Growing and Eating Carrots in the Classroom
Cook up some learning fun with carrots!
- Grades: PreK–K
About this book
Children will engage in literacy, cooking, and planting activities that teach that a carrot is the root of a plant.
- The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
- Fresh carrots with tops (unwashed is preferable)
- Soil, approximately one cup per student
- Carrot seeds, 2-3 seeds per student
- Milk cartons (quart-size), one per student
Making Carrot Salad Extension Activity
- Fresh carrots (you can use the ones you grow in the classroom)
- Cheese graters or other tools for shredding carrots
- Crushed pineapple
- Plain yogurt
- Paper bowls
Set Up and Prepare
- Send a note home asking families to donate a quart-size empty milk carton that their children will use for planting carrots. Children who receive milk at school can wash out their empty milk carton for this activity.
- Cut the milk cartons in half.
- Label the cartons halves with the students' names. Every student will need one carton half.
Step 1: During group time, share the book The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss.
Step 2: When you have finished reading, engage children in a brief discussion of the story, recalling the story's sequence.
Step 3: Show children the bunch of fresh carrots. Pass the carrots around for children to touch and smell.
Step 4: As students pass around the carrots, point out the dirt that remains on the carrot. Explain to children that the part of the carrot we eat grows underground because it is the root of the plant. Also explain that the leafy carrot tops are the part of the plant that is above ground. Refer to The Carrot Seed to help children make these connections.
Step 5: Explain to children that they will all plant carrot seeds. Break students into small groups of about 4-6 children.
Step 6: Assist children in placing the soil and carrot seeds into their milk carton.
Step 7: Place children's plants in a sunny area. Schedule a time each day for children to observe and water their plants.
For Younger Children
Cook up some carrots in the classroom so that children can see the vegetable in its different forms. How do the cooked carrots look and taste compared to the raw carrots? How do shredded carrots look and taste? Mashed carrots?
For Older Children
Explore the growth of other root vegetables. Use field trips and trips to your school or local library to further investigate the growth cycle of these vegetables.
Acting as Carrots
Invite children to take turns dramatizing the growth of a carrot seed. As children move their bodies to replicate the seed's growth, invite them to describe the color and shape of their roots and the look and feel of their leafy tops. Ask them to compare the way they think their "roots" would feel underground with the ways their "leafy tops" might feel when exposed to all kinds of weather conditions, including rainy, sunny, and windy weather. Encourage children to ask questions of each child dramatizing the growth of the carrot seed, such as: "How will you feel about being picked when you've finished growing?"
Making Carrot Salad
Use the fresh carrots to make a carrot salad for a healthy and delicious snack. Mix shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, and plain yogurt in a bowl, and serve.