Editor's note: Providing food to children is currently frowned upon in some schools, due to childhood obesity concerns. Check to be sure this activity is permissible.
Here's a great elementary activity. The finished project looks like a potted plant, but it's mostly edible! to start, everything must be very clean!!! You'll need:
- name slips (enough for the class)
- a pot for the plant (preferably plastic and new)
- foil to line the pot
- gummi worms (2-5)
- washable greenery (1-2 stems)
- enough chocolate pudding to fill each pot
- a few oreos or chocolate cookies that crumble
- unused small hand trowel
Tell the students you are going to demonstrate how to pot a plant so they will be able to help with the classroom garden. Make sure everyone can see, gathered around the table. Tell them they must each ask a question about the process as you draw their names and show each step, but first they must TELL the class something about themselves before they ask each question.
Pause frequently as you demonstrate very slowly and deliberately, drawing a number each time. Intentionally do NOT explain what you are doing with words.
Line the pot with foil or decorative plastic. Fill with chocolate pudding. Put a few worms inside pudding. Crumble cookies and spread on top. Put the plant in the pudding. Put a couple worms on top of pudding. Put trowel in pot. For an added trick, have students place the pot in center of a table and see how long it takes before someone realizes (or asks if) it is actually food!
PS - This is also a great introduction to the book How to Eat Fried Worms.
When you are done, ask the class to repeat as many things as they can that they have learned about their classmates. Then celebrate by serving the "Dirt."
Want to see more ideas?
See a full list of reviewed resources ideal for first day activities.