Monday, September 21, 2015

GREEN Chile (aka Pepper Science Unit)

I live in Southern New Mexico and come September we are all about the Green Chile.
 This post will most likely only apply to New Mexicans and Arizonians??(not sure what you call yourselves) During September we are really giddy about seeing the roasters out and smelling the chile in the air- sometimes coughing it is the hot chile.
Because we really celebrate this time of the year, my coworker and I decided to do a unit on chile.  I began my research and was a bit disappointed on the resources out there for students about chile. So I decided to put some things together for other teachers excited about this season.  We live in Las Cruces and my first stop was the Chile Pepper Institute.  They grow many types of chile there and you can even go on a field trip there.
They have the history of the pepper on their website and some resources for older students.  I made my resources geared towards kindergarten, 1st and 2nd since that is what I teach.  I made this video with pictures I took around the institute and in the grocery store to introduce peppers.
We also did a New Mexico State map where students put chile in counties that grow green chile.
The students brought in pictures of peppers they found in magazines, grocery store ads, drawings and we put them up on our "peck of peppers." They were excited about bring these in and peppers many were growing in their yard or from grocery store.
We compared peppers to see how they were alike and different. We wrote about what we found.
Our class did research on what are the parts of the chile. We re-created the pepper and labeled most of it's parts.
Students ordered peppers based on Scoville units which was a great time to reinforce place value.  Students had the opportunity to do a little research on what makes a green or red chile. They did an interactive journal activity to record their findings.
I have to say this was a fun unit to cover and I really enjoyed putting it together for my students.  If you would like these resources you can just click on the picture below to purchase in my store.

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