Two books -- "Up, Down and Around" and "Tops and Bottoms" -- both teach how fruits and veggies grow in the ground, above the ground, or in the middle. These books are part of the Maryland FSNE "Read for Health" curriculum.
At Baybrook Middle School's after school program sponsored by Child First Authority -- "Cooking Venue" students read "Up, Down and Around" -- with 1/32 of the class being "growing up", 1/3 being "growing down" and 1/3 being "growing around". The next book "Tops and Bottoms" taught us that while some veggies grow up and some veggies grow down -- that veggies like beets and radishes -- actually both tops and bottoms can be eaten. It also taught us that one character -- the hare was a bit of a trickster and very smart.
After reading the books -- we went into our cooking class where we cut up veggies to make a salad using romaine lettuce, celery, summer squash, peppers, carrots to which we added fruits -- pomegranate seeds and raisins and then our salad dressing. We also made hot corn tortillas with salsa and cheese.
All the noise in the room ends when we start chopping veggies and making our hot tortillas. And after we have made our foods -- we get to eat -- the best part. Of course we want to try everything that we have worked hard ot make. And we also like any second helpings that remain.
Check out the YouTube video for "Tops and Bottoms" which is a paraphrased read of this truly delightful book in less than 3 minutes. Both books are a great way to introduce elementary and pre-elementary children to how veggies grow.
Posted on behalf of Phyllis McShane