Students will develop:
- Motor skills
- Listening skills
- Sorting skills
- A few of the vegetables from the following groups:
- Leaves: lettuce, spinach, cabbage, parsley, chives
- Roots: carrots, white turnips, radishes
- Stems: celery, broccoli
- Creamy salad dressing for dipping vegetables
- Plastic serrated knives
- A vegetable peeler
- Bowls or plates for serving
- Paper cups for dip
Step 1: Before preparing the buffet, point out that vegetables are plants that we eat. Ask about other plants children have seen. Compare them with the vegetables you are using. Discuss texture, size, color, and shape. How are the various plants and vegetables different or the same? Sort the vegetables into those attribute groups.
Step 2: Talk about the parts of each plant, and how each vegetable grows. Explain that root vegetables grow below the ground.
Step 3: Ask children to wash their hands. Select a few children to wash the vegetables.
Step 4: Demonstrate how to use the utensils. Allow a few children to cut the broccoli and celery with plastic knives. You may want to cut the harder vegetables, such as carrots and turnips, yourself. Vegetables should be cut into large pieces suitable for dipping. The leafy vegetables can be torn into small pieces by the children.
Step 5: Once the vegetables are ready, set out serving plates and label each roots, stems, or leaves. Help children sort the appropriate vegetables onto the plates.
Step 6: Put some dip (salad dressing) into individual cups. Now let children take turns serving themselves, buffet style.
Step 7: While children are eating, ask them to tell you the name of the vegetable they're enjoying. Is it a root, stem, or leaf vegetable? Which is their favorite vegetable? Why?
For Younger Children
Be sure all vegetables are cut before children are allowed to explore and dip them in the dressing. Rather than identifying the vegetables as root, stem, or leaf, have children categorize them and add them to the plates according to size or color.
For Older Children
Invite children to chart the number of vegetables that are root, stem, or leaf. Which category includes the most vegetables?
Make a picture graph or experience chart based on the question "What's your favorite vegetable?"