As I wrote drafts of “Enrichment Chemistry” (which is available at TpT as an ebook, “Enrichment Chemistry COMPLETE”), I realized that a replacement for the old-and-smelly chemistry stockroom would be modern supermarket. For example, a supermarket can be a source for safe and inexpensive chemicals, such as vitamins, minerals, hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, distilled water, over-the counter medications, etc.
I started my interest in a supermarket from the point of view of
chemistry, but during 2014 I realized that a supermarket can
serve as an educational environment for K-12 students. It is the perfect environment for such students to learn about nutrition and food products. Once a student learns about the molecular structures of vitamins, he or she could study nutrition labels and also search Wikipedia to learn about the vitamin/mineral content of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, roots, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, etc.
Accompanied by a parent, a trip to a supermarket can serve as
(a) an adventure, namely, a family field trip; (b) an opportunity
for collaboration among parents, a local school, and a local
supermarket; and (c) an opportunity to compare the nutrition
provided by fresh fruits and vegetables versus the nutrition
provided by fast foods and high-sodium packaged foods. Education may help reduce obesity in young children.
Parents have an opportunity to turn their visits to the supermarket into “field trips” for their kids. Teachers cannot handle such a field trip for a class of, say, 10 students. But a parent can do so with their well-behaved kids after teachers provide homework assignments. In my opinion, the most enjoyable and interesting location in a supermarket is the produce section, and not the shelves of cereals, chocolates, snack foods, pies, and ice cream that kids adore.
Parents and teachers should focus on the produce section, with its nutritious, zero-salt, low-refined-sugar fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The produce section is the essence of the concept of a whole food, namely, “a food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances.”
In this product, kids learn that fruits are classified into seven categories: (1) citrus fruits; (2) berries; (3) stone fruits; (4) pome fruits; (5) melons; (6) tropical fruits; and (7) other fruits. Some of these terms may be new. For example, stone fruits include peaches, plums, apricots, pluots, cherries, nectarines, and so forth. Some tropical fruits are already available at my local Kroger’s supermarket: kiwi, mango, pineapple, banana, pomegranate, plantain, star fruit, Asian pear, persimmon, fig, and even horned melon. Typical melons at Kroger’s are watermelon, cantelope, honeydew melon, and one or two small, weird melons. Both apples and pears are pome fruits. Tomatoes – on-the-vine, cherry, and plum – are considered to be in the fruit category.
This PDF file– with its 119 color images of fruits -- can be viewed on a tablet computer while kids tour aisles in the produce section of a supermarket.
This www.teacherspayteachers.com product is a PDF file that provides both images and Wikipedia URLs for a total of 119 fruits: 28 pone, 16 citrus, 12 berries, 10 stone, 7 melons, 46 tropical, and 8 others. Associated with almost each fruit is a URL for a Wikipedia article that describes the fruit. Such Wikipedia articles could be used for homework, classroom presentations, and science fair projects.