Kale Chips

Bugs and Kale Chips

Cooking the chips

With fresh kale growing in the garden, Michael biked over to cut some kale leaves. Four children volunteered to wash and cut the kale. Some specialized words associated to this experiential job were “kale”, “rib”, “half”, and “vertical”. Children had to fold the kale leaf in half lengthwise and cut with a plastic knife along the rib of the leaf.  The leaves, once prepared, then needed to have vegetable oiled massaged into them, and were sprinkled with a little salt before being laid out on the baking pans.  They were then cooked until crisp, and enjoyed at snack over the following week.

Harlequin Bugs

An impromptu science discovery happen when four insects were discovered attached to the kale leaves. Magnifiers and a large piece of bark were offered to a small group of children interested in tracking the movements.

Our teacher, Chelsea joined with the IPad to research the species. It was determined through photos that all four insects were the same species at different stages of development. It was discovered that the bugs were called the Harlequin Bug, (scientific name: Murgantia Histrionica). The eggs start as black and white striped ovals. They form and change patterns on their shells as they develop into adult form with wings. Vocabulary offered during this time included “symmetry”, “Nymph”, and “Pest”.

Children utilized math skills to quickly assess if all the bugs were counted for. When 1 would go missing, they used small movements to locate the bug without accidentally harming the missing insect. This demonstrates care and respect for nature.

The food preparation children would call out and offer the nature observers group another specimen each time they found a new bug. Children supporting children in learning and experiencing our world is a cornerstone of our preschool.

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