A Birthday Cake Is No Ordinary Cake
This book is currently out of print in hardcover and paper, but will soon be available in an e‑Book format.
Meanwhile, if you are a National Science Teacher and in desperate need of a copy, use Debra’s Read-aloud version available on Vimeo.
In A Birthday Cake Is No Ordinary Cake we circle the Sun collecting the ingredients for our cake: summer shade, red leaves, snowy shivers, and robin’s song. A glossary describes how trees count circles and a map places each birthday on its journey through space.
students and readers to each other.
A Look Inside
Attention National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
If you use this book in national curricula: While we search for another publisher, please use this slide show reading by Debra Frasier to support your lessons!
Vocabulary Review Sheet
Follow a baker as he collects seasonal ingredients for a birthday cake. Use the vocabulary sheet to highlight words the story introduces. The words are divided into three categories: Earth and Space Words, Seasonal Words, and Cooking Words. Act out all the verbs; draw pictures for the nouns.
3D Paper Birthday Cakes
Build three-dimensional cake display posters for bulletin boards. Using cut-paper collage techniques like the author-illustrator, Debra Frasier; cut construction paper strips and decorate flat “cake layers”. Then watch delight grow when the 3‑D effect makes the cake “pop out.” Colored paper, tape, glue, and scissors are needed. Cardboard backing is optional.
Print, cut, fold, and staple each eight-page booklet and have each child color it and fill in details about her or his name, birth date, months of the year, number of days in a year, seasons, and cake vocabulary. Have the children draw the cakes of their dreams!
Debra Frasier sends birthday cakes flying through space on her dedication page. This coloring page is many students’ favorite page! Each child can add candles to match her or his age to the center cake.
How Many Days to Your Birthday?
Map makes the idea of the Earth’s journey around the Sun concrete and visual. Here’s how it works: Find your birthday. Find today. Follow the direction of the arrows and plot how many days before your NEXT cake is due! This project involves map skills (abstraction), counting by 5’s, the months, the seasons with a solstice or an equinox, as well as leap day.
Paper Plate Cake Clock
With just a few inexpensive supplies you can build a clock with the Sun in the center and revolving “hands” to show where the Earth is now and another to mark your birthday. The distance between the hands indicates how how long it is until your birthday.
Distribute bookmarks and have each child add his or her name and the number of years he or she has circled the Sun — with a matching number of candles. Save this activity for birthday celebrations, or use it as a counting review.
Donate Cake Food Shelf Project
Share the joy of birthdays by and decorating generic cake boxes, then adding the makings for a cake: a sealed cake mix, icing, and candle.
Make Baker Hats
Make baker hats! With three sheets of tissue paper, a band of construction paper, tape, and a large paper clip, create the tall floppy hat that makes everyone think of baking.
DreamCakes! Contest: Send out a call for collaged cakes based on the themes in the book. Use paper, boxes, or even flour and sugar.
Invite a class or your friends to a once-a-year gathering.
Print these 8.5 x 11 inch coloring sheets, mount on tag board, and use them to retell the story in a read-aloud.
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