After our study of all things corn, we then focused on the peanut crop. This little goober has a huge impact on our culture and the market. And it is worthy of our attention. :)
10 Ways to Celebrate the Peanut
1. Visit a peanut field.
To learn first hand how the peanut grows and how it is harvested, visiting a farm that grows peanuts is a perfect field trip. My sister took us on a tour of her farm and gave us the most educational overview of how a peanut grows. It is amazing how much the boys listened and learned...and actually seeing the plant made it more concrete.
They learned that peanuts grow underground on the roots.
So in order to pick the peanuts, they must first be inverted (plowed up and turned over) so the peanut will be on the surface.
The boys were able to ride in the tractor with their uncle and watch the peanuts being plowed.
Once the peanuts are inverted and have dried out over a couple of days, they are ready to be picked. We weren't able to see any farmers actually picking peanuts because the dew had not completely dried from the fields. We did however look at the machinery and see the trailers full of peanuts ready to go the the buying point.
2. Visit a peanut buying point
Once the peanuts leave the fields, they are taken to a peanut buying point. They are tested for moisture, weighed, evaluated, bought from the farmers, and then loaded onto semi trucks to be taken to warehouses.
First, a portion of the peanuts are tested for moisture. If they are too wet, they must be dried out before the grading can begin. Here the boys are using the machine that checks the amount of moisture in the peanuts.
Up and up we went, high above the peanut trailers where 8 samples are taken from each trailer that comes through. It is a very detailed process on how they measure, evaluate, and weigh the peanuts.
Old Crow is helping unload the peanuts trailer. They will be stored until ready to be poured into semi trucks. The trucks will either take them to warehouses or shelling plants.
3. Examine the peanut and record it in your Nature Journal.
Old Crow's drawing. It shows how the peanuts grow underground and must be inverted before picking.
Memphis Belle taking a closer look at the peanut plant and helped pull off some of the peanuts.
4. Study George Washington Carver
In honor of his many inventions using peanut byproducts, we learned about George Washington Carver's life and service. We watched this biographical video. It introduces GWC and tells of his walk with God and his many achievements. Old Crow then completed a response sheet after watching the video. We wrote descriptive words on peanut shapes and then glued them to a paper titled, "Who Was George Washington Carver?"
5. Learn products made from peanuts.
While watching the video on George Washington Carver, it shared several of the products made from peanuts. Old Crow searched and found some of the items mentioned in our home.
6. Eat boiled peanuts.
A southern snack at its best!
7. Use peanuts as math counters.
Memphis Bell and I used the peanuts to count to 5. We then sang silly songs like "5 Little Monkeys" except we changed it to "5 Little Peanuts."
Crazy Horse counted and made groups of 10s with his peanuts.
Old Crow also made groups of 10 and then he counted by 10s.
8. Play a peanut relay game.
We raced with a peanut in our spoon. The peanut was carried and dropped in a bowl. Then we raced back to get the next of 5 peanuts. The winner was the first to have all 5 of their peanuts dropped in the bowl. They had a blast! Trying to keep our dog, Bonnie, from eating the peanuts was a chore! :)
9. Review how peanuts grow with a coloring sheet.
This coloring sheet was a great way to review how they grow underground.
10. Play with peanuts
Just having fun with the peanuts was a highlight for them. Memphis Belle would play for long periods of time just scooping and pouring the peanuts.
And Crazy Horse enjoyed pretending to plow them with his toy harvester. :)
'Til next time,