Sally McClellan

I am an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina Aiken. I also direct the USCA Children's Center. I teach two methods classes in our teacher education program for early childhood students. I teach a class which discusses Math and Science and another one which explores Social Studies and Creative Arts. Each of these classes also includes a practicum course. Students are in area public schools for their practicum. Each semester my students have an assignment which requires that they develop a unit. I share with them an example of a unit. The topic of the unit I share is Bread Bread Bread. One of the lessons which is included in that unit is about yeast.

Yeast in Bread

Objective: The student will be able to explain how yeast makes bread rise.

Methods/Procedures/ Materials

Materials Needed:
1 balloon
1 tablespoon (1 package) yeast
1/4 cup sugar or honey
1 cup very warm water, plus extra for filling a mixing bowl
1 liter-sized plastic soda bottle, cleaned and dried
1 piece of string or 1 rubber band

The class will begin with a discussion of yeast. Yeast is a living single-cell organism that eats sugar and converts it into carbon dioxide gas. The gas blows bubbles into the bread dough and makes it get bigger or rise. Sugar is often included in bread recipes because the yeast likes the sugar. Salt is added to slow the process down so that the bread does not get too big.

Stretch the balloon several times by blowing it up and letting the air out. This stretches the balloon in the same way kneading stretches the dough. (A brief discussion of kneading may take place at this time. Students may have an opportunity to practice this skill using play dough.) Stir the yeast, sugar or honey, and 1 cup warm water together, and pour it into the plastic soda bottle.

Put the balloon completely over the opening of the bottle, and hold it in place with a string or a rubber band.

Fill a mixing bowl or pot halfway with warm water and put the soda bottle in it.

The yeast will make the water in the soda bottle bubble and foam, and the gas will blow up the balloon.

Assessment: The students will describe how yeast works to make bread rise by answering the following question: How does yeast make bread rise?

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The views expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the University of South Carolina. (February, 1999)