I love arriving at school on Tuesdays; I walk into the classroom to see a tantalising corner, crammed with all kinds of goodies. Last week there was a veritable fruit-salad; an entire greengrocer's. This week was no exception; clearly we were going to have fun learning about some of the many things that plants can be used for.
Raamy actually brought the raw ingredients for a drink; mint tea. As he opened the bag.....
so the tantalising aroma of mint drifted towards our nostrils. It was not going to be the only delicious smell of the afternoon! He told us that when we make mint tea, we use the leaf part of the plant.
Thomas showed us some amazing seeds.
'They've been dried and scraped with a knife to make the patterns,' he said. 'If I shake them, you can hear the seeds inside.....' And we could - just about!
'This is a carved hand,' began Tatiana.
'It is made from a tree; the stem.' We wondered what it might be for. Chloe was sure. She told us that it is used for putting rings on when you don't want to wear them. Rings on your fingers.....
Leon told us, 'I have brought a horse.
It is made from wood,' he added.
Staying with the wood theme, Aabis showed us what he had brought.
'It is a mat for a table, made from a tree. The part is the stem. The tree is bamboo.'
Dasha next. 'I've got a toy and it's made from a tree and it's been painted,' she said.
Meghna recognised it immediately. 'It's a Russian doll,' she told us. I wonder if you know what is special about Russian dolls.
Sivert had a piece of paper. 'I brought paper and paper is made from a tree and the part of the tree is the bark (are you sure?) and we can use all types of tree.'
Mark also had a paper product. A box made of cardboard. However, he was more interested in the contents.
'This is juice and you cut the apple and you squash it and juice comes out and then you can drink it.' Can you see the seeds inside? What part of the plant is an apple?
Mark showed us one of these.
'It's tea,' he explained.
Funnily enough we also had tea from Viivi.
'It comes from the leaf of a plant. You can smell it.' And we did!
Tommy was next in line - but if you don't mind, I will save him for a bit.
Two baskets next. One from Quentin.....
which he told us 'is made from straw. Straw is horse food. It is the stem part of the plant.'
who told us that her basket 'is made from bamboo. It is the stem of the plant. I saw some bamboo on the way to school,' she went on. 'It's thin!' she exclaimed.
Owen shared a mat.
'It's a cork mat. It's made out of the bark of a tree. It can't catch on fire.....' he began, but what he actually meant was that it protects things against heat; it is used for putting hot dishes on to stop the table getting burnt. 'It is from an oak tree and they are found in Spain,' he concluded.
Owen was also interested in rubber. 'You cut a hole in the tree, then put a bucket under it and the sap falls down. Erasers are made from rubber. And balls.'
That sparked a question which Quentin was quick to answer. 'Maple syrup is the sap of a Canada (sic) maple tree. I have some at my house.' Lip-smacking noises and mmmms followed! Perhaps we should make waffles some time.....
Meghna had two things made from wood; but both looked very different. I wonder why. 'This is a comb.....
made out of wood (the stem of the tree) which has been carved (can you see the beautiful patterns?) and I brought this too.'
What differences do you see between the two things? Meghna told us that the 'dolls' house' chair was very light wood, but the comb was quite heavy.
Chloe had a packet of something that smelled delicious;
petals and bits of wood that they had added a smell to. 'It's to make the room smell nice,' explained Meghna.
Harrison shared something he had found on the Internet about cotton.
'This is a cotton plant. It's from a flower and you get cotton from it and you can make stuff out of it like clothes, trousers, shirts and tee-shirts and jumpers.' A quick 'straw' poll revealed quite a few items of clothing made from cotton. Including my cotton cardigan. And my socks. And my jeans. Oh and my vest.....
Virginia brought us this to show us.
She told us it was made from a tree. 'I think it is a coconut tree,' she said. We wondered what part of a coconut tree it was made from. What do you think?
Ryoma had something in a plastic bag. 'Ananas,' he told us.
Pineapple! Dried pineapple. Deliciously sweet.....we all had a tiny taste!
Seyf had a jar of something.
'I've got strawberry jam. It's made out of a plant. You have to boil it then you put it in the fridge, then you put it in the oven then we get it out and we can sell it. We can put it on cake or toast to make a sandwich.'
And now to Tommy. Actually; you know what? I think this marvellous presentation deserves its own Blog post. Hang on a minute.....