SUMMER SQUASH GRADES 3-5

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1 SUMMER SQUASH GRADES 3-5

2 Introduce a Zucchini Many children may not be familiar with summer squash. This guide helps you introduce one of the most popular the Zucchini!! Bring a fresh zucchini to show the children. Pass it around so the children can touch and smell it. Ask the children: Does anyone know what it is? Has anyone ever tried zucchini before? How can you eat zucchini? By itself, steamed, with pasta, in pancakes, etc. How do they grow? Show picture on the next page What colors are they? Green and yellow What do you think they will taste like? Crunchy, soft? What food group do they belong to? Vegetable If possible, bring some cut up for dipping into ranch dressing or some other dip! Perhaps bring in some zucchini bread, or find a place to bake some with your children.

3 Summer Squash Facts Squash comes in summer and winter varieties. Summer and winter squash are both cultivated during the summer months, but winter squash is harvested as a fall crop. The word squash comes from the Narragansett and Iroquois words "askootasquash, and "isquoutersquash" meaning "eaten raw or eaten uncooked. Squashes are one of the oldest known crops--10,000 years by some estimates of sites in Mexico. Squash was the first dish Indians taught the settlers how to cook. The name zucchini is Italian, a derivative of the work sweetest. August 8th is national "Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night. Squash belongs to the same family of plants that includes pumpkins, cucumbers, melons, and gourds. Some people enjoy growing monster size squash. All the different types of squash are a good source of vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and vitamin C. Presidents Washington and Jefferson grew squash in their gardens. Sources: University of California Extension; and

4 VEGGIE TASTERS AWARD This certificate is awarded to YOU For tasting and learning about summer squash! VEGGIE TASTERS AWARD This certificate is awarded to YOU For tasting and learning about summer squash!

5 Experiencing Summer Squash Through Your Senses Time: 10 minutes Give each child a small paper cup that contains a slice of crookneck squash and slice of zucchini. Ask the children to name the five senses. List the senses on the board or on a large paper on the wall (sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste), and ask the children for an example of each sense when you write them on the board. Explain to the children that they are going to look at the differences between a yellow crookneck squash and a zucchini. Explain that as a group, we will be writing on the board/paper the differences and similarities of the two types of squash. Ask the group to tell you how the crookneck and zucchini are different in sight, sound, smell, and touch. How are they the same? At the end of the activity, discuss that even though the crookneck and zucchini are different they are also very similar and both are very healthy. Source: Utah State Extension

6 Where Does Summer Squash Come From? Show children the Parts of a Plant chart. Explain that vegetables are plants that grow from seeds. Sometimes we can see the seeds inside of a grown plant. If we put the seeds in the ground and give them plenty of sunlight and water, they will grow into more plants. We don t always eat the entire plant. We usually eat just a part of the plant. Describe each of the six parts of the plant. Ask the children which part of the plant they think summer squash is. Squash is the fruit of the plant. Explain that we plant the squash seeds in the dirt. The seeds need water and sun to begin to grow. The seed becomes a tiny plant called a seedling. Then the seedling grows into a really big squash plant. The plant grows pretty yellow flowers, which grow into squashes. Tell the children that summer squash is picked before it becomes too big, and needs to be eaten soon after being harvested. Source: Utah State Extension

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