Noodle Knowledge

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Travis’s latest Raddish Kids included this cute lesson, a chance to learn more about noodles and pasta – and the difference between them!

To start things off, I set out a station where he could explore a wide variety of pasta shapes and sizes.  Our array included: rotini, cavatappi, spaghetti, elbow macaroni, small shells, and penne.

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I challenged him to talk about the differences and similarities that he noticed. Some were long (spaghetti), some were short (cavatappi). Some were straight (penne), some were curly (rigatoni), etc.

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This is a fun chance to introduce your kids to the idea of a Venn diagram, showing how categories can overlap. Older kids, especially, might enjoy drawing detailed diagrams, although we kept ours simple.

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Once the exploration was done, we set up a game! Travis’s goal was to match up each pasta shape with its name, using yarn to connect them. This was also great for sight-reading!

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He was so into it that he wanted to snack on cooked spaghetti. This made for the perfect nosh while we watched a few suggested videos that delved deeper into the history of pasta.

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Make sure to check out a world map for a visual of key countries, like China and Italy.

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We had to finish with fun stories, of course. Raddish suggested The Great Pasta Escape by Miranda Paul and Noodle Magic by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, among others.

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I was surprised to see no mention of Strega Nona, the most classic spaghetti story I can think of, so we added that in. Afterwards, both kids wanted to play “Strega Nona” with a magic pot and leftover dry spaghetti, which was perhaps the best part of the whole lesson.

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