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Basically speaking

UNDERSTANDING INGREDIENTS. By Anne Barnett. Heinemann Pounds 19.99 photocopiable worksheets; pupil's book Pounds 7.50.

Understanding Ingredients makes no reference to national curriculum strands, targets or teaching strategies. But for teachers who want no-nonsense straightforward teaching materials, it offers excellent value for money. It provides pupils with a practical guide to the functional properties of food.

The colourful textbook has an alphabetical format covering basic food types. The graphics are varied with a mix of photographs, diagrams and nutritional tables, interspersed with text and set tasks which encourage review and test understanding. The worksheets are equally straightforward.

With its absence of national curriculum references this book will have a long shelf life, but it should also find favour with national curriculum fans. It provides the opportunity to "apply knowledge and understanding in the designing and making of products", which may sound familiar.

Patricia Tarrant Brown is a teacher and consultant in design and technology

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