In most schools, student artwork is displayed on the walls for all to see. But a sixth-grade art class at Locust Valley Middle School had nothing left to hang on the walls after a recent project because they ate their creations. Luckily, they did not create sculptures or even use real paint. These artists used cupcakes as their canvas and frosting as the paint.

Through an interdisciplinary lesson that married the Art and Home & Careers classes, students baked cupcakes and learned how to create new colors using the frosting to decorate them. Given only red, blue, and yellow frosting, these artistic bakers were asked to frost their cupcakes in colors including violet, orange, and green. They created an entire edible color wheel.

“I thought it would really engage the students if I taught color mixing using icing,” explained art teacher Donna Chaplin. “I thought it would be fun to have the students bake the cupcakes which would serve as their “canvas” as a motivating activity to their color mixing lesson.” The project was part of the study of color theory.

Students won’t likely forget that blue and red make purple or that yellow and blue make green, since they had so much fun learning those facts. Since the Family and Consumer Science program incorporates all educational disciplines into the curriculum, combining the two classes fit in perfectly.

“As part of the content material, students are taught how they can utilize information they learned and interrelate that information with other classes,” said Meris First, the Home and Careers teacher. She added that following a recipe can help students learn to follow directions – an important skill needed for test taking. Additionally, learning about the color wheel will help students when they study room design, which is another benefit to the interdisciplinary lessons.

Locust Valley Middle School Assistant Principal Tom Hogan applauded the teachers for using creativity to educate their students. “Mrs. Chaplin thought the marriage of the two subjects would benefit the children and she was right!”