Hey and welcome to another fantastic article on my personal blog! As I told you guys in my Welcome to my new blog post I will be reviewing some websites on this blog that I have recently used or will use in the future for school projects that I undertake together with my students. In my previous article I have discussed on how you can find quality websites yourself that provide genuine information that will actually help your students to learn more about the subject matter. Today I will discuss such a website. First I will give a little introduction on the subject that I choose.
I have always wanted to teach my students more about biology and botany. I haven’t studied biology nor botany myself so I’m not entirely capable of teaching them every single thing but I am pretty sure that I have sufficient knowledge of the basics. However, you don’t want to present the human body to 10 year old kids because they will perceive that to be kind of boring, so I decided to go with another approach: something that they can actually do themselves, something they can actually touch and eventually even eat. I thought about growing strawberries or growing potatoes but that is pretty lame and has already been done at least a thousand times in classrooms nationwide. So I decided to come up with something entirely new: learning them to grow their own peanuts!
So I started searching the web for quality articles about peanuts, peanut growth and some other unanswered questions. I first came across this website, it’s the website from the University of Purdue and it has a pretty extensive article written on it about peanuts. However, the language is kind of complicated and not really understandable for neither me nor my students. Another interesting website that I found was a page on the Clemson University website. Again this website talks extensively about how peanuts grow, how you can grow your own peanuts and it also tells you more about its origin, the maintenance of the peanut plant and more general information. But again this article is written in a very academic style which is not that easy for my students to read. I needed to find something more accessible, more entertaining and more challenging for my students. I needed articles that actually describe the step by step process of growing your own peanuts, backed up with clear pictures and good informative texts.
I eventually found this website and I love it. It features very comprehensible and easy-to-read articles in general about peanuts, peanut growing, confectionary and even on other nuts such as almonds and pistachios: it’s great. I first read almost every single page, one of the most interesting pages for me is the one where they describe how peanuts grow. I actually learned a lot from this website. Also the page where it is described how you can grow your peanut plant is REALLY helpful, they have made eight easy to follow steps so that kids can easily do it their selves.
Let me just quickly list some facts that I didn’t even know of before. First off all, apparently peanuts don’t grow on trees but on some kind of root on the ground. On the bottom of that root a nice small plant grows that has beautiful yellow flowers. I also didn’t know that there are more than four different types of peanuts, I usually just buy roasted peanuts from the supermarket and I don’t really pay attention to which ones I buy: I just buy ‘em! Something else that surprised me was that almonds have a pretty long history and are not even American! That’s what I always thought, almonds must be a full American product, but they aren’t! They were imported from Spain centuries ago.
Well as you can see I’m pretty enthusiastic about this particular website. It has great images, great information and on the home page they have a really cute photo of a squirrel that has their website name spelled out using peanuts: the kids absolutely loved it. I eventually ended up learning my students on how peanuts grow and I used the step by step article to let them grow their own peanuts: it’s pretty simple actually. The class project was a great success, some of the kids actually got really nice peanuts from their plants: so the step by step tutorial definitely works like a charm. We ended up drying the nuts and roasting them in the oven: they tasted delicious.
Some kids didn’t want to participate in the peanut growing experiment so we also had some small projects going on where they could learn more about almonds. The website that I mentioned features some amazing information on this subject as well, again with clear images and the language used really appeals to the kids.
If I would have to rate this website, it definitely gets a 9. Now why not a 10? I still think the header (that’s the top image of the website) is kind of boring, they could definitely improve that a bit. Overall, the information is clear, the pictures are amazing and the kids loved their nutty results. I definitely recommend you visit this website if you want to get some nice ideas for future class projects.
PS: here is a nice video about growing peanuts in Georgia.