Finding Shapes in Root Vegetables

 We began this lesson by activating our prior knowledge about plant parts and the function of each. We then focused in on the roots of the plants – sharing what we remembered about roots and reading one of our books about roots to extend upon that knowledge.

  • “Roots” by Charlotte Guillain
  • “Roots” by Lynn Stone (AR 2.3)


We reviewed that the purpose of the roots for the plant is:

  • Take in water with nutrients from the soil
  • Store the water and nutrients
  • Provide structure for the plants

Then we discussed what the purpose of the roots can be for humans… to eat!

We viewed images of some of the root vegetables we like to eat to see how many students could identify them…

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 8.52.03 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 8.52.15 AM

We then focused on  the shape of these root vegetables.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 8.57.34 AM

For older students, I introduced them to the types of taproots:

  • Conical root – widest at the top, tapering steadily toward the bottom (parsnip)
  • Fusiform root – widest in the middle, tapers toward the top and bottom (radish)
  • Napiform root – widest at the top, tapers suddenly like a tail at the bottom (turnip)

But for most students, we used our geometry terms to describe the shapes:

    • Triangle – 3 sided figure
      • Right triangle – a right angle
      • Isosceles triangle – 2 side of the same length
      • Equilateral triangle – all equal sides
    • Quadrilaterals – 4 sided figure
      • Rhombus – equal sides
      • Rectangle – 4 right angles
      • Square – 4 right angles with equal sides

When it was time for students to create the shapes on their journal pages, younger students traced guides that I had created, while older kids used colored paper to cut out the shapes. For an extra challenge, students could fold the paper in half and try to draw half of the symmetrical shape for it to be opened to the full shape.

 After students had created the shapes in their journal, they labeled them with the name of the vegetable. They also colored the shapes the appropriate colors for the vegetables and added the leaves on top. To finish their project, they wrote the shape name of each vegetable.

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