Ice Cream Inspiration

 In Curriculum Examples, The CAPE Blog

When teacher Leticia Pineda, teaching artist and musician Jordan Knecht, and ACRE Guest Artist Marcellus Armstrong began collaborating, they all wanted to involve family members in a holistic class about digital media. After considering different big ideas, the group settled on ice cream, due to its universal appeal and the fact that it’s really easy to make. Ms. Pineda, Jordan, and Marcellus designed a curriculum based on making ice cream at home (with ice, cream, and various flavors delivered to students’ homes) while exploring the history and different cultures from which various flavors of ice cream originated. By the conclusion of the project, students had succeeded in creating jingles, logos, and an assortment of different ice creams to enjoy with their families at home.

A beep box that students made collaboratively as part of their jingle.

Click below to listen to a few ice-cream inspired jingles:

Jingle 1:


Jingle 2:


Green Tea Ice Cream,” by Linda Diaz, was the inspiration to make green tea ice cream. In preparation, the students watched a video about how to make matcha green tea in the traditional style. They discussed where matcha came from and researched popular flavors of ice cream in Japan. This turned out to be a complicated recipe, because students had to heat the milk and steep the tea in advance, then wait for it to cool before making the ice cream. 

Students listening to “Green Tea Ice Cream” by Linda Diaz, before having a conversation about the music.

We asked Ms. Pineda in what ways have current events impacted her classroom practice and she shared the following: 

“Due to Coronavirus, we have not been able to meet in person. We used this as an opportunity to connect with each other in different ways than usual. It was a pleasure to be able to share screens, share website links, share music, and ideas. We were even able to share flavor experiences by making the same flavors of ice cream together. We missed being with each other in-person a great deal, but we found a lot of joy in what we could share together. 

At one point, we asked the students what they wished to change about the world around them. Students had very poignant and powerful insights and observations. One student spoke about wishing that war would end. Another wished that people would not have to experience racism. Another wished that Coronavirus would stop hurting people. 

While we remained open as teachers to further discussing these topics, we let students lead us with their interests. It felt best to open up the space and opportunity for these discussions, without forcing students to dwell on negativity. It turned out that for this class, students seemed to most need a space to spend time with other people and share.”

ice cream header

A student shares their ice cream logo idea with ACRE Guest Artist Marcellus Armstrong and we brainstorm ideas for the logo as a group.

If you like this student work from New Sullivan then check out their latest Community Weaving project!

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