One of my favorite tools for learning new words is the SAT vocabulary cookbook that 14-year-old Charis Freiman-Mendel created called Cook Your Way Through the SAT. She got the idea to combine her love of cooking and her desire for more vocabulary knowledge to fulfill a home-school are requirement for the SSAT-the secondary School Admission Test- a placement test for junior high and high school students. This is the kind of project I wish I had thought of years ago.
The cookbook contains 99 recipes and 1000 vocabulary words, incorporated within the recipes. For example, the Cinnamon Apple Strudel recipe uses such SAT words as “luscious”, “gluttony”, and “corpulent”, and the simple recipe for Glazed Carrots uses not so simple SAT vocabulary as “rigamorale”, “mendacious”, and “dexterity”. And did I mention the recipes taste really, really good?! And most of them tend to be healthy. One of my favorites was the Veggie Burger, which used chickpeas, onion, parsley and oats. While I made the recipe, I had fun incorporating “herbivorous”, “henpeck” and “rue” into the kitchen speak.
What I also like about the "cookbook" is that it is a FUN way to learn SAT words, which can easily be incorporated into family dinner or visits to grandparents’ homes. What grandparent wouldn’t be super excited to cook with and grandchild and help them learn new and fabulous words? And did you know that regular family dinners are correlated with better results on standardized tests? So the cookbook is an educational investment that not only yields great educational results but great food too. And when you son or daughter goes off to college, he or she can be the one in the dormitory who actually knows how to prepare a meal (real food…not top ramen) and also keep alive the communal dinner for friends and roommates, which can only enhance the college experience, academically and socially!
The book is also an excellent way to introduce the concept of test preparation to younger students, like those in junior high or early high school, in a manner that makes the tests seem fun rather than anxiety producing by creating a learning opportunity outside the classroom, with great food (always a plus) and time with family. The SAT vocabulary cookbook is win-win-win for everyone. Thank you Charis! What a great idea.
Want some other great ideas for improving vocabulary skills on the SAT. Supplement the SAT Vocabulary cookbook with my list of Mood and Tone words that appear frequently on the SAT test.