Vol. 1 Activities

Here is where you will find fun and educational activities related to  My COMPLICATED Week.

Some of these are already available on the Fun-to-Do page for children.

You may share your own ideas for activities on the Comment page.

Teachers and families are invited to freely use these activity ideas for educational purposes in their homes and classrooms. We would appreciate attribution to the Annabelle-Please-Don’t-Tell! website and chapter book series. All other uses of our material are prohibited without prior consent from the author and illustrator. Please contact us at the Contact page of this website for a prompt, friendly response. We would love to receive anecdotes, photos, or short videos of your experiences with these activities. If appropriate, we may request permission to share some of them on this site.

    • Please visit the Fun-to-Do page for Grandma Merriday’s cookie recipe.
    • Also on the Fun-to-Do page is an easy guide for making raisins from grapes.
    • More projects about Cinnamon (the Secret ingredient in Grandma Merriday’s cookies in My COMPLICATED Week).

cinnamon tree
Caution: Of course, every teacher must follow school regulations regarding foods, and all adults need to consider children’s allergies and family traditions. Additionally, while cinnamon is thought to offer important health benefits, it is easy for children to consume a toxic amount of ground cinnamon. It is better for everyone to sample foods that are made with cinnamon, rather than the spice alone.

For Older Children:

Researching the two primary forms of cinnamon (true cinnamon and cassia), to discover what they offer to us.  Those two forms differ in taste, and other properties, and are further distinguished depending upon their country of origin.

Tracing the long history of cinnamon that stretches back to 2000 BC, when it was imported into Egypt. For many years it was prized for gifts to kings, queens, and deities in various countries. It was referred to as “kasia” in a Greek poem in the seventh century B.C. It was used for religious ceremonies and is referenced numerous times in the Bible.  Legends about cinnamon included a belief that giant birds (like the mythical Phoenix) gathered the dry rolls (quills) to make their nests. The class might develop a timeline by drawing pictures of historical uses (with time periods noted) on paper, and then mounting the papers on a wall in a sequential strip.

Learning about the popularity of cinnamon and cassia for diverse uses in different cultures. For example, people in Western Europe and the United State tend to use cinnamon (often combined with sugar) for bread; various pastries; doughnuts; pudding; fruit dishes; apple pie; candy; ice cream; cereals; tea, hot chocolate, and other drinks; and sweet dishes. Some Canadians love to make “beaver tails” by frying flat, whole-wheat dough and then coating it with sugar and cinnamon. In Turkey, cinnamon is used for both sweet and savory dishes, including meat dishes. Mexico imports large amounts of cinnamon to manufacture chocolate. It has also been used for pickling, insect control, and other purposes.

Learning about where, and how, cinnamon is cultivated and prepared for sale and export. With a list of locations, children may attach labels to a mounted map or globe. Lines may be added to a map to show major export-import routes.  Particularly interesting is how the quills are formed.  Cultivators must work quickly, like Mrs. Lee had to work quickly in forming her cookie shapes in My COMPLICATED Life.

For Younger Children:
cinnamon sticks

Children may mount, on a display board, pictures of cinnamon trees, leaves, stems, quills, and ground spice. Small samples could be displayed in suitable containers.

Children may develop a story-picture board describing the process of growing and producing cinnamon.

Children may handle and smell a sample of cinnamon sticks.

The teacher may demonstrate the grinding of a few cinnamon sticks.

The children may sample modern foods incorporating cinnamon such as: cinnamon-raison bread, toast, or bagels; cinnamon rolls; cinnamon-dusted applesauce; baked cinnamon apples; cinnamon cookies; or cinnamon oatmeal — or the cookies from Grandma Merriday’s recipe in My COMPLICATED Week.