- Grade Level:
- Kindergarten-Third Grade
- Art, Biology: Plants, Environment, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Writing
- 20-35 minutes
- Group Size:
- Up to 36
- plant growth, recipe, models, art, visual arts, measurement, fractions
OverviewThis lesson plan is from "Making Connections: A Curriculum Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park, GrK-3", which comprises ten lessons. This is lesson 5 of that set.
Students use a recipe to produce a forest.
Objective(s)The student will be able to:
- Work in small groups to make a dough forest
- Use a recipe and measure ingredients to make dough
BackgroundAll plants need sunlight, water, and soil to grow. Plants start as seeds and grow to maturity. In a forest we find many different kinds of plants such as trees, flowers, ferns, and grasses. Without the three main ingredients our forest could not survive.
- 2 Cups of peanut butter
- 2 Cups of corn syrup
- 2-4 Cups of powdered milk
- 10 Plastic bowls (butter containers, etc.)
- 10 Spoons 10 Pieces of wax paper
- 2-4 ¼-cup measuring cups
- Soap and water
- Recipe for making the Tasty Trees*
- Tasty Trees Activity Sheet*
*Available in the downloadable Lesson Plan at the top of the page.
The teacher asks the students if they know what a recipe is. The students respond. The teacher then asks “What if we were going to make a recipe for a forest? What would we need?”
The teacher writes the students' responses on the blackboard. The teacher encourages the students to think of ingredients like sunlight, water, soil, and seeds. The teacher reminds the students of how important it is to have all of the ingredients for a recipe to work.
The teacher explains that they are going to mix ingredients to make a special dough to create a forest. The students are split into groups of three and take turns measuring out the ingredients. One student from each group measures 1/4 cup of peanut butter which represents soil. Another student from each group measures 1/4 cup of corn syrup which represents water. The last student measures 1/4-1/2 cup of powdered milk which represents sunlight. The group mixes their ingredients with a spoon in a plastic bowl.
The students divide their dough into three equal pieces. The students take their dough and roll it into a ball. The teacher explains that the ball is like a seed. All seeds need water, sunlight, and soil to grow. Since our seed is a mixture of all of these ingredients it can grow into a plant.
The students take their dough and shape it into a forest plant and then place it on their wax paper. Each group makes a list of words or writes a story to describe their forest.
The students share their words/story with the class. Everyone now eats his or her plant!
CLOSURE: We mixed together important ingredients and made plants. If plants do not get sunlight, water, and soil they are unable to grow. Plants need natural places like national parks to grow.
AssessmentThe teacher is able to evaluate the students as they work together to make the recipe and model. They are also evaluated on the list of words or the story they create.
- The students plant real seeds and watch them grow. Grass seed works well and its growth could be measured.
- The students could plant real seeds and perform an experiment. One seed they would not give water, one they would not give any sunlight, one seed would have no soil, and one seed would get everything. The students could note the difference in growth between the plants.
- Go for a walk in a forest and note all the different kinds of plants they see like ferns, flowers, grass, and trees. The students may also want to draw pictures of the plants they see.