Math And Science In A Salad Bowl


By Barbara P. Lorde

PURPOSE: To introduce the various plants we eat every day such as, seeds, roots, leaves, and stems.   
LEVELS: K-3 **Suggestions- Levels K-1 this lesson can be done by introducing the colors using plants we eat.
MATERIALS: Vegetables, lettuce, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, peas, corn, tomatoes, red/green peppers, broccoli,  red onions, and your favorite salad dressing.  (Italian  robusto dressing)
PROCEDURE: Visit a market or grocery store near the school with the students to learn the foods we eat which are plants.  Buy various plants and display the plants on a table in the classroom.  Below is only a suggestion.  Discuss with the students the difference in  roots, leaves, seeds, and stems  plants.  Make a salad using the plants you bought at the grocery store.  Have students  assist you in making the salad.  Students can wash the plants, teacher will cut up all plants using a knife, students can mix all the plants in a large bowl and mix their favorite salad dressing.  (enjoy)

   Roots  Leaves Seeds Stems
carrots    lettuce        beans onions
radishes spinach  corn   celery
sweet potatoes cabbage    peas  potatoes
turnips kale  rice   sugar cane


Use riddles (examples)

 LEVELS (3-5)  Plants provide man with products other than food. 

  1. Direct the students in looking about the classroom to locate items derived from plants (paper, string, cork, rubber, and linen).  Ask students to bring in pictures of plants and materials derived from them for a bulletin board display.
  2. Discuss that trees come from plants and their material gives us furniture, heat, paper, clothing, toys, shelter, nuts, fruits, and medicine.
  3. Make a chart showing fruit.  We get our fruit from trees, shrubs, and vines.  The Fruit is the part of the plant containing the seeds.
  4. Grow corn, lemon, avocado plants from seeds and display them in the classroom.
Trees   Shrubs


cherries   raspberries     strawberries
 peaches blackberries  watermelons
 apple   grapes

Teaching Aids

Suggestions for Assessment

1.          Rearrange the letters so that the words spell fruits we eat.

p l p e a    ________________________________
r p e a    ________________________________
g e n a r o   ________________________________
u l p m   ________________________________
r y c e h r    ________________________________


2.           Rearrange the letters so that the words spell roots of  plants that we eat.


 r o t r a c     ______________________________
 d a r s h i   ______________________________
 e t e b ______________________________
 n u t p i r  ______________________________


 3.            Complete the missing words.


 C ________

is a fruit that grows on trees.

A  _______

also grow on trees.

R  _______

is that part of the plant that is under the ground.

R  _______

is a root that we eat.

O  _______

is a fruit that grows on trees.

T  _______

are the largest plants of all.

S  _______

are the parts of a plant that produce new plants


Answer to assessment


 1.  2.


apple carrot cherry
pear radish


 orange beet root

plum turnip radish




Math Skills Learned:  Count the various vegetables in the salad
Count the various colors in the salad
Make a pictograph
Make a bar graph-showing how many roots, seeds, leaves, and stems are in the salad
Estimate how many serving of salad in an ex-large bowl


Science Skills Learned: List the vegetables that grow under the ground
Discuss the three things plants need to grow


Conclusion:  Students should learn that we eat the root, stem, leaf, and seed of many plants.  Also, that plants contain many of the nutrients that help us live healthy lives.


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