Beacon Lesson Plan Library

From Peanuts to Peanut Butter

Erika Hall
Orange County Schools


This lesson is a creative way to introduce young learners to the accomplishments of scientist and inventor George Washington Carver. The students get to experience a variety of products created from peanuts.


The student knows the accomplishments of major scientists and inventors (e.g., specific scientists and inventors, what they created, and how their creations have influenced society).

The student knows significant aspects of the lives and accomplishments of selected scientists and inventors in the historical period since the Renaissance.


- 1 piece of chart paper
- 2 markers
- 3-5 Unshelled roasted peanuts
- 3 or more products created from peanuts (see web link 2/attached file page 2)
- Picture of George Washington Carver (see web link 1)

Collage (one of each item per student)
- White construction paper
- Scissors
- Magazines (i.e. Better Homes & Garden, adverisements, etc.)
- Glue
- Crayons
- Pencils

Extension Activity
- 1 Peanut Butter Recipe (see attached file)
- 6 cups unshelled roasted peanuts
- 1 small bottle of cooking oil
- 1 small jar of honey
- 1 Blender
- 1 (cup) measuring cup
- 1 tablespon measuring spoon
- 1 rubber spatula
- 1 class set of plastic knives
- 1 class set of napkins
- 1 box of crackers
- 1 half gallon of milk
- 1 class set of 3oz. paper cups


1. Gather materials for discussion.
2. Set up student tables with collage materials.
3. Keep a set of collage materials for teacher demonstration.
4. Set up cooking area with Extension activity materials.


1. Ask the student if they’ve ever:
Eaten ice cream or peanut butter.
Ridden on a tricycle or bicycle.
Talked on a cell phone or gotten they mail out of the mailbox.

2. Discuss what a scientist or inventor does. (I.e. they get to create really cool things like ice cream, shoes, peanut butter, tricycles, video games, crayons, etc.)

3. Show the students a picture of George Washington Carver.

4. Explain that he was a scientist/inventor who created many products that many people use everyday.

5. Next, pass around a few unshelled peanuts.

6. Ask the students if they can think of something you could make from a peanut.

7. Encourage each child to share.

8. Write his/her answers on the chart paper. Add other examples from the list of peanut products (see web link 2 and page 2 of the associated file).

9. Then show the students a concrete example (if possible), of the many items created from peanuts (see web link 2).

10. Ask the students if they have seen any of the products before.

11. Discuss what our lives would be like if we didn’t have these products made from peanuts.

12. Tell the students that they are going to make a collage about George
Washington Carver and the products he made from peanuts.

13. Cut out the picture of George Washington Carver.

14. Glue the picture on the white construction paper.

15. Show them how to find examples of products in magazines and cut them out.

16. Glue a couple of pictures on the white construction paper.

17. Explain to the children that they may also draw pictures of the products, if they would like.

18. Demonstrate a simple drawing of a peanut product (i.e. peanut butter).

19. Tell the students to include some of the ways we use the products today.

20. Find or draw an example and add it on the construction paper.

21. Allow the students to begin working independently.

22. Circulate around the room to assist the students as needed.

23. Collect the collage to use as a formative assessment.


The students will create a collage featuring a major scientist or inventor, the product or product(s) they created and how their creation influenced our society. Use completed collages to formatively assess the students’ knowledge. Meet with each student individually to discuss the elements include in the collage.

Collage should include the following info.
- Drawing/picture(s) of scientist/inventor.
- Drawing/picture of the products created.
- Drawing/picture of how the invention is being used in our society.


The following activity can be used to enhance the students’ knowledge of how a product (peanut butter) is made from peanuts.

1. Use the recipe sheet to guide the students in making peanut butter. (See attached file)
2. Allow the students to assist with measuring and preparing the ingredients.
3. Students can sample their peanut butter with crackers and milk.

Web Links

Use for background information and the picture of George Washington Carver. (Site verified 3/8/04--VCN)
National Inventors Hall of Fame

Use for a list of products created from peanuts.
African-American Inventors Series

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