Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finding the Plant in The Peanut - Science for Children

Science Sunday

Of course, I know a peanut is a seed. I think even the children understand, that they are seeds. In fact, I picked up an extra package of raw peanuts, after the Christmas peanut brittle season had passed, just in case we decided we wanted to plant a few.

But, what I didn't realize, or had never really thought about, until I was browsing through Rose Wyler's Science Fun With Peanuts and Popcorn, is the fact the little bump on the inside of the peanut, is the tiny plant. I've certainly noticed the little bump before, I've just never thought about it being the beginnings of a plant.

Wyler suggests taking a look at the inside of a raw peanut with a magnifying glass.

That, was fun, but it looked almost the same, as looking at it with the naked eye. So, we pulled out our pocket magnifier, instead (remember the ones I suggested as stocking stuffers?). That was really astounding.

It took some effort to get the peanut to fit properly under the lens, I had to cut it into a smaller piece, for the children, but it was such a neat sight - the tiny plant parts are very clear to see. Even the man of the house had to take a look.

We checked out the inside of a roasted peanut, too. We could still see the little plant parts, they were just less defined, and definitely cooked.

As to Wylers book, it has a number of pretty ordinary, but very clearly described, and nicely illustrated experiments to do with peanuts, and popcorn, several of which we will probably do ourselves. And, as a little bonus, at the back of the book there are several fun suggestions for putting together into a little peanut, and popcorn themed party.

It's part of a series of simple science books by the author. Our library system has a few of them, which we now have on hold.

For more fun with science, check out this week's Science Sunday link-up at Adventures in Mommydom.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Debbie said...

Wow how fascinating! I never gave it much thought to the little bump on the peanut being the beginning of the plant. Thanks for the information, I am going to have to investigate this myself.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

This is pretty interesting info, but it kind of makes sense. Popcorn is a lot more popular in the house than peanuts (no allergies, but daughter doesn't care for nuts), so perhaps I'll see if our library has this book.

Ticia said...

I've always found that rather fascinating. I wonder how my peanut loving kids would take to that information.

Cathy @ NurtureStore said...

It's funny that we take things for granted or just use them (or eat them) without much thought. It's great to stop once in a while and really look. Thanks for the reminder.

Unknown said...

Wow! Looks like a really cool experiment! We don't do anything with peanuts here...Although I wonder if one can be allergic to peanut seeds? Something to find out!

Thanks for looking at our Science Sunday!


An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Jessy - The peanut is the seed, so I would stay away from it if you have alergies in the house. But the book also has a number of good popcorn experiments - including finding the plant in the popcorn.

Phyllis said...

Sounds like a great book.

Christy Killoran said...

Very cool! That book sounds great. So, are you going to have a peanuts and popcorn party?