Lesson Plan - NH Harvest of the Month

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HARVEST
LESSONS
T H I S
M O N T H ’ S
Lesson Plan
T H E M E :
K A L E
HARVEST LESSONS ARE A FUN WAY FOR K-4 CLASSROOMS TO EXPLORE,
TASTE AND LEARN ABOUT EATING MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES EVERY DAY.
ACTIVITY SUMMARY
ACTIVITY
GRADE LEVEL CURRICULUM CONNECTION
TIME
Intro
all
Literacy: speaking, listening
Science, Social Studies: evaluating claims to
determine whether they are true
Taste Test
all
Literacy: speaking, listening
20 min.
Math: measurement, graphing/tallying responses
#1: Observe, Draw &
Discuss Kale
all
Science: classification, observation
30 min.
#2: Read Kale Literature
all
Literacy: listening comprehension
20 min.
#3: Make Massaged Kale
Salad
all
Math: measurement Science: observation
Literacy: reading comprehension
30 min.
#4: Create a Kale
Timeline
3-4
Social Studies: geography, past and
present
15 min.
#5: Map Kale’s History
3-4
Social Studies: history, geography
20 min.
#6: Discuss Season
Extension
all
Science: weather, adaptations, structure and
function of organisms, measurement of temperature
10 min.
Background Information
on Nutrition
NA
This helpful information can aid volunteers as
they prepare to speak about kale and greens in
the classroom
© New Hampshire Harvest of the Month | www.nhharvestofthemonth.org
10 min.
NA
HARVEST LESSONS | KALE | PAGE 2
INTRODUCTIONALL GRADES
Introduce yourself, or reintroduce yourself to the class, and introduce the vegetable of the day. Begin with a
fun interactive true or false activity. When a statement is true, students will stand up. When they believe a
statement is false, they will sit down.
TRUE OR FALSE?
1. Kale is related to the cabbage plant.
True. Kale is in the same plant family as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
2. There are up to 12 different kinds of kale.
False. There are more than 50 varieties, and they come in different shapes and textures from purple to green.
Names included dinosaur kale, and Russian kale, and cow kale.
3. You may not have heard of kale because it is a new vegetable and it is only now getting popular.
False. Kale is more and more popular and found on more menus and in more homes these days, but it is not a
new food! Kale has been cultivated (grown) for over 2000 years and was a popular dish in ancient Rome, and
was eaten in a more wild form for much longer.
4. Kale is high in vitamin K, which helps our blood and our bones.
True. It should be easy to remember because kale starts with K!
5. Kale can be harvested in the December in New England.
True. Kale is a hardy plant, and the waxy layer on the outside of the leaves called the epidermis allows it to
grow into the colder months of fall and winter. With a greenhouse or cold frame, kale can be grown even
longer!
TASTE TEST
Consider doing a comparison of raw vs. steamed kale, or kale chips for
a taste test. See the New Hampshire Harvest of the Month resources
for more recipe ideas, or for a cooking activity to do with kids, see our
“Massaged Kale salad” later in this Harvest Lesson!
© New Hampshire Harvest of the Month | www.nhharvestofthemonth.org
HARVEST LESSONS | KALE | PAGE 3
ACTIVITY #1
(30 MINUTES)ALL GRADES
OBSERVE, DRAW & DISCUSS KALE
Students will watch a five-minute video of a farmer introducing broccoli, cauliflower, and the brassica
family.
MATERIALS:
• Kale, and other leaves if possible such as spinach and chard for observation
• Magnifying glasses
• Paper or journals
• Colored pencils
Optional: images showing the common patterns in trees, veins, lungs, roots, rivers
PREPARATION: Gather materials. Print or find & test a way to project images.
PROCEDURE: Write the focus question on the board: “What’s in a leaf?” Pass out a kale leaf to each
student or pair of students, and ask students to look carefully at their leaves.
All kids should draw what they see. Direct them to label their drawing with any parts that they know
of. After students have had some time to observe and draw independently, and do some labeling, bring
them together and have them add more labels to their drawing/diagram. It may be helpful to model
drawing step by step on the board or, if appropriate, display a diagram on the smartboard. As you talk
about the parts you can see, discuss their functions, or “jobs.”
Here are some suggestions for what to discuss with each age group, and explanations of what each
part does for the plant in the section Parts of the Leaf We Can See & Their Jobs.
KINDERGARTEN: Draw pictures of leaves, or trace leaves. Some may give their drawing a title “Kale,” or “Kale Leaf.”
GRADES 1-2: Title their drawing, and draw and label these parts of the leaf:
• Blade
• Stem
• Veins
GRADES 3-4: TItle their drawing, and draw and label the:
• Blade/Lamina
• Stem
• Petiole
• Veins
• Epidermis
© New Hampshire Harvest of the Month | www.nhharvestofthemonth.org
HARVEST LESSONS | KALE | PAGE 4
(activity #1 continued)
PARTS OF THE LEAF WE CAN SEE
BLADE: The main part of the leaf; all of it except the stem, veins and petiole. The blade of the leaf
takes in sunlight and turns it into food. It is also where the plant “breathes.”
LAMINA: Scientific word for blade of a leaf.
STEM: The stem supports the leaf (like our skeleton supports us, and our legs), and, like the veins,
transports (or moves) water, minerals and food energy.
PETIOLE: The stalk of the leaf, which attaches to the stem of the plant. Its job is to hold the leaf to
the rest of the plant.
VEINS: AKA vascular bundle. The veins’ job is to transport (move) water, minerals and food energy
through the leaf and on to the rest of the plant. The veins in a leaf do the same things that the veins in
our bodies do!
EPIDERMIS: The outer protective layer of a leaf. Epidermis is a fancy word for skin. We have an
epidermis too - our skin! Sometimes the leaf may be waxy because the epidermis secretes a waxy
protective cuticle. This waxy covering protects the leaf, and in the case of kale, is a reason it is cold
hardy.
When discussing the veins, you might take some time to prompt students to compare the way veins look
and function to other structures in nature. Ask students to look at the veins in their drawing of the kale
leaf, or at the veins of the actual leaf. Then ask, “Do we see these patterns anywhere else in nature?”
Guide the conversation to trees, and veins in human bodies. Provide illustrations to demonstrate the
similar fractal patterns in plant and animal organisms, and in rivers. These can be displayed on a smart
board if the classroom has one, drawn on the board or you may print images to share.
Ask students to think about and guess why these things might look similar. Some theories they might
come up with include the fact that these structures (veins in humans, veins in plants, streams flowing
into rivers) do similar things, and/or that their shape is perhaps the most efficient. This is just an
interesting conversation and thinking exercise; there is no set conclusion or fact that students should
come to.
After discussing the parts of a leaf that we can see, and what each part does, then ask and discuss
“What’s in a leaf that we can’t see?” Below are some suggestions for what to discuss with each age
group, and explanations of each topic in the section What’s In a Leaf That We Can’t See.
Discussion Topics
KINDERGARTENERS: nutrients & vitamins
GRADES 1-2: nutrients, vitamins & minerals; photosynthesis
GRADES 3-4: nutrients, vitamins & minerals; photosynthesis; chlorophyll
© New Hampshire Harvest of the Month | www.nhharvestofthemonth.org
HARVEST LESSONS | KALE | PAGE 5
(activity #1 continued)
PARTS OF A LEAF WE CAN’T SEE
NUTRIENTS: Nutrients are the parts of food that give us energy. Explain that leaves can be
considered the food factories for a plant. Things inside the leaf that we can’t see convert energy from
the sun into energy, or nutrients, that plants can use, and that we can use when we eat plants!
VITAMINS: The vitamins found in green leafy vegetables support our skin, help our immune system
block sickness, help our body and our brain. Vitamins found in leafy greens: A, B, C, E, and K.
MINERALS: The minerals found in leafy greens help our bones, heart and nervous system. They also
keep us from getting sick. Minerals found in leafy greens: Calcium, Sulphur, Magnesium
PHOTOSYNTHESIS: The process in leaves converting light energy to food for the plant.
Carbon dioxide and water are used in photosynthesis and oxygen is released. We cannot see that
photosynthesis happening. It is important because without it, we wouldn’t get any energy from eating
plants or any of the oxygen that is made!
CHLOROPHYLL: Leaves are the part of the plant richest in chlorophyll, which makes them green.
So we actually CAN see chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is used in the process of photosynthesis. Chlorophyll
supports our body in making blood, and our liver in getting rid of bad stuff in our blood (toxins) when
we eat it.
Closing
Close this activity by having students write on their diagram, or in a journal/science notebook, about
what is in a leaf. Ask, “What are the things in a leaf that we can see, and what are the things we cannot
see?” On their journal page, students may write letters of the vitamins (for grades K-1), key vocabulary
words (grades 1-2), or full sentences (grades 3-4) answering this question.
ACTIVITY #2
(20 MINUTES)
ALL GRADES
READ KALE LITERATURE
Read Captain Kale and the Super Foods by Amy Roth. This illustrated book tells the story of a battle
between the junk food and healthy food in the pantry of one little boy, and teaches the importance of
eating whole foods for our health.
See the introductory chapter for information and ideas on how to engage students in reading about
healthy foods.
© New Hampshire Harvest of the Month | www.nhharvestofthemonth.org
HARVEST LESSONS | KALE | PAGE 6
ACTIVITY #3
(30 MINUTES)
ALL GRADES
MAKE MASSAGED KALE SALAD
To segue from observing kale leaves into this activity, tell students, “Next we are going to make a
recipe using kale, and when we eat kale, our own veins will send these important nutrients to our
bodies!”
MATERIALS:
Small bowl to mix dressing
Measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Lemon juicer
Mixing spoon
Individual bowls/plates for each child
Knife and cutting board to cut apples
PREPARATION:
Be sure to gather all ingredients, and tools and clear
a workspace. Make sure all students wash their
hands before the cooking activity.
MASSAGED KALE SALAD
INGREDIENTS
2 bunches kale – one leaf per child
2 lemons
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 apple
1/4 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or toasted sunflower seeds
DIRECTIONS
Each child have their own small bowl and kale leaf. They will tear the leaves from the stem, and
tear into small pieces. They may roll the kale in their hands and place in a small bowl. As they
“massage” their kale, have them note the waxy texture of the leaves and note that they are
breaking down the epidermis, the waxy protective outer layer.
While children are occupied massaging their greens, you may invite kids to help with salad
dressing, or you may save time and make it yourself, showing the class what is in it as they
massage their greens. If you want to include kids, there may not be enough jobs for everyone,
but you can ask children questions related to what we just discussed, and the children who raise
their hand nicely with the correct answer may come up and add ingredients. © New Hampshire Harvest of the Month | www.nhharvestofthemonth.org
HARVEST LESSONS | KALE | PAGE 7
(activity #3 continued)
DIRECTIONS (continued)
To make the dressing, mix in medium bowl: juice of two lemons (can be four jobs to squeeze
them), olive oil, honey, apple cider vinegar and salt to taste.
When children have massaged their leaves thoroughly, they may be added to a plate, and adults
will dole out dressing, and apple slices (can be sliced by an adult) and a small scoop of seeds.
Discussion Questions
What is found in greens that makes food for the plant?
What is a mineral found in greens that is also found in milk?
What do we have in common with plants?
What do we call the lines in leaves that carry food?
What makes leaves green and also makes food for plants?
Remember to submit your taste test results on our website!
ACTIVITY #4
(15 MINUTES)GRADES 3-4
CREATE A KALE TIMELINE
MATERIALS & PREPARATION:
Print out and cut apart the Kale History Facts (see appendix). Also keep a copy of the facts for yourself
as a key. Mix them up and place in a bag, hat or basket. You may want to glue each fact to an index
card to make them easier to shuffle and more durable. Or, you could laminate them.
PROCEDURE:
Give one fact about the history of kale to groups of 2 or 3 students. Have students read the fact to/
with their group members. Then, have them share out their fact to the whole group. Ask the class to
figure out which order the facts go in, and have them stand with their fact & team in a human timeline
to show the order they believe is correct. Let students lead the discussion as much as possible, but be
prepared to facilitate - this may be a difficult task for some classes, both in terms of the academic skills
and the social skills (working as a team).
© New Hampshire Harvest of the Month | www.nhharvestofthemonth.org
HARVEST LESSONS | KALE | PAGE 8
ACTIVITY #5
(20 MINUTES)
GRADES 3-4
MAP THE HISTORY OF KALE
MATERIALS:
A copy for each student of Harvest Lessons map (see appendix). Also, one copy of the Kale Timeline
& Mapping Directions to project, or one copy per student. Plus, an atlas for each student or pair of
students. Colored pencils.
PREPARATION:
Gather materials. This activity pairs well with Activity #4: Creating a Kale Timeline, so you could
conduct that activity before or after this one.
PROCEDURE:
Pass out copies of the Harvest Lessons map to each student. Project or pass out the Kale Timeline &
Mapping Directions. Instruct students to follow the directions to map the history of kale!
DIRECTIONS
It’s hard to say how long people have been eating kale, but we know that it was cultivated from a wild
cabbage plant, and it has been cultivated for over 2000 years; people have been eating it in its more
wild form for much longer.
Kale was a popular dish in Ancient Greece and Rome. The Roman Empire spread as far as Northern
Africa, and the British Isles.
#1: Color Greece & Italy, which were the heart of the Roman Empire, green.
Kale was a common dish into the Middle Ages in Europe, when headed cabbage became more popular.
#2: Draw a blue line around Europe.
In the Scottish Isles, kale was such a popular dish because it can grow in cold northern climates. It
was so common that kitchen gardens were called Kaleyards! People would store it with salt over the
winter, and even feed it to their animals.
#3: Color Scotland purple.
Kale was introduced to North America in the 1700’s.
#4: Label North America and color it orange.
See appendix for world map worksheet.
© New Hampshire Harvest of the Month | www.nhharvestofthemonth.org
HARVEST LESSONS | KALE | PAGE 9
ACTIVITY #6
(10 MINUTES)ALL GRADES
DISCUSS SEASON EXTENSION
If you are conducting this lesson on kale in the cooler winter months when leaves are off the trees,
begin with this prompt: “Today we are going to talk about leaves. Are there leaves on the trees now?” No,
the leaves have all left for the winter, but are there leaves that we can eat now? There are some ways
that we can still eat leaves in the winter, if we have greenhouses, and there are some greens which are
“hardy”, and survive in the cold.
Greenhouses and cold frames are ways that we can extend the growing season. Hardy greens such as
kale and collards, and other members of the brassica family, can be grown outside after a frost. Though
they may only grow a tiny bit, they will stay alive through the snow, and even get sweeter after the first
frost when their sugar content increases.
Does your school have a greenhouse or cold frame? Consider planting hardy greens, or visiting a local
farm where you can see greens growing into the winter months. See the Spring Greens Harvest Lesson
plan for instructions on making “mini-greenhouses.”
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON NUTRITION OF LEAFY GREENS
Leafy greens are packed with vital vitamins and minerals to support our bodies functioning. Here’s
some great background information to help you prepare for your lesson:
CALCIUM: Important in the formation of bones, the heart and nervous system.
SULPHUR: Helps protect our body from infection, blocks pollutions, and slows down aging.
MAGNESIUM: Essential for enzyme activity, nerve transmission, bone formation and metabolism of
carbohydrates and minerals.
VITAMIN A: Helps keep skin smooth and healthy, and protects against colds, flus and infections.
VITAMIN B: Has many forms, and maintaining health of nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver, mouth, muscle
tone, brain function. It can help with weakness, irritability and depression.
VITAMIN C: Helps resist infection, strengthen blood vessels, gives us energy, and keeps bones and
tissue healthy.
VITAMIN E: Protects against disease, and helps keep skin and hair healthy.
VITAMIN K: Important in blood clotting, and bone function and repair.
Note: Now that we can break down the vitamins into different letters and functions, and buy
supplements for each, there is a tendency to do so. The important take-away is not what each vitamin
does, but that leaves contain ALL these important nutrients, and add to the better functioning of our
whole body. Though they do not contain everything we need, color can indicate different nutritional
content, and we stress eating the rainbow to make sure we get everything that we need to be strong
and healthy!
© New Hampshire Harvest of the Month | www.nhharvestofthemonth.org
HARVEST LESSONS | KALE | PAGE 10
CLOSINGS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The following people contributed to developing this lesson plan: Chloe Powell, Aurora Coon, Cat
Buxton and Karen Ganey.
Resources used to develop this lesson plan include:
• GFL 2009 RESOURCE Guide, Foodworks at Two Rivers Center, Montpelier VT
• Enchanted Learning.com: www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/plants/leaf/
• Whole Foods Cookbook: www.tried-and-true.com/new/edibles/kale/
• Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com.
• Additional kale recipes from Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center.
• Online resources:
• www.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/magazine/who-made-that-kale.html
• www.veraveg.org/Veg%20History/Veg%20History%20Kale.html
• www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=38
APPENDIX SEE WORKSHEETS THAT FOLLOW
© New Hampshire Harvest of the Month | www.nhharvestofthemonth.org
KALE HISTORY FACTS
(for activity #4)
IT’S HARD TO SAY HOW LONG PEOPLE HAVE BEEN EATING KALE, BUT
WE KNOW THAT IT WAS CULTIVATED FROM A WILD CABBAGE PLANT,
AND IT HAS BEEN CULTIVATED FOR OVER 2000 YEARS; PEOPLE HAVE
BEEN EATING IT IN ITS WILD FORM FOR MUCH LONGER.
KALE WAS A POPULAR DISH IN ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME.
KALE WAS A COMMON DISH INTO THE MIDDLE AGES IN EUROPE,
UNTIL AROUND THE 1200S, WHEN HEADED CABBAGE BECAME MORE
POPULAR.
IN THE SCOTTISH ISLES, KALE WAS SUCH A POPULAR DISH BECAUSE
IT CAN GROW IN COLD NORTHERN CLIMATES. IT WAS SO COMMON
IN THE MIDDLE AGES THAT KITCHEN GARDENS WERE CALLED
KALEYARDS! PEOPLE WOULD STORE IT WITH SALT OVER THE
WINTER, AND EVEN FEED IT TO THEIR ANIMALS.
KALE WAS INTRODUCED TO NORTH AMERICA IN THE 1700’S
THOMAS JEFFERSON WAS AN AVID GARDENER, AND GREW SEVERAL
VARIETIES OF KALE IN THE EARLY 1800’S.
IN THE 1940S, DURING WORLD WAR II, BRITAIN ENCOURAGED PEOPLE
TO GROW KALE IN THEIR GARDENS FOR ITS “DIG FOR VICTORY”
GARDENING CAMPAIGN.
TODAY KALE CAN BE FOUND ON THE MENUS AROUND THE WORLD,
AND IN SCHOOL CAFETERIAS.
THIS MONTH’S FOOD:
© New Hampshire Harvest of the Month | www.nhharvestofthemonth.org

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