medium-sized group if appropriate for introduction and instruction, then small groups (two-five children).


Differentiation should be based on prior assessment of the child/children’s communication skills. Examples of differentiation:

  • for a child who understands and uses measurement concepts such as ‘half’ and ‘full’, adults may provide opportunities for learning more advanced measurement concepts such as quarters.
  • for a child who has difficulty with understanding or using the vocabulary in this experience, educators should modify the language to include simpler vocabulary.

Experience process

  1. Clearly articulate the learning intention.
    • introduce the damper recipe and outline in broad terms what a recipe is used for.
    • read through the recipe highlighting the key sections, ingredients and process and explaining any new vocabulary or concepts. Show the children the enlarged recipe as you do this.
  2. Begin the cooking process with the children, ensuring that each child has a recipe to refer to throughout. Draw their attention to the ‘Ingredients’ section and ask the children to name the ingredients required.
  3. Progress through the various steps of the recipe, modelling reading throughout and inviting children to join in where appropriate.
    • use questions to promote the learning - such as “what do we need to do next?” or “who can remember what we do after kneading the dough?
    • ”point out words, letters, numbers, symbols and pictures to the children as appropriate and extend on their comments and questions to further extend the learning. E.g. “That’s right Emma, that is the number 4, the fourth step, let’s read it to see what we need to do now.”
  4. To consolidate and assess understanding, follow up learning experience with a discussion, talking about how long the damper will take to cook, how the damper tastes and what children learnt about the use of a recipe. Encourage children to share the recipe with their family and provide copies for them to take home.

Going further

This experience can be continued by supporting children to create their familiar recipes from home/kindergarten or during sociodramatic play.


Reflective questions for educators may include:

  • What learning has occurred? How do you know?
  • What have you realised about the child’s interests, knowledge, and capabilities?
  • In discussion with colleagues, what would you plan next to consolidate or extend children’s learning?

Wattleseed damper recipe


  • three cups self-raising wholemeal flour
  • pinch of salt
  • one tablespoon wattleseed
  • half a cup or more water.

Damper Recipe adapted from Yarn Strong Sista - Wattleseed Damper Recipe in the Bush Tucker Supplies Box


  1. preheat the oven to 180C
  2. add self-raising wholemeal flour and wattle seed and salt to a large bowl
  3. add a small amount of water and gradually add until a dough consistency is made
  4. knead on a floured board and place onto a tray and into an oven.
    • The cooking time for your damper will depend on the size.
    • Tap it on top and if it sounds hollow it is cooked
  5. allow to cool and serve with butter.