Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mangos in the Morning! A Student Inspires His Teacher!

by Tatiana Gerus on Flickr
While waiting for my packets of state testing to be delivered to my classroom, amid the noise of scraping chairs and the whir of the pencil sharpener, one of my students approached my desk and shared the following with me.   "My family and I were looking up 'fruits' this morning before school.  We found that Mangos are the most popular fruit and did you know that there are 1000 different types of mangoes?" Hmmmm...actually, I didn't realize that.  As a matter of fact, I really never thought much about Mangos before now. 

Since my little fourth grade friend was fascinated by the mangos and had learned so much,  I felt the need to check them out for myself.  Here is what I learned....
  • Mangos are grown in tropical climates. In the Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala and Haiti are the leading importers of mangoes in the US. 
  • Mangos are a good source of dietary fiber and low in calorie.
  •  The mango is the national fruit of India, Philippines and Pakistan. 
  • India produces the most mangoes but does little trading as it consumes much of the fruit.
  • Mangos can be used in recipes for salsa, smoothies, chutneys and more. 
  • Mango leaves are used in wedding celebrations.
After doing a little research I realized that there are so many lessons associated with this delicious fruit.  Some curriculum examples:
  • Geography:  Locating leading mango producers on the world map which would strengthen geography skills. 
  • Math: Looking up and creating recipes that would aid with following directions, fractions, measurement and problem solving.
  • Science: Learning about how different varieties are created as well as conditions needed to properly grow the fruits could be explored.
  • Language Arts: Researching; reading folktales; writing poems and stories about mangos will allow students practice in different genres.
Sensing my student's enthusiasm for learning with just a cursory look at the mango, makes me think about my friend Denise Krebs.  She allows her students a "Genius Hour" to learn and share about something for which they have a passion or for which they want to learn more about.  When students start researching and studying something they are interested in do they gain more than those topics which are mandatory?  I think, yes!

On a side note, this is why I love my job....everyday I am treated to something seen only through the eyes of interested and engaging 10 year-olds who are fascinated by things we adults sometimes think are just commonplace.

Thanks D for the 'teachable moment' for your teacher!

Meet a Mango Tree:  Learn all about the mango tree and fruit. 

Mango Nutrition Facts:  A few quick facts about the nutrition mangos provide.

All About Mangos:  A site that provides information about the history, health benefits; myths & facts and more.

Jango Geography from Mango.org:  A game to test your skills about the countries that produce mangos.  Other Games and activities from this site.

The Mango Charm:  A folktale

Mango Coloring Page:  Several different mango coloring pages at this site.

How to Cut a Mango: from Mango.org