Count Your Vegetables!
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
New Ways of Looking
An artist creates his or her work by looking at ordinary objects in new ways. When Freymann and Elffers look at fruits and vegetables, they see faces, animals, and underwater sea creatures. Introduce One Lonely Seahorse with this creative visualizing activity. Divide students into small groups and give each group a vegetable or fruit such as an artichoke, a pepper, or a banana. Ask each group to look carefully at the item, turn it over, examine it from different angles. Encourage children to stretch their imaginations to see other images in its shape. Ask: "What else can you see besides a banana?" They might see a crescent moon, a dog's tail, or a snowman's smile. Ask all the groups to share their discoveries.
The Kid's Guide to Fruits and Vegetables
Create an illustrated dictionary with your class while teaching important research, writing, and sorting skills. Each child should choose a fruit or vegetable and prepare one page of the guide that includes a drawing, a description in one or two sentences, information on where it is grown, and what nutrition it provides. Help the children to stay organized by providing a template for this great class book.
Scavenger Hunt to the Supermarket
Encourage children to discover the array of fruits and vegetables available at the supermarket with this scavenger hunt. Using the Reproducible on page 46, children visit the produce section with their parents and check off each fruit or vegetable they find. Ask them to write a few words describing its color, shape, texture, or smell. When the lists are returned to school, ask which items on the list were easy or hard to find. Share and list descriptive words. Use the list as a writing prompt or to build a word wall.
An alternative to the scavenger hunt is to arrange a field trip to your local supermarket. Dole's 5 A Day program sponsors visits to the produce department of local supermarkets to learn about nutritious fruits and vegetables in a fun and memorable way. To find a participating store near you, visit Dole's website. You can also order free kid's fruit and vegetable cookbooks for each child in your class and free 5 A Day Adventure CD-ROMs on the website.
Friends You Can Count On
Surround the lonely sea horse with new friends by creating a "Friends You Can Count On" mural of sea creature friends made with vegetable stamps. Cut hard vegetables such as potatoes and carrots into smaller pieces. Cover the work area with newspaper. Show children how to dip the pieces into paint, blot onto paper towels, and stamp onto paper. Invite them to experiment with the stamps to see what shapes they can make. Challenge the children to combine the shapes to create a sea creature. Ask for volunteers to create underwater scenery, Finally, cut out all the unique sea creature prints and add them to the bulletin board.
Gather children around the bulletin board and ask questions such as:
- How many of Bea's friends are red? (Continue with other colors.)
- How many friends does Bea have altogether? Is that an odd or even number?
Encourage children to come up with their own math questions based on the sea creatures displayed on the bulletin board.