Gluten, Gluten Everywhere!

Scripture: I Kings 16:29-17:24

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn hard times can happen even to those who follow God.
  • Students will learn God does not desert us in hard times, but like He did for Elijah, God cares for us during difficult times.
  • Students will learn God sometimes (but not always in the ways we want!) blesses us in earthly ways for our obedience.
  • Students will learn about what gluten is and how to test homemade bread to see how much gluten it contains.

Guiding Question: Why does God want us to care for others? How can bread be tested to see how much gluten it contains?

Materials: All purpose flour, cake flour, whole wheat flour, rice flour, 4 bowls, water, wax paper, measuring cups: 1 cup, ¼ cup

Procedure: Review the story of Elijah from the scriptures above, especially the part about the widow feeding Elijah. Explain that in difficult times, God cares for us and will always make sure we are provided for. God worked through the widow in order to make sure Elijah was fed just as God often works through people around us who will guide us and care for us.

Ask the students if they are gluten-free or know anybody or is gluten free. Explain what gluten is and how some people choose to be gluten free while others are allergic to gluten and have to be gluten free. Tell students there is a way to test for gluten if they are making their own food and do not know how much gluten is in it. Go through the following experiment with the students:

Gluten Testing Experiment:

  1. Measure out 1 ¼ cup of all purpose flour and place it in a bowl.
  2. Add just enough water to the flour to make a ball of dough.
  3. Place ¼ cup of the all purpose flour on wax paper and knead for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Rinse the ball of kneaded dough in water until the water coming from the dough ball is clear. What is left over is the ball of gluten.
  5. Repeat with cake, whole wheat, and rice flour. Measure the size of each ball to see which contains the most gluten.

Additional Questions: How can students understand the comparison between gluten free food and food containing gluten?
Supplemental Activity: Have the students research how to make gluten free bread. Have the students make the bread and compare how the bread tastes compared to bread containing gluten. What is similar and what is different?

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