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 vegetables can be classified into seven categories: (1) leafy and stalk vegetables; (2) crucifers; (3) legumes, peas, and pods; (4) squashes and gourds; (5) tubers, roots, and rhizomes; (6) mushrooms; (7) onions and garlic; and (8) other vegetables. Some of these terms may be new. For ex ample, crucifers include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower (white, orange, and purple), brussel sprouts, broccolini, napa cabbage, and savoy cabbage. Leafy and stalk vegetables include iceberg lettuce, red-leaf lettuce, green-leaf lettuce, butter (or Boston) lettuce, arugula, choy sum, watercress, leek, kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, greens (collard, mustard, beet, and turnip), celery, rhubarb, romaine, leek, parsley, and so forth. Such jargon could become an intellectual feast for a kid and his/her teacher. This PDF file– with its 124 color images of vegetables -- can be viewed on a tablet computer while kids tour aisles in the produce section of a supermarket
This www.teacherspayteachers.com (TpT) product is a PDF file that provides both images and Wikipedia URLs for a total of 124 vegetables: 26 leafy, 14 crucifers, 18 beans/peas/pods, 15 squashes, 26 tubers/roots, 8 mushrooms, 6 onions/garlic, and 11 others. Associated with most vegetables described in this product is a URL for a Wikipedia article that describes the vegetable. Such Wikipedia articles can be used for homework, classroom presentations, and science fair projects.