The Amazing Peanut

So I was going to do a unit on Ancient Greece...but then we had the books from the library, read the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, read a comic-like book about 2 kids going back in time to the first Olympics, and a few others....and well that was about all the interest there was....so we moved on....
Yep...the peanut. I got the book The Life and Times of the Peanut at the library so we could learn a little bit about them before we dove into growing them this spring. So we picked up a couple bags of peanuts at the store yesterday....and I drew up the lapbook pieces last night...

This morning they got to work.... Cale cut out all his pieces, they did some copy work- Rylan has been very interested in Presidents lately, so for his copywork he learned that both Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter were peanut farmers. We talked about other legumes....clover was surprising to them...we labeled the parts of the plant. Then we got to the fun stuff...

We shelled. I got 2 kinds at the store...roasted and raw. We shelled the roasted, keeping the shells, skins and nut in separate containers....Did you know you can make paper from the skins? And wallboard from the pods?

Once we had a good amount of peanuts we took them to the food processor. We didn't have any peanut oil, but we added a little water and honey. We spent quite awhile without all that great of a result...the first try resulted in peanut crumbs, so we took the crumbs and roasted them in a pan for awhile to try and extract the oil a bit. We tried my hand blender and normal blender. They were making guesses as to what the problem was...not a strong enough food processor? Too dry from previous roasting in their shells? Need additional peanut oil? Eventually we gave up and tried it anyway....you could squeeze it into a ball, but it wasn't spreadable, plenty of oil was left on our hands. My guess is the processor didn't do it's job. But we added more honey and some dry milk and made peanut butter balls.

The above book is for our data. Our plan is do try and make peanut butter from commercially roasted nuts (above), raw nuts, and raw nuts roasted at home- both of those we will do this afternoon. To see which tastes the best and which makes the best peanut butter.

Then Rylan read this little book on George Washington Carver that I wrote up. And we read some more about him in the The Life and Times of the Peanut. We'll finish up tomorrow with a timeline of growth, where in the US/World peanuts are grown and uses for peanuts other than peanut products to eat.
Now I need to go vacuum up peanut shells off the floor....


  1. That is totally awesome! My other Sarah did something like this with her kids a year or so ago... they made peanut butter, jelly, and bread and then put them together for PB&J's for lunch.

    Your kids look so crazy proud of their peanutbutter!

    I will have to check out that book. My kids don't get to do things like that very often.

    As far as Moving Beyond the Page goes... I have bought Alex's curriculum there, and then I bought the 6-8 community package for Cyan. Most of the books I could get at the library (I checked first and put them on my list so I can just go in and request them when I get to that part of the lesson) so I just bought the books. It was under $300 for the rest of the year. But it honestly has already been worth it. I have used the samples they have for free on the website for weeks... picking and choosing what is working with what we are already doing. I have to boost the lessons for Alex, and we have a completely seperate math program for him and some extra language stuff as well... but the base lessons are so much fun! We are planning on using them for the rest of the year. :)


  2. Not the books... the lesson plans. I just bought the lesson plans and props. :)

  3. Hi Sadie,
    I love the peanut idea. It brought a reminder to me sometime last year there was site I came across and we were sent free materials on Peanuts and Peanut facts since Peanut Month is in March.
    Anyway, my point is you sparked that long put away unit study I have Sweet! thank you.
    But, I also wanted to share that site with you...
    There is at the top a margin that says educational materials for k-2nd or 3rd-5th we received both for the different ages levels we have. Thank you for sharing this because that will give us something to do these dreadfully winter blues we are going through. The unit comes with coloring and lots of information and facts and more.


    Oh and your peanut butter I think it just needed blended until spreadable I think but, in the unit they give you atleast 2 recipes to make peanut butter and different things to use your peanut on. Really Good unit I think although not used but, looked through.