Teaching with Peanuts


No, not Charlie Brown and the Gang but you can. I’m talking about every day run of the mill peanuts. Of course if you stop by the Fisher’s factory a half an hour from me those are fantastic! However, I’m talking about peanuts today, now man are thinking: “Oh great, going to talk about nut allergies.” Well, I will but I’m here to instruct and teach and use a little Pure Genius and TLAP here and yes, maybe a Little What’s Under your Cape? What can you teach with peanuts that I was snacking on while we celebrated an uncle’s birthday? Here you go:

1. It was many years ago in 7th grade where we talking about ratios and tallies and our science teacher put us in group of 3 and we had to open up peanuts and see how many they contain. Of course two days before there was a note sent out if anyone and nut allergies about the experiment and I recommend this too to be on the safe side. The original lesson stays intact with seeing how many peanuts have 1 nut, 2 nuts or yes, even the triple peanut. Once you have cracked open the peanut shells and have done the tallying. Have students then compare, what were the most common peanut count? Once that happens, have the students see how common each peanut type is. Then using a set of non open peanuts use them to make tallies of the different peanut counts and glue on a worksheet to show how students learned to Tally.

2. Many students to this day ask where peanuts or other types of nuts come from. I tell them some come from the ground and others from trees. They find this completely unusual, they have heard of fruits and vegetables coming from the ground and trees but not nuts. If you are an iPad school, create a Stick Around Puzzle that mark the parts of a peanut plant and then either do a directly link with the stickers to a garden website or do a set of voice recordings on how each part of the peanut or tree nut plants work. If you are a chrome book school, use options like Thinglink to mark the parts or use Google Draw or Sheets to describe parts of the plant. Go a step further in higher elementary or middle school and use Google Classroom and have students create a report on the parts of the plant and why some people are allergic to peanuts and nuts and even do a timeline on their history.

3. To be a complete peanut and nut free zone, use images of a peanut to create an interactive story. For early elementary use Apps such as Doodle Buddy, Pic Collage, Google Draw to turn their peanut into a character. Then have them tell a story with their character. For higher elementary, Middle School or High School. They can create digital eBooks or PowerPoint, Explain Everything, Google Sheets, Puppet Pals and more to create their story. A story a student of mine did in 1st grade using Scribble Press was about a peanut who left his home in the ground to see what the world was like. Simple 5 page story but very engaging and even highlighted that peanuts come from the ground and not everyone can be near a peanut.

4. If you want to do the same as above but go the Math route. Take a set of pictures of peanuts and assemble them into shapes and angles and have students find their measurements, fractions or work on basic Math Skills. Its almost unlimited what you can do in any classroom environment and still say peanut free while still using peanuts.

These are only a few ideas and lessons you can do with your students. Give it a try and think different.


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