Homeschooling S.T.E.A.M.: Fruit – Bananas

As is forever the case, all good things must come to an end. And so it was with mixed feelings that I presented this lesson on bananas. While it was a great program and the kids had a blast, it marked the end of our unit on fruit. This was probably the easiest unit I’d ever done, but it was also one of the best received. So it’s hard to let it go. But, well, I wanted to run a new theme starting in July that will take us through until Labor Day and the start of the new school year, so this one had to end. And, I have to say, it was a great unit on which to end!

Banana literature is fairly easy to come by, and I was especially pleased with the non-fiction titles available. Not all fruits has good non-fiction works for kids, but this one had several.

  • For the first non-fiction title, we read Banana by Pam Robson with the little ones.
  • A similar book, but covering a different range of information was Bananas by Elaine Landau, and I read this one with the bigger kids.
  • Then we proceeded with a couple fiction titles, starting with Betty Goes Bananas by Steve Antony, a perfect story for kids who want to do everything ALL BY THEMSELVES!
  • Our last book was Beautiful Bananas by Elizabeth Laird, a clever little trading sequence book in which a little girl is trying to get the perfect gift for her beloved grandfather.

Then it was time for our activity…Banana Art! This was fun. We started out with a discussion on oxidation and another on pointillism, and then I turned them loose with toothpicks a huge pile of bananas. Here’s what happened!

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The kids thought this was an absolutely fascinating process, and we ended up with some really great art. Of course, the greatest thing about banana art is it’s transitory nature. Try as you might, it just won’t last. So when it is all said and done, there’s only one thing to be done with banana art. Yep. Banana smoothies. Yum, yum, yum!

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One of the things I most appreciate about homeschooling is that it can be a semi-democratic process. I say semi, because I let them vote on topics and choose much of what we do, but I have the final say in what happens. So in keeping with that process, we brainstormed possible topics to get us through the summer and then crossed off anything that one of us didn’t want. Here was the list…

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That was the democratic part. But I get the final choice. What will it be? Check in two weeks (We’re taking next week off for the Independence Day holiday…) to see! Have a great week!

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