National Pickle Day


Leaders,

Happy Men Make Dinner Day!  Did you know there are actual rules to this day?  Check them out!  We'd love to hear what you had for dinner tonight.  Post it in the comments below.

We wonder if it included pickles.  Why do we wonder that?  Why, because we've had National Pickle Day on our mind.  Do you like pickles?  We do!  I prefer dill and the Mr. prefers bread and butter.  What is your favorite type?

While preparing for National Pickle Day (November 14th), we learned quite a lot.  First of all, did you know pickles are really quite healthy for you?  Athletes swear by drinking pickle juice post-workout.  It is extremely effective at relieving muscle cramps and restoring electrolytes.  When fermented, pickles contain probiotics which results in healthier microbiomes for our gut!  Pickles may help control blood sugar, prevent cancer and reduce the effects of aging.  If you're not already gnawing on a pickle, leaders, there's more!  Read on here at Medical News Today.

Historically speaking, pickles date back as far as 2030 BC.  Prized by Cleopatra as a beauty secret, preserved and packed by adventurers, and penned in Shakespearean literature, the pickles presence positively appeared throughout much of the past.  Read more on pickle history at PBS.

Now that you're packed with pickle knowledge, may we present to you some pickle activities for you and your learners.

First, head over to National Day Calendar.  Print their pickle quiz.  Then, prepare for a taste-testing experience.  Learners categorize a variety of foods by the way they taste.  Where do you think pickles will fit in?  At the end of this blog, we'll share a pickles only taste-testing activity.  But if you want more variety, this one at National Day Calendar is the one for you!

Also at National Day Calendar are links to two science activities involving pickles and electricity.  In the first, you'll make a pickle buzzer (Exploratorium), and for the second, light a bulb (Steve Spangler).  Both of these activities require resource gathering (and possibly purchasing) so plan ahead!

If you'd rather watch a video of Steve Spangler lighting a bulb using a pickle, check out this one on YouTube.

Perhaps Magic School Bus is more your style.  Check out this episode, "In a Pickle," via Daily Motion.  Learn about microbes with Miss Frizzle when a student's prize cucumber mysteriously transforms.

Feeling artsy instead?  How about this pickle craft shared by Amy Lemons?  Use it as a writing prompt.  Or, you could use it as a class graph marker for pickle taste-testing.  Learners simply pillar pickles above the label of their pickle preference.

Oh, so you want to actually prepare pickles?  Awesome!  Food Corp provides a detailed lesson plan (PDF) for such an activity.  It starts with Peter Piper and ends with pickled appraisals.  It's cross-curricular, experimental, and hands-on.  Suggested time frame spans two days: 55 minutes the first day and 20 minutes the second.  We're certain it would be time well spent!  Grocery shopping, supply gathering, and brine preparation required for this activity.  Although, if you're working with older learners, we recommend allowing them to prepare the brine.  It requires working with ratios, so if that's something you're teaching, it's worth doing.  Because the brine needs advanced preparation, add a third day into your planning.

Short on time but still want to celebrate?  Check out these two songs.  Play them during transitions, or invite kids to sing along and make up their own versions.  There's Jim Cosgrove's "Pickle Song," or for younger learners, "Do You Like Pickle Pudding?".  What fun to brainstorm other gross combinations with your littles!

Finally, we suggest a taste-testing experience.  In this activity learners:

  1. Vote whether they like or do not like pickles.
  2. Write, discuss, or draw to describe their prior knowledge of the pickle-making process.
  3. Taste dill, sweet, bread & butter pickles, and cucumbers.
  4. Vote on their pickle of preference.
  5. Graph and rank results.
  6. Write pickle questions that analyze graph data.
  7. Read an actual pickle recipe.
  8. Compare their pickle-making process description to the actual.  

To aid you in this venture, we've crafted for you taste-testing polling ballots and a data-collection page.  Click picture or link below to claim yours.


When the pickle festivities end, come back and share with us how it went for you and yours!  We'd love to hear all about it!

At Your Service,

Interested in even more educational resources?  Then stop by our Learning Lab.  It's here where we store all the educational resources we've cooked up to date.  

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