Adventures With Avocados!
You'll be surprised at how many activities children can enjoy with one giant seed.
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Cooking/Science
- lemon or lemon juice
- 2 medium-sized plastic bowls fresh vegetables for dipping (red or green bell peppers or broccoli)
- potato masher
- knife (for adult use)
- tortilla chips
- small paper plates
Objective: Through sensory, cooking, and planting investigations, children will learn that an avocado is a giant seed.
1 During group time, show children an avocado. (You may want to use the California Haas avocado so that children can feel the bumpy texture.) Ask children if they know what this fruit is. Explain that you will pass the avocado around so that they can feel it. Remind children to be gentle as they hold the avocado and pass it to a friend. Does the avocado feel smooth or bumpy? What color is the avocado? What do they think might be inside the avocado?
2 Place the avocado on a plate or cutting board and slice it. The avocado will open easily if it is cut twice in a full circle from one side of the top stem to the other side, creating four sections. Peel away the sections to reveal the inside of the avocado. Tell the children that you will save the seed for another special activity.
3 Explain to the children that they will all help to make a special avocado dip called guacamole. Invite them to wash their hands and assist in preparing the area for the cooking project. Place the avocados into a plastic bowl. Pass the bowl and masher to each child. When the avocado has been thoroughly mashed, add lemon juice to taste and stir.
4 Invite children to set out tortilla chips and fresh vegetables. Encourage them to place some guacamole on their plates. Now the dipping can begin!
Remember: Most guacamole recipes include onion, tomatoes, and salsa. This mild version is best for young children.
Science: Plant an Avocado Seed. Explain to children that they will see if an avocado plant will grow. Place one of the avocado seeds in a medium-sized glass jar. Fill the jar with water, covering half the seed. Invite children to assist in planting another avocado seed in a planter filled with soil. Add some water. Place both seeds in a sunny window. Explain to children that they will watch both plants every day to see what happens. Document the growth of the avocado seed by photographing it periodically. (You might also teach children how to use the camera.) The photographs can then be used to make a book.
Cuckoo-Cucu: A Mexican Folktale/ Un Cuento Folklorico Mexicano by Lois Ehlert
How a Seed Grows by Helene J. Jordan
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle