Junior high students sample Dust Bowl cuisine _lowres

Photo provided by Carolyn Bankston -- Bryanna Brown, Eric Selser, Brady Forbes, Richard Nixon, Serenity Triguero and Lianna Barber, from left, enjoy apple pandowdy during a recent lesson at North Corbin Junior High School in Walker.

Sixth-graders in Carolyn Bankston’s gifted class at North Corbin Junior High School in Walker recently sampled a pan of apple pandowdy after reading the historical fiction novel “Out of the Dust.”

In the book, which sensationalizes the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, a teacher receives some sugar after the government breaks up a still. The teacher uses the sugar to make cakes, pies, cookies, candy, taffy and apple pandowdy for students.

“While reading the novel, we weren’t sure what apple pandowdy was, so we found a recipe online. I wanted this to be an interactive experience for the students, so I made a pan of apple pandowdy for the class,” Bankston said.

The students used textual evidence, explicit examples, close reading and collegial discussions when preparing the pandowdy.

“It tasted like a buttery, brown sugar, apple pie heaven,” student Richard Nixon said, while Lianna Barber commented, “This was amazing. I think it was good that we got to experience something that was eaten in the Dust Bowl.”