In Unit 8, children explore plants we eat. They use their senses to identify and describe foods such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, and herbs. Children begin to learn where some of the food we eat comes from, what parts of plants we eat, and how seeds travel from one place to another. Through free exploration and guided, hands-on activities, children gain an understanding of the basic concepts of how food is grown and an awareness of the many different kinds of plant parts we eat.
- Seeds and Sprouts (Week One). Children become aware that we eat plants. They begin to grow their own food as they plant sprouts on Day 1 and then prepare them in a salad at the end of the week. Children continue to explore plants indoors and outdoors, making connections as they explore.
- Eating Roots and Leaves (Week Two). Children begin to understand that we eat roots and leaves of plants. They begin to distinguish between leaf and root vegetables, take a trip to a community garden to continue to explore plants as they grow, and are further exposed to the idea of growing one’s own food. They taste-test root and leaf vegetables and describe them using their senses.
- Fruits and Vegetables with Seeds (Week Three). Children learn more about fruits and vegetables. They look inside fruits and vegetables as they explore seeds, gain an understanding of how seeds travel from one place to another, and continue to develop the understanding that seeds hold what a plant needs to make more of itself. Children visit a grocery store and are introduced to the difference between natural resources and human-made products. This last week of the unit, children revisit what they have learned about plants.
Children’s learning is supported through daily hands-on exploration and by listening to read-aloud books and watching media throughout the unit. Children also begin to learn strategies they can use for communicating with others, making good choices, problem solving, cooperation and planning, and getting along with others.