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Go Nuts With Peanuts!

Subjects

  • Language Arts
  • Ed Technology
  • Holidays

Grade

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
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Brief Description

March is National Peanut Month. Have your students go "nuts" with this cyberhunt that celebrates the peanut.

Objectives

Students will
  • learn more about peanuts by doing online research.
  • work on their own, in pairs, or in small groups.
  • read for information.

Keywords

George Washington Carver, peanuts, peanut butter, recipe, March, goober

Materials Needed

  • computers with Internet access

The Lesson

March is National Peanut Month. Scientists think the peanut originally came from Peru or Brazil. Some people call peanuts by another name, goobers. The word goober comes from the African Congo word for peanut, nguba. To learn more about peanuts, have students use the Web resources identified below. Challenge them to answer the questions that accompany each resource.

1.
Food Facts and Trivia: Peanut Butter
http://www.foodreference.com/html/fpeanutbutter.html
Who first developed peanut butter in 1890? (a St. Louis doctor) Where was it first promoted as a health food? (the St. Louis Exposition in 1904)

2.
P.B. Loco
http://pbloco.com/funky.html
About how many pounds of peanut butter do Americans eat in one year? (800 million pounds) Most children will eat how many peanut butter sandwiches before they graduate from high school? (1500!)

3.
What You've Always Wanted to Know About Peanuts
http://www.erdnuss-info.de/Wirtschaft/generell_en.html
Approximately how many tons of peanuts were harvested worldwide in 2001-2002? (33 million tons) Name the five leading peanut growing countries of the world. (China, India, the United States, Nigeria and Indonesia)

4.
Original Nut House Kids' Stuff
http://www.originalnuthouse.com/kids/kids.htm
What is arachibutyrophobia? (the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth)

5.
Original Nut House: George Washington Carver
http://www.originalnuthouse.com/kids/carver.htm
George Washington Carver discovered more than 300 uses for peanuts. Name five of those uses. (peanuts were used to make inks, dyes, soap, face cream and powder, creosote -- a wood preservative, wood stains, plastics, linoleum, metal polish, and synthetic rubber)

6.
The National Peanut Board: Peanut Fun Facts
http://www.nationalpeanutboard.com/document_250.asp
Which astronaut brought peanuts with him to the moon? (Allen B. Sheppard) What did Tom Miller do with a peanut? (he pushed a peanut up Pike's Peak -- 14,100 -- with his nose) How long did it take him to do that? (four days, 23 hours, 47 minutes, and three seconds)

7.
Virginia Carolina Peanuts: How the Peanut Plant Grows
http://aboutpeanuts.com/every.html
What is unusual about how a peanut grows? (its flowers grow above the ground, but its fruit grows below the ground)

8.
The Peanut Institute: Peanut FAQ
http://www.peanut-institute.org/peanut-institute.org/peanut-facts/
What is the main use for the 2.4 billion pounds of peanuts consumed each year in the United States (peanut butter) What are five of the eight main peanut-growing states? (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia)

More Cool Peanut Facts to Share

  • Among the ten top American candy bars, four contain peanuts or peanut butter.
  • China is the world's largest producer of peanuts (Source: Ranger Rick 1/04) India is a close second.
  • Think 225 football fields covered in peanut butter one foot thick... That's how much of the stuff Americans eat in one year (Source: Ranger Rick1/04)
  • The world's largest peanut is a monument found in Ashburn, Georgia. It's 20 feet tall!
  • George Washington Carver, nicknamed "Columbus of the Soil " and the "Wizard of Tuskegee," once served a dinner in which peanuts were part of every dish.
  • Carver never took out a patent to protect any of his work/inventions; he believed that God gave peanuts to us, so he had no right to claim them as his own.
  • Mr. Peanut, the Planter's Peanut company logo, was created by 13-year-old Antonio Gentile in 1916.

Books to Read

  • Wizard of Tuskegee: The Life of George Washington Carver by David Manber
  • George Washington Carver: The Man Who Overcame by Lawrence Elliott

Other Web Sites of Interest

Additional Resource Gail Hennessey wrote a "To-Tell-the-Truth Play about George Washington Carver. That play is available in her book, Will the Real Paul Revere Please Stand Up?: And 14 Other American History Plays (Scholastic Books). Learn more about Gail, her plays, and other resources on her Web page.

Assessment

  • Students will turn in their completed cyberhunts and discuss their findings in class.
  • Have students write a letter to someone (such as a parent); in their letters they should share four new facts that they learned about the peanuts.

Submitted By

Gail Hennessey, Harpursville Central School, Harpursville, New York

Education World®
Copyright © 2004 Education World

Originally published 03/05/2004
Links last updated 03/15/2004