Author Charis Freiman-Mendel thinks learning vocabulary is a piece of cake.

She's cooked up a contest for middle and high school students to show them how she prepared for the SSAT, the standardized test she took for admission to high school.


The contest shares the tried-and-true method Charis used to write "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T." SLJTeen (School Library Journal Teen) is hosting the competition.


Charis invites teens and tweens in grades 6 through 12 to enter to win a copy of her book, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T." and a matching apron. One winner will be chosen from each of three categories: 
-middle school students in grades 6-8 
-lower high school students in grades 9-10 
-upper high school students in grades 11-12.


"Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T." pairs each of 99 recipes with a "fun fact blurb," a short paragraph about the recipe.


The blurb can be about an ingredient, a historical fact or cooking tip.


Each blurb contains 10 vocabulary words that appear on all standardized tests given in middle and high school, including the SSAT, ISEE, COOP, PSAT, SAT and ACT. Each blurb is followed by a vocabulary match test and answers can be checked in the index at the end of the book.


Charis is asking students who enter the Teen Contest to write a fun fact blurb for her "Chocolate Lava Cake" recipe.


The blurb must be 3 – 7 sentences long and contain 10 vocabulary words that have not already been used in her book.


Charis chose this dessert, also known as "chocolate volcano cake," because it's easy to make, tastes great, and can inspire student writers to erupt with creativity!


Official contest rules can be found on her website andFacebook fan page. The cooking demo for "chocolate lava cake" can be viewed on the SATgourmet you tube channel.


The deadline for contest entry is January 15, 2012 and winning blurbs will be posted on on January 30, 2012.


Cooking and writing are test prep tools that helped Charis improve her standardized test scores in vocabulary and reading comprehension.


Her book incorporates all strategies for learning vocabulary, including contextual reference, making associations and connections, and the use of word play.


She believes that the positive, pressure-free study environment created by her book will help readers seamlessly build a comprehensive inventory of vocabulary.


"Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T." is an creative tool that can help students who are preparing for admission to high school or college, because the same words appear repeatedly on all levels of standardized testing.


Now that Charis a freshman in high school, she continues to use food and words to help her prepare for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. Her blog contains recipes, book, and restaurant reviews, fun facts and of course, vocabulary.


Join the "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."-SLJTeen Contest to experience the innovative learning technique that worked for Charis and can work for you.


As a food lover, Charis Freiman-Mendel turned to the culinary world to fulfill a home school project for 7th and 8th grades. Writing "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T." helped her gain admission to her first choice high school, Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut.

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