Image of star-shaped sugar cookies with sprinkles

Sugar cookie recipe: Read by lines tech skill

Stir up the family tradition of baking cookies - throw in a 'cup' of ECC skills and a pinch of tech!

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas! The wonderful aroma of baking holiday cookies is in the air! Whether you are baking cookies for the family, for a cookie exchange, as a class activity or to leave for Santa, baking sugar cookies for the holidays is a favorite tradition for many!

So let’s bake sugar cookies!

Find a recipe

The first step is to find a recipe. In today’s society, that means a quick internet search, including reading reviews of the recipe. Recipe reviews are a great way to get hints – maybe to add an additional ingredient that adds that little extra flavor, decrease the baking time for the perfect texture, or other helpful comments.

Once the student decides on the perfect recipe, copy and paste the recipe into a document such as Google Docs, Word, or Pages. Create a Recipe folder and encourage the student to add recipes to this folder. Note: Create subfolders within the Recipe folder to help organize recipes. The folders might be Meat, Vegetables, Desserts, etc. Help your student to learn life-long organization skills!

For your convenience, a digital Sugar Cookie Recipe is available for download.

Extended activity

The student can ask classmates, family members, and friends to share their favorite recipes; these recipes can be added to the digital Recipe folder.

Purchase the ingredients

Going to the store or even placing an online order/delivery are functional O&M lessons/daily living skills. If making cookies is a school activity, involve the student’s O&M specialist. If cooking at home, encourage the family to take the student shopping and have the student find the ingredients and make the purchases!

Reading the recipe

Open the recipe in your document and swipe down with two fingers to listen to the full recipe before starting. Listen carefully for prep that should be done first, such as preheating the oven (note the oven temperature), buttering the pan, any ingredients that need to be room temperature (such as butter), etc. Set out all the ingredients and materials (measuring cups, bowls, etc.) before starting.

Teaching hint: Organize the countertop, with items to be used on one side and items that have been used to the other side. When measuring, measure over a small bowl that can catch any extra liquid or dry ingredient.

Reading by lines when cooking is incredibly helpful! With an iPhone or iOS device, set the Rotor to Lines, then swipe down will navigate line by line. This is very helpful when reading the ingredients list or following the steps. Reading by lines also keeps your place in the recipe as you measure and add ingredients or as you follow each step. Swipe up to read the previous line; this will confirm that what you just did and that you did not miss a step.

Editor’s note: I have not been able to use Siri to read by lines. Currently, when asked, Siri interprets “Read next” or “Read next line of text” as read a text message.


There are two options for recipe types: a recipe from an Internet search or your own recipe.

Internet recipe

Alexa can read recipes from the Internet.

“Alexa read me a recipe for (insert food here).”

Note: This option does not allow you to select your own recipe or to make changes to an online recipe.

Personal recipe

Want Alexa to read your own recipe? Alexa can play audio recorded recipes. There are options for recording: record your own voice reading the recipe, record your screen reader, or use TextToSpeech to convert text to mp3 file. Once the recipe is in audio file format, upload it to your Amazon account, and ask Alexa to play it for you.

“Alexa Play (recipe title)”

“Alexa rewind five seconds”

Learn more about Alexa reading recipes on the makeuseof website.

Editor’s Note: I have not found a way for Alexa to read by lines, which would be super helpful when cooking! If you know how to have Alexa read by lines, please share!

Voice Control on an iPhone

Voice Control is an accessibility feature designed for users with physical impairments. Voice Control can be used to navigate the Home Screen, open a document, etc. Unfortunately, Voice Control does not read the text aloud and does not pair with VoiceOver commands.

Learn more about Voice Control here on Apple’s website.


by Diane Brauner

Back to Paths to Technology’s Home page

Computer screen displaying a certificate and graduation cap onto of a black silhouette thumbs up.

Getting administrators on board with virtual tech instruction

7 Year old making two-finger double tap gesture on Kids Listen podcast app. Text

Kids Listen Podcast: Practicing Tech Skills

3 year old boy with 3-fingers touching the top section on an iPad.

Spatial Tech Standards 1: Directional Terms