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Nuts about Peanuts Unit Study
Peanut Butter: Lessons that Stick
The rich nutty smelly of roasting peanuts came wafting from the shop in downtown Cartago, Costa Rica. Though peanut butter was unavailable, here was a shop that roasted peanuts. Just walk in and buy a bag. My kids loved this nutty treat so much that we decided to turn this interest into a new unit study, Nutty for Peanuts.
In order to make peanut butter, the peanuts need to be roasted. Have you ever smelled peanuts while they are being roasted? Cartago, Costa Rica is not the only place that peanuts are roasted. There is a peanut shop in Lansing, Mi. where you will find Mr. Peanut sitting on an old peanut roaster.
In the course of this unit study we will be reading about peanuts, growing peanuts, roasting and grinding peanuts. Peanuts help to fix nitrogen in the soil. We will learn about compound words, words that combine two words to make one such as pea and nut which become peanut. Let's sing along with Raffi Peanut, peanut butter..."
Creating a Peanut Unit Study - Gathering information for a Peanut Unit Study
Peanuts and peanut butter spread all across the curriculum in this new botanical unit study. Investigate peanut plants and learn how they fix nitrogen in the soil. Shell the peanuts and lean about mathematical averages. Grind the peanuts into peanut butter and spread some healthy nutrition.
Peanuts and peanut butter stick the curriculum together with games, activities, literacy bags and lapbooks for learning all across the curriculum. So let's all sing along with Raffi A peanut butter sandwich...
Reading and Writing and Peanuts
Peanut Butter and Jelly Book
The Peanut Butter and Jelly Song
To set the mood for our next unit study, I start by teaching the children the song A Peanut Butter Sandwich by Raffii. I have the words printed on chart paper and laminated so that everyone can see the words. We use pointers and sing it again each day while studying this unit.
Then we brainstorm everything we know about peanuts and peanut butter. We keep a list of questions that we want answered and then I read them the book Peanut Butter and Jelly by Nadine Bernard Westcott.
What does a peanut plant look like?
How do you grow peanuts?
Growing up in Vermont where it's too cold to grow peanuts I always thought that peanuts grew on trees. What a surprise when I found out that the peanuts actually grow underground!
Reading factual books to children helps to dispel myths that can form in their heads from lack of knowledge.
If you live in a climate where you can grow peanuts try to go on a field trip to see the peanut plants growing. If you live in northern climates be sure to observe how plants grow in your neck of the woods and try to take a family vacation to the south to visit the land of the peanuts.
Compound Word Peanuts - Using Peanuts to Teach Compound Words
Peanut is a Compound Word
Create Compound Word Peanuts with brown construction paper or acid free paper. The multicultural pack has a nice variety of brown shades of paper for creating the peanuts and shells.
- Write each of the words that form compound words that you are practicing on separate peanuts.
- Children match the two words together on peanut shells to reform the compound words.
Suggested compound words:
Peanut, football, ladybug, sailboat, hatbox, cupcake, pineapple...
Then the children can write their newly found compound words in their peanut-shaped notebooks.
How to Make a PB&J Sandwich
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sequencing Activity
To help children learn to include details in their writing we sometimes create a sequencing chart. Ask the children to draw pictures of all the steps involved in making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Some children find this task to be easy. They have made many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and they can easily remember the order in which one is made.
For others this task can be quite difficult. Maybe they haven't had enough experience or they skip over sections. It may help to have the children make a PB&J stopping at each stage to draw a picture of what they are doing.
laminated and cut out as sequence cards to be used at center time.
They can also be used when your children are ready to write about making a PB and J. , helping the children focus on each step along the way.
Peanut Math - Sorting and Skip Counting Peanuts
Sorting and Skip Counting Peanuts
1. Take a bag of peanuts.
2. Sort the peanuts by the number of nuts in each shell. Some will have one or three nuts, most will have two.
3. Skip Count to see how many peanuts you have in all.
Social Studies of Peanuts
Learn about Peanuts
Peanuts through Time
Make Peanut Time Line by cutting out paper in the shape of peanuts.
Use these peanut shaped cutouts to write dates and facts about peanuts and peanut butter as you discover them throughout the unit study.
Have the children help you arrange and arrange the facts in chronological order above the chair rail around the room.
- Where did peanuts first come?
- When did humans begin cultivating peanuts?
- When did peanuts first get imported to your country?
Brainstorm a list of questions that would lead to a more complete Peanut Time Line. Search for your answers in the books you read as well as online.
How to Grow Peanuts
Do you know how peanuts grow? Do they grow on trees? Are they fruits, roots, or bulbs?
The poster to the right details the parts of a peanut plant.
.. Peanuts traveled to Brazil, then to Portugal. The Portuguese began peanut growing in Africa as a cheap and nourishing crop to feed ...
Watching a Peanut Plant Grow
Found a Peanut
To the tune of: Clementine, Written By: Unknown, Copyright: Unknown
Found a peanut, found a peanut,
Found a peanut just now,
Just now I found a peanut,
Found a peanut just now. etc.
Children love singing and the Found a Peanut Song is wonderful for helping children learn to read. They love the slight macabre turn of the song and the repetition of words throughout the song are just what children need when learning to recognize words.
Write the words to the song in large enough letters for all the children to see on large chart paper and laminate them. Glue a peanut shape to the end of a long thin dowel to use as a pointer. Children love to hold the peanut pointer to help everyone focus on the words of the story.
Once the children know the words to this song, introduce them to the Peanut Butter and Jelly Song. You may be surprised at how many children can find the words peanut butter in the book even before reading it the first time.
Raffi sings about Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Sing about making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with your child's favorite artist, Raffi!
Peanuts on the Christmas Tree!
String garlands of peanuts and star anise and hang them on your outdoor Christmas Tree. The birds and squirrels will love them. If you have placed your tree in a strategic position, you will be able to see the visitors to your tree.
We especially loved it when cardinals, woodpeckers and Cedar Waxwings adorned our tree.
Healthy and Fit Peanuts
Tossing Peanuts - Peanut Themed Activity
Peanuts for the Elephant
Place an elephant cookie jar on the floor or draw an elephant on a box with it's mouth cut out. Give each of the children several peanuts with the shells still on. The children get to take turns "feeding the elephant" by tossing the peanuts into the elephant's mouth.
At the end of the game, it's time to shell and eat the peanuts. Be sure to talk about the texture of the peanut shells, the fibers and strands that make up the peanut shells and the number of peanuts in each shell. Are the children surprised that there are often one or three peanuts rather than consistently two peanuts in each shell?
Why are More and More Children Becoming Allergic to Peanuts
Did you know that more and more children are becoming allergic to peanuts? Some schools are now peanut free and most schools have a peanut free table in the cafeteria.
Food Allergy in Kids Up 18% according to the CDC.
Do you know of any children who are allergic to peanuts?"
Allie the Allergic Elephant" is a book I found on Amazon that helps children learn about food allergies such as allergies to peanuts and how to be a good friend when you can't share snacks.
Circus Peanuts are made from marshmallow and are flavored like bananas. They have no peanuts in them.
They are made from a variety of sugars, banana flavoring and coloring. They used to be available only part of the year only part of the year but with the advent of plastic bags, by the 1940s, Circus Peanuts were finally available year round.
- Marshmallow Peanuts Unwrapped
One of the oldest American candies, Marshmallow Peanuts were introduced in the mid 1800's.