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Soup-ed up

Bellview Elementary School students learn science concepts while collecting food for those in need
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Ayla Foust pours water into a graduated cylinder Wednesday as part of an exercise to determine how many milliliters are contained in a large can of soup. Her fourth- and fifth-grade class at Bellview Elementary School celebrated National Soup Month with several lessons on the nutritional content of soup and how to make it at home. Larry Stauth / Daily TidingsLarry Stauth
 Posted: 2:00 AM January 26, 2013

Did you know that January is National Soup Month? You would if you walked into Sheri Preskinis' fourth- and fifth-grade classroom at Bellview Elementary School this week, where the aroma of freshly cooked turkey soup couldn't help but draw you in.

Pyramids of canned soup were piled high, advertising the students' canned soup drive. "The goal is 150 cans of soup," said student Ayla Foust. "Forty-six more to go."

The soup will "fill warm bellies in Ashland," her teacher said.

About this series

In the Classroom is a series of photography-driven reports on lessons taught in Ashland schools. If you have an idea, please send it to Heidi Monjure at

The Lesson: Through learning stations, students investigate the volume, calories, sodium and protein content of canned soup; research international soup recipes for interesting new ingredients; and learn to how to make homemade turkey soup.

Preskinis' 28 students had brainstormed information they wanted to learn about canned soup. On a recent morning, seven stations were set up for the soup scientists to find answers to their list of questions.

At the Fill It Up Volume station, students learned to convert 18.8 ounces into milliliters (that's the size of a large can of soup). Students called out estimates first, then poured water into graduated metric cylinders. Students quickly compared an 18.8-ounce can of soup to their cylinder of water, and the conversion was completed.

Can't have National Soup Month without making soup, right? A small group of young cooks skinned and pulled turkey from the bone while others chopped fresh vegetables for the turkey soup they would be eating together. The aromas were irresistible.

A group of recipe researchers used iPads to goggle international soup recipes. Once a country was chosen, students used their class atlas to locate it and then the search was on. Justin Bauman has a family friend in Australia who will be moving to Ashland. Justin found a yummy Australian Creamy Pumpkin Soup that will make his friend feel right at home.

Using a Venn diagram, the Difference In the Soup nutritionists compared the ingredients between traditional chicken soup and light chicken soup. "Two points," Leo Pierotti said. "Weight Watchers points are on the light soup but not the traditional soup."

The photo on the chicken soup can looked good, but 980 milligrams of sodium seemed like too much to Kaili Chamerlin, who was part of the Soupy Estimaters group. That was her team's most surprising discovery.

So much soup data was enthusiastically gathered in just 40 minutes. As far as soup goes, Sheri Preskinis' class is in the thick of it.

To help with Room 11's canned soup drive, drop off cans of soup at the Bellview school office by Jan. 31.

— Heidi Monjure

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