This SciShow Kids video is a great way for kids to learn about George Washington Carver. It also addresses the topic of slavery really well. It is perfect for younger students who may not have learned about these things yet.
In 1865, George Washington Carver was born. He was an agricultural scientist and an inventor. He was born an enslaved person, but soon after he was born, slavery became illegal. Because of the racism that still existed, in order for Carver to get an education, he had to travel to lots of different schools. He also learned a lot from his love of reading.
He loved to investigate nature, especially plants. He became a scientist and studied farming at college. He would share his knowledge with others by becoming a teacher. He taught people about healthy soil to grow their food.
The farmers were having a problem getting their cotton plants to grow. Carver discovered it was because the cotton plants had used up so much of the nitrogen in the soil. Being a scientist, he knew nitrogen was essential for plants to grow. He taught the farmers to not plant cotton every year, like they had been doing, but instead to rotate their crops and plant peanuts for a year. The peanuts help add nitrogen back into the soil. This is a technique farmers all over the world use today to keep their soil healthy and produce more crops.
George Washington Carver also helped the farmers to use the new crops they planted. He invented lots of ways to use peanuts and other crops. He used them to make shampoo, lotion, and medicine. He didn’t invent peanut butter, but it is easy to see why people would think that.
A fun way to use this video is to pair it with a plant growing lesson. You could perform experiments on the soil or other growing conditions or simply have students grow a small plant. This is a fun way to celebrate George Washing Carver during Black History Month and all year long!
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