Bring "Planet Potato" to Your School or Organization
Suitable for students of all ages, "Planet Potato" is an interactive 40 minute program that explores the history and social influence of the world's most important vegetable. Along the way audiences learn where it comes from, how it grows, ways it is eaten around the world (other than fried) and how potatoes have transformed the way we all live.
Using museum artifacts, objects, toys and other props, Tom Hughes takes a look at how history and social studies have been influenced through food and how geography has determined what people eat. He engages students directly, inviting their active participation in the program, with role-playing, assisting in math and science demonstrations. ( No matter what people eat, it all ends up in the same place, the digestive system or gut. At the close of each program, using a funny prop, Tom shows how what we eat really does matter.)
All programs mesh with and support National Education Standards in Social Studies, History and Geography. They are interdisciplinary, (selected math and science concepts are included,) multi-cultural and hands on, with an emphasis on cross curriculum global awareness. The programs enrich and bolster current school curricula.
--Never look at food, especially the potato, the same way again.
--Understand important issues like globalization, using French fries as example.
--Be active participants in role-playing, math and science demonstrations.
--Understand that their food choices have important consequences.
--Be motivated to lead active, healthy, intellectually engaged lives.
Here are some scenes from the program Planet Potato:
Our potato books &
The Great Potato Book by Meredith Sayles Hughes & Tom Hughes, published by Macmillan, NY, 1986. The history of potatoes illustrated with artifacts and images from The Potato Museum collections. Chapters include: the living potato; the powerful potato; the delicious potato; the valuable potato; the well-traveled potato and the playful potato.
Buried Treasure, by Meredith Sayles Hughes (Lerner Publications, 1998). Potatoes in space? Super-nutritious carrots? A 1,500-pound tapioca pudding? This lively book helps students connect root gardening with history, biology, cultural studies, and more with intriging historical anecdotes, in-depth views of planting and harvesting, and detailed diagrams of these important vegetables. Packed with colorful illustrations and photos.
Potato Power Poster &
"What Can You Teach with a Potato?" Lesson Plans
Potatoes Fuel People, Animals & Machines"
Because of its high starch content, the potato is an important human energy source. This same starch can be converted to ethanol alcohol, a gasoline substitute which can be used as an alternative fuel. The Germans used the potato as a fuel source during World War II. Farmers in Canada have used potato fuels to power their farm equipment.
Lesson plans included on the back of the poster include:
--research project about industrial use of potatoes for alterntive fuels;
--potato vocabulary search;
--potato printing art activity;
--making mashed potatoes and potato chips;
--proving potatoes have starch;
--small container potato growing;
--observating botanical features of a potato.