If you read my last blog post, I promised to tell y’all about the rest of our Earth Day and plant unit activities. To keep the momentum and interest going in my students, I went to Whole Foods to buy some produce to bring into my classroom. My students are SO interested right now in seeds, leaves, and all things plants. I bought a few unique vegetables and a few well known ones and presented two lessons on them. The first lesson was based off the book “Tops and Bottoms.”
After reading the book to my students, we all sat down for an exploration lesson. One at a time, I brought out a new vegetable. My students had to determine if it was a TOP or if it was a BOTTOM.
They loved this and enjoyed observing all the nuances of each vegetable I brought out. They each made an observation as they passed them around the table. This leek was awesome because it still had its roots! The kids LOVED getting to feel them!
For the celery, I broke it in half as my students passed them around. They loved making observations about the “veins” they could see!
When I brought out the carrots, I also showed my students how to peel them. Each child got a turn peeling the carrots and then they were allowed to “taste test” them!
We also enjoyed eating broccoli and the celery stalks!
The next day, I brought in a new vegetable. The purple cabbage! The night before I had diced and boiled one whole purple cabbage and kept all the liquid. If you have never done this before, it is SO beautiful. My pictures do not do it justice! The purple cabbage (in person) had hints of indigo and blue throughout each section and was truly breath taking.
The liquid came out a dark, dark indigo color.
To begin the lesson, I had my students pass around the cabbage and use adjectives to describe it. They were amazed at how HEAVY it was. They also said it stunk! (hahaha!)
“It’s as heavy as a bunch of books!”
“It smells gross!”
Then, I introduced our science experiment for the day. I told them that I had boiled a cabbage and kept all the liquid. They made predictions as to what color they thought it would be and were AMAZED to look at the beautiful color of it! I then explained to them that they were going to work in groups of 2 to see what happens to the color of the liquid when they add lemon juice and/or baking soda water to their test tubes! They made great predictions as to what they thought was going to happen and then happily got to work exploring.
To their amazement, the liquid changed from indigo, to pink, to dark blue, to clear! They could not get over the “miraculous” changes occurring in front of their eyes! They loved that they could also reverse the effects of their liquid by adding the other variable!
They loved watching their test tubes and cups change colors with their every addition and the room was abuzz with predictions, observations, and discoveries. They loved every minute of the activity and I HIGHLY recommend it!!
To complete the experiment you need: boiled purple cabbage liquid, warm water to mix with an ample amount of baking soda, and a lot of lemon juice. I had my students add the two variables with eye droppers (to work on fine motor skills). After the children were finished exploring, I talked to them about the science of WHY they observed what they observed. We briefly talked about acids and bases and then shared our favorite color they made.
It was a HIT and a great addition to our plant unit!! Even better, it cost me less than $5.00!!
As always, have fun teaching!! 🙂