Stone Soup - Literature & Cooking August 03 2009

Teachers not only teach students academics, but we teach children how to treat each other.

Their little eyes are watching and ears are listening when teasing, gossiping or dishonesty occurs.  They also pay close attention when we model positive traits, such as listening, caring and sharing. 

I loved my list of classroom manners, which I posted in my classroom. It helped the kids feel safe, because they knew I expected them to treat each other with respect. Most of all, they knew I had respect for them, too. 

We've all heard of the Caldecott Honor Book, Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

Reading this book aloud and following it up with a stone soup cooking activity is a great way to teach the kids cooperation and team work. 

The teacher has the stone and pot and explains that the class will work together to make stone soup.

The teacher sends home a note to parents circling the ingredient he/she would like the student to bring:

Here's a suggested list of ingredients for Stone Soup:

(Feel free to add or subtract what you wish, especially while cooking, but be sure to include something from each student.  That's part of the fun of it.  We just don't know exactly how it will turn out until we all work together and we are done.)

  • 1 cabbage (3 students)
  • 5 potatoes (5 students)
  • meat balls (12) (3 students)
  • salt and pepper (1 student)
  • 5 tomatoes  (3 students)
  • chives (1 student)
  • 1 spinach (1 student)
  • 3 carrots (2 students)
  • 1 bell pepper (2 students)
  • 1 celery (1 student)


  • Book, Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
  • stone
  • plastic knives (soft enough so the students can't cut themselves, but can cut the produce)
  • plastic spoons
  • plastic or paper bowls
  • stove top (for teacher or parent volunteer use only.)
  • very large pot


  1. Read the book, Stone Soup by Marcia Brown.
  2. Discuss cooperation and team work while referring to your classroom manners.
  3. Split the students into 4 or 5 groups with a parent volunteer in each group.
  4. Students wash hands with soup and water.  (Water will boil, so germs will be killed, but we do need to wash hands.)
  5. Students cut up all produce, which they share as a group and place it in a bowl at the center of their table.
  6. Parent volunteers put all cut up ingredients from the bowls into the pot.
  7. Parent volunteer cooks the soup while the kids move on to a different activity.  Bring to a boil and let simmer until fully cooked.
  8. Let cool until warm enough to eat.
  9. Serve in bowls just before lunch.  (Teachers, please do not skip your lunch break to feed the students.)

Don't forget to get your bowl of soup, too!