Sunday, December 18, 2011

Science Sunday - Nuts

Science Sunday

As a last second thought, I grabbed a scoop of mixed nuts in their shells, as we passed through the produce section at the grocery store yesterday, for a very simple Science Sunday activity, today.

When I was a child we always had a bowl of mixed nuts, with a nutcracker sitting in the middle of the table around Christmastime. We don't generally buy nuts in their shells now though, and since there are not many nuts growing around our area (there are a few nut trees hardy enough to grow in Montana, but not many do), the children are not that familiar with nuts, beyond the chopped and bagged variety I sometimes buy for cookies.

I thought it might be fun to test their knowledge, by shelling the nuts, and placing a few with nuts still in their shells... see if they could recognize which nut went with which shell, and if they could name them.

Once we had the nuts organized, I demonstrated to the children why I had not put out a shelled Brazil nut. Those things are impossible to crack without pulverizing the nuts inside!

After that, Science Sunday deteriorated into a debate between the Man of the House and myself, as to the correct name for the hazelnut. He was pretty sure it was a filbert, and I was pretty sure they are the same thing. It turns out that a filbert is a variety of hazelnut, so filberts are hazelnuts, but not all hazelnuts are filberts - go figure.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Mariann said...

What a delicious idea!

Unknown said...

NOW you need to go and watch a version of The Nutcracker... ;0)

Debbie said...

I love this, especially the debate between you and the man of the house.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Very neat idea, and it goes perfectly with Nutcracker theme!

Christy Killoran said...

Neat! I don't think I have ever seen a Brazil nut in the shell.

I love the debate.

Phyllis said...

We get nuts for Christmas and crack them, but I am not sure if my kids could accurately identify them. What a great, simple idea. We always used the terms Filbert and Hazelnut interchangably. My father could always crack Brazil nut and keep it whole or at worst two pieces. I could never figure out how he did it. Mine always looked like yours.

G said...

What a fun little project! I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award over on my blog at

Ticia said...

I love this time of year because it's so much fun to crack nuts and eat them.

I love this idea for a science lesson.