Greens, Greens, Greens
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3.L.1.1 Remember the function of leaves
60 minutes (10 for Chef Theater, 50 for garden exploration)
Garden with at least three different edible greens (lettuce, kale, chard, turnip greens, collards, cabbage, spinach, etc.)
Student worksheet “Greens, Greens, Greens” (attached)
“Six Plant Parts” song by the Banana Slug String Band
Chef Chlorophyll Theater props:
Illustrations of sunlight, water and air
Clipboards and pencils
Students will be able to explain the function of leaves and identify nutrients in edible leaves in the garden.
Play the “Six Plant Parts” as students run through the motions of each part. Explain that today we are going to examine the part of the plant that makes food for the whole plant. Have students guess which part we will be speaking about (leaves). Explain that plants do not have to spend time hunting, gathering, shopping for, or cooking food. They go through a process called photosynthesis that makes food within the plant.
Chef Chlorophyll Theater
1. Have one teacher or adult play “Chef Chlorophyll” and an assistant help ask questions and hand out ingredients. Explain that Chef Chlorophyll gets her name from the green pigment in plants which enables the photosynthesis process to happen. Chlorophyll is the reason that plants are green!
2. The short skit takes place inside of a leaf, where Chef Chlorophyll sits with her pot and spoon, mixing up food for the plant. Chef Chlorophyll introduces herself and tells students that she is working inside her leaf kitchen to make a delicious dish for the plant.
3. She takes a taste from the pot and says, “It tastes okay, but it needs a few ingredients!” Chef Chlorophyll’s helper asks students what ingredients the chef needs. The helper can explain that the missing ingredients are things that plants need to live and grow. Sunlight, water, and air (carbon dioxide).
4. When a student answers with one of the correct ingredients give them a picture of that ingredient and have them drop it in the chef’s pot. Chef Chlorophyll stirs and then tastes again. “Mmm, that tastes better, but a couple more ingredients are needed.” Repeat until all three are in the pot. Conclude with the chef saying that the mixture tastes delicious and that the food is ready.
Garden Greens Exploration
1. Take students to the garden and hand out “Greens” worksheet and a clipboard.
2. Explain that we are going to identify edible leaves in the garden and make observations about them. You will be sketching each leaf, counting leaves, and making guesses about which would taste best in a salad.
3. Give students 20 minutes to make observations about as many edible leaves as they can.
4. Allow students to share observations, and the teacher may discuss some of the nutrition facts listed on the back of the worksheet. Many of the plants in your garden may be “super greens” packed full of nutrients: kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach, watercress and mustard greens
Ask students if people make food like plants do. Explain that only plants are truly able to make their own food. Ask them to imagine what it would be like if people could just make a sandwich inside their hand—that’s a little what it’s like for plants. Explain that people and animals depend on plants for food and that eating plants make us healthy. Plants also make us hungry by creating oxygen for us to breath through the process of photosynthesis.
“Chlorophyll Rub” from Got Veggies?
Do a leaf pressing using watercolor paper. Fold a piece of paper in half and place leaves to be pressed between the halves and rub over the top with the back of a large spoon. The chlorophyll in the leaves will print to the paper.
Lesson Resources and/or Credit for Adaption
“Chef Chlorophyll” taken from Got Veggies? A Youth Garden-based nutrition education curriculum.
NC 4-H Soil Solutions curriculum, Lesson 7 “Salad Bowl Experiment”
Name of green
Sketch a leaf
How many leaves are on the plant?
What makes this green different from the others?
Greens, Greens, Greens
Name ____________________ _______________________________________________________________
Salads can be made up of more than just one type of leafy vegetable. Salad greens are easy to grow, and they grow fast! Not all greens are the same, though. Some smell sweet, and some taste a little bitter. Some contain different nutrients for our bodies than others. Some aren’t even green at all!
In this activity, we’re going to investigate the different salad greens growing in our garden.
Which green do you think will taste best in a salad? Why? __________________
Name of green Nutrients in green
Romaine lettuce Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Folate
Loose leaf lettuce Vitamin A, Potassium, Vitamin K
Beet greens Vitamin A, Vitamin C
Rainbow chard Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C
Kale Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron
Spinach Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K
Know What You Grow Vitamins, Minerals, and your Body Nutrients in salad greens
Vitamin A- Needed for good eyesight
Vitamin C- Important for teeth, bone, and skin development
Vitamin K- Keeps blood healthy and protects from breaking bones
Vitamin E- Good for healthy skin
Calcium- Maintains strong bones and healthy blood
Potassium- Good for muscle function
Iron- Helps oxygen reach your whole body through the blood
1. Why do you think we should make salad with more than one green? ____________
2. Sometimes healthy vegetables can be expensive in the grocery store. Look to see how much these greens cost next time you go. What is an inexpensive way you can eat these healthy vegetables all the time?