Grade 1 LP

First Grade: Tomatoes to Ketchup

Books to Correspond with Unit:

  1. a.      From Tomato to Ketchup by Roberta Basel, Capstone, 2005
  2. b.      Oh Say Can You Seed!  by Bonnie Worth, Random House, 2001
  3. c.       I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato, by Lauren Child, Candlewick, 2007
  4. d.      Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert. Voyager Books, Harcourt, Inc., 1987


  1.  During this activity students learn about parts of a plant, their function, and basic requirements needed for growing.
  2. Plant a bean sprout or tomato plant for students to see how a bud blossoms into a flower and a flower changes into a tomato.
  3.  This is a song children can sing to the tune of “I’m A Little Teapot” related to rain and how it assist with flowers growing.
  4. Have students draw a map of the garden labeling it with cardinal directions.  You can have compasses on the field trip to the garden with students working in groups drawing the map on a clipboard.  In addition students can label the vegetables in the garden.  Estimate distances from school to garden.
  5.   On pages 1-3 of this document there is a creative writing activity for Heirloom Tomatoes and a fun and exciting experiment with Make Your Own Ketchup (with recipe at end of document).
  6. Purchase a patio tomato plant (preferably with blooms on it) and watch the tomatoes grow.  The teacher may have students journal each day on the changes they notice with the plant and what the plant is needing to live.
  7. Tracking weather and basic needs for plants to grow:  Students will track weather in a journal over an extended period of time.  Then students can organize the data and interpret on a graph or calendar.  Have students answer questions regarding the data.  Use three categories such as rain, sunny, and cloudy.
  8. Several activities in this document that correspond with the book Oh Say Can You Seed.  These activities compare the parts and functions of a plant and explain the greenhouse effect and the difference in the climate condition for plants.
    1. Read Oh Say Can You Seed? All about Flowering Plants by Bonnie Worth aloud. Discuss the different parts of a seed and what helps it grow.  Observe different types of seeds with a magnifying glass (sunflower, bean, pea, etc…).  Listen to the Star-Spangled Banner “Oh Say Can You See”. Discuss the rhyme and rhythm of the tune. Divide students into groups, provide each group with a copy of the book, and have them group create a song, “Oh Say Can You Seed”, using knowledge gained throughout the lesson.

  1.  The activities in this website correspond with the book Growing Vegetable Soup.  There are several questions for reflective writing.  There is a drama skit activity where students participate.  At the end there is a drawing, touching, and tasting activity to correlate with the book.