The Banana / El Plátano

4-Day Lesson Plan
 

By Dr. Silva-Flores, fifth-grade teacher
April 2001


Part I: Reading and Language Arts

Goal: Students will learn the history, nutritional value, and properties of the banana.

Objectives: Students will

1. use predicting strategies for reading comprehension,
2. identify facts and details for reading comprehension, and
3. summarize a reading excerpt.

Materials: handouts, large chart paper, markers, paper, and pencils

Activities:

1. Tap into students' prior knowledge of the subject by asking them to brainstorm about what they know about bananas.
2. Script their answers on large tablet sheets.
3. Pass out handouts about "Bananas' History, Nutrition, and Variety."
4. Give students instructions: They must read articles (handouts) and prepare reports for their peers on their reading.
5. Students break into groups of threes and give oral reports to each other.
6. Students get back together in one big group and discuss the information they learned about bananas.
7. Students answer questions about bananas.

 

Part II: Math

Goal: Students will learn the history, nutritional value, and properties of the banana.

Objectives: Students will:

1. estimate the outer and inner length of a banana using the metric system,
2. estimate the circumference of a banana using the metric system,
3. measure the actual circumference and outer and inner length of a banana,
4. use subtraction to identify which estimates were closest to the actual answers,
5. estimate the weight of the banana with and without its peel using the metric system,
6. weigh the banana with and without its peel, and compare the results to the estimates.

Materials: bananas, handouts, rulers, yarn, pencils, and scales

Activities:

1. Tap into students' prior knowledge of the subject by asking them to identify what they might measure using milliliters, centimeters, decimeters, meters, and kilometers. Do the same using measurements of mass.
2. Students estimate the circumference and length of the banana and record their estimates on their handouts.
3. Students estimate the weight of the banana and record it.
4. Students measure the actual circumference, length, and weight of the bananas.
5. Students subtract the estimated measurements from the actual measurements and see who came the closest.

 

Part III: Science

Goal: Students will learn the history, nutritional value, and properties of the banana.

Objectives: Students will

1. observe density of matter,
2. formulate a hypothesis, and
3. explain the hypothesis about the density of the banana with and without its peel.

Materials: bananas, handout, container, water, and ice cream.

Activities:

1. Ask students to think about the weight of the banana; ask them to hypothesize whether the banana (with its peel on) will float in water
2. Students put the banana (with its peel on) in the water and observe.
3. Students remove the peel and observe what happens when the peeled
banana is put into the water.
4. Students explain their observations on their handouts.
5. Students discuss these observations.
6. Students develop a theory to explain their observations on the effect
of the banana's peel on its floatation properties.
7. Students share their information with the rest of the class.
8. Make banana splits and eat them!

 


Handout 1

History of the Banana

The banana is a very old fruit. It is mentioned for the first time in history 600 years before Christ was born (B.C.). The existence of a banana plantation can be traced back to China in the year 200 after Christ was born (A.D.). Islamic conquerors brought the banana back to Palestine, and soon it spread all over Africa. Many centuries later, in 1502, the Portuguese started the first banana plantations in the Caribbean and in Central America.


 

Handout 2

Nutrition of the Banana

Bananas are very nutritious. They are 99.5% fat free. They have no saturated fat, no cholesterol, and no sodium (salt). They have vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and C, and contain minerals such as potassium and phosphorous. If your body does not have enough B6, then you get weak, easily become angry, and cannot sleep well at night (suffering from insomnia). Bananas are ideal for sports persons. The mineral potassium is important for the brain to function well. That is why the banana is called BRAIN FOOD.


 

Handout 3

Types and Uses of Bananas

The banana plant is NOT a tree. It is a giant herb related to the palm tree. There are about 400 different types of bananas. The word "banana" comes from the Arabic word for "finger." Bananas are used for many things. They can be eaten fresh, baked, roasted, barbecued, fried or mixed into a recipe. Bananas can be eaten in a "banana smoothie" ("plátano con leche"), in banana cakes, and in salads.


 

Handout 4

Name: _______________
Date: _______________

The Banana

1. Will the banana float or sink with the peel on?

2. Will the banana float or sink without the peel?

3. Write your observations.

4. Write your explanation of what you observed.

 


 

Handout 5

Name: _______________
Date: _______________

The Banana

Your Estimate Actual Measure Difference :
Outside length of banana:
Inside length of banana:
Circumference of banana:
Weight of banana with peel:
Weight of banana without peel:


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Best Practices Page


 

Updated 4/3/2002