Skills: Reading – Listening, Speaking, Questioning, Problem solving, and Writing
Grade Level: 6-7-8 recommended, lesson is adaptable to other grade levels
Objectives: The students will participate in the building and racing of a vegetable racecar.
Time Required: One or two class periods
Group size: Six members per group
Vegetable information found on Internet; (for Ohio production go to www.nass.usda.gov/oh/)
A variety of vegetables and fruits such as apples, pears, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, carrots, cantaloupes, etc.
Light dowel rods
Pens or pencils
This activity will be done following a discussion on writing a sports article for a newspaper. Review with students the steps in writing a sports article. Students will be divided into groups of six. Each student will be given a worksheet with the responsibilities of each person described as follows.
#1- Owner of the car – The owner gets to decide what he/she wants on the car. The owner must inform the designer and the advertising managers what fruits and vegetables will appear on the car.
#2 – Designer – The designer draws a picture of what he/she thinks the car will look like according to the wants of the owner. The designer must label the parts of the car with the vegetables and fruits that will be used. Wheels and tires must be included.
#3 and #4 – Mechanics – The mechanics will put the car together according to the specifications of the designer. The mechanics must work together and follow the specification orders of the designer. If the mechanics feel that something may not be right, then they must converse with the designer and the owner. The decisions of the owner are final though.
#5 and #6 – Advertising managers – The advertising managers research the vegetables that are used in the car. Information that must be included: where it ranks in production of crops in Ohio, how many acres are used for farming that product, growing season and the major nutrients found in that product. The advertising managers also name the car.
After the students have built the racing car, they are then given the opportunity to race the cars between the groups. The students are to be reminded that they will need to take notes on the results of each heat.
Items to be included in the article would be the names of the owner and designer of each car, the name of each car, what vegetables and fruits were included in each car and a description of each car.
Once the students have gathered up the results from the race (i.e. “Veggie 500”), they will then use the data that has been collected to write a sports article about the race.
The sports article will be graded according to the steps used in writing a sports article and the content.
Adapted from the Agriculture Awareness Foundation of Pennsylvania