Recipes as Invitations to Read, Write, and Play in Preschool

Leah G. Durán, Rebecca L. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes how preschool-age children can engage with recipes as a genre for reading, writing, and play. This formative/design study was conducted by a teacher researcher partnership in a linguistically and socioeconomically diverse public early learning center. Through home engagements, the research team identified cooking as a site of everyday literacies in students' homes, and designed a curricular innovation which built on these everyday literacy practices. This curricular innovation included reading, writing, and cooking recipes together, as well as incorporating related materials into the kitchen play area. Students took up these invitations to incorporate literacy into their imaginative play related to cooking. Students also played with the idea of recipes as a genre, adding silly ingredients like pizza into a salad recipe, or inventing a recipe for a race car cake. Finally, for some students, these recipe-related activities also served to develop conventional literacy skills such as letter formation and name-writing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-420
Number of pages9
JournalReading Teacher
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • design experiments
  • family literacy
  • formative experiments
  • home-school connections
  • language learners
  • multilingualism
  • research methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Pharmacology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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