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Nuts for Peanuts:
Peanut Plants,
Peanut Timeline, and


Note: Before preparing or distributing any food in the classroom, make sure you are aware of children's allergies or dietary restrictions and caution children about choking hazards. Many people suffer from serious allergies to nuts, particularly peanuts. Make sure that your students, students who may be in the classroom after the activity, or students in nearby classrooms do not have such allergies.


  • Arts & Humanities
  • Educational Technology
  • Mathematics
    -- Arithmetic, Measurement
  • Physical Education and Health
    -- Nutrition
  • Science
    -- Agriculture, Botany, Life Sciences
  • Social Studies
    -- U.S. History


  • PreK
  • K-2
  • 3-5

Brief Description

Peanuts spur all kinds of classroom activities -- from making timelines and snacks to investigating how peanut plants grow and estimating the number of peanuts in a large container!



  • understand the role of the peanut in U.S. history.
  • make a timeline based on a brief history of peanuts.
  • learn where to find the "seed" of the peanut plant.
  • grow peanut plants.
  • measure ingredients to make peanut recipes.
  • estimate the number of peanuts in a large container.
  • write math problems to help count the number of peanuts in the container.


cook, estimate, grow, history, nutrition, peanut, plant, recipe, seed, timeline

Materials Needed

Lesson Plan

Share with students A Short Peanut History. This resource includes lots of information students can use to make a simple timeline of the history of the peanut.

  • Younger students might work in small groups with some members of the group doing the research, others making the timeline, and others hunting for clip art or drawing illustrations to add to the timeline.
  • Older students will be able to make more inferences from the material and use other library resources and Internet resources to flesh out their timelines. They might even write letters to request additional materials from a variety of Peanut Organizations.

Additional Peanut History Resources

The Peanut's Journey to Virginia and North Carolina
The Story of the Peanut
History of Peanuts
Fun Facts About Peanuts

Extension Activities

Grow peanut plants: Refer to How You Can Grow a Peanut Plant and Baby Peanut Plants for tips on growing peanut plants in the classroom. (Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, is required to read the Baby Peanut Plants resource.)

Peanut recipes: Make peanut butter, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter crunch, and other Peanut Recipes.

Peanut-s-timation! Fill a large container with peanuts, and provide plenty of time for students to estimate the number of peanuts in the container. Students can write their names and estimates on slips of paper and submit them. When it's time to count the peanuts to determine whose estimate comes closest, give each student a large handful of peanuts and have them group the peanuts by tens and ones. Then have each student work with a partner to combine their tens and ones -- and write a math problem that shows how they arrived at a total. Then have two pairs combine their peanuts and write a new problem. Continue combining peanuts in that manner until all the peanuts are combined and students have determined the number of peanuts in the container and whose estimate came closest. Then enjoy a peanut snack!


Have students compare one another's timelines and rate them. Provide small baggies of peanuts as a special reward for the five students whose estimates come closest to the actual number of peanuts in the container.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
GRADES Pre-K - 2
NM-NUM.PK-2.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.PK-2.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-NUM.3-5.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

MATHEMATICS: Connections
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-CONN.PK-12.3 Recognize and Apply Mathematics in Contexts Outside of Mathematics

MATHEMATICS: Representation
GRADES Pre-K - 12 NM-REP.PK-12.1 Create and Use Representations to Organize, Record, and Communicate Mathematical Ideas

NPH-H.K-4.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
GRADES 5 - 8
NPH-H.5-8.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

NS.K-4.3 Life Science
GRADES 5 - 8
NS.5-8.3 Life Science

NSS-USH.K-4.3 The History of the United States: Democratic Principles and Values and the People from Many Cultures Who Contributed to Its Cultural, Economic, and Political Heritage
GRADES 5 - 12
NSS-USH.5-12.1-10 All Eras

NT.K-12.5 Technology Research tools

See more lessons in the following Education World articles:

Return to the Plants and Gardens lesson plan page.