George Washington Carver
Crafts and Learning Activities
African-American/Black History Crafts and Learning Activities George Washington Carver Recognition Day - January 5th
Washington Carver was an amazing man. He was born a slave, orphaned
as an infant, didn't walk until he was three because of bad health,
coughed so much that he permanently damaged his vocal cords, and
stuttered and was made fun of by others. With all these things against
him, you would think that George Washington Carver didn't have much
chance in life to make something of himself. But George had many
more things going for him than against him. The slaveholder family
of his mother raised George and his brother as their own. They taught
him how to read and the value of hard work. They also taught him
how to be thrifty and support and take care of himself at a very
young age. He knew how to sew, cook, knit, and crochet.
was exceptional in that he knew how to teach himself through observation,
questioning, and experimentation. But the thing that most helped
George throughout his life was his faith in God. He became a Christian
at the age of twelve. He said he could hear God speaking to him
through flowers, rocks, animals, and all other aspects of His creation.
When he had a problem or question, he went to God for the answer.
God was his guiding light throughout his life. Helping others was
much more important to him than fame and fortune. He lived a life
of service and shared his faith with others daily.
George Washington Carver used his mind and scientific knowledge
to benefit others. He is known as the father of synthetics. He created
hundreds of products including: adhesives, axle grease, bleach
buttermilk, cheese, chili sauce, creosote, dyes, fuel briquettes,
ink, instant Coffee, linoleum, mayonnaise, meat tenderizer, metal
polish, shampoo, shoe polish, shaving cream, synthetic marble, synthetic
rubber, talcum powder, wood stains, wood filler, and Worcestershire
sauce, and many more. Of the hundreds of new and improved products
George Washington Carver discovered, he only patented three of them.
When asked why he didn't patent more he said that "God gave
them to me, how can I sell them to someone else?" He also didn't
want to take the time to patent them. He wanted to spend his time
discovering even more products instead.
Carver didn't have a formal education until he was 12 years old,
but he learned so much by observing God's creations that he became
known as "the little plant doctor" in his town. As a boy
people all around would came to him and ask him for help when they
had plants and trees that were not doing well.
you will need: Card stock, and glue or tape.
How to make the "Collection of God's Creations" Craft:
class prepare small boxes for the children. On the front of the
box write this quote from George Washington Carver "Look
about you. Take hold of the things that are here. Let them talk
to you. You learn to talk to them." And on the back write,
"Never since have I been without this consciousness of the
Creator speaking to me through flowers, rocks, animals, plants,
and all other aspects of His creation." Apattern for this box with the quotes is available to members
of The Resource Room.
the quotes written on the box and discuss them then take your
children for a nature walk. Have them fill their box with a collection
of items from nature. In class have the children take a closer
look at the items they collected. You may want to provide them
with magnifiers. Tell them to write down any questions they might
have about the objects they have collected such as: Why does this
leaf have little hairs on one side, or why is this rock smooth
and this one pointy. Have the class give their ideas as to the
answer to the questions. Tell them that George Washington Carver
learned a lot by asking questions and doing experiments to answer
can also write about what they have learned from and observed
about their objects when they took the time to really look at
them in class.
"We rise together or we fall together" on from "The
Peanut Man" craft. (Caution: Before
doing this craft make sure no one in your class is allergic to peanuts.
If you do have someone who is allergic to peanuts, use packaging
peanuts or small rocks instead.)
you will need:
Glue or tape
Peanuts (If you have children with peanut alergies, use packaging peanuts)
How to Make the Peanut People George Washington Carver Craft:
class prepare small boxes for the children. On the front of
the box write this quote from George Washington Carver "We
rise together or we fall together." And on the back write
the complete quote, "We are brothers, all of us, no matter
what race or color or condition; children of the same Heavenly
Father. We rise together or we fall together." APattern for this box with the quotes is available to members of The
your children paint peanuts different colors and then let them
dry. Then glue tiny googly eyes to the peanuts.
play dough into the bottom of the box and then press the peanut
people into the play dough.
One day when George was just a boy
he saw some beautiful paintings in a neighbor's house. He was
so impressed he wanted to try to make his own painting, but he
knew that the Carvers would never spend money on paints or canvas.
This didn't stop George. He learned to make his own paints by
crushing the petals of flowers, leaves, and berries. He didn't
have a canvas so he painted on rocks. You can experiment making
your own paint using things you have around the house. You can
use spices such as red pepper, paprika, and turmeric. Also try
berries such as strawberries and blueberries, or wild berries.
If you have any pretty flowers around your house, pick off some
of the petals and crush them up to see what color they produce.
Keep each paint in a separate bottle and label them. Once you
have enough different colors try painting a picture. You can even
use dried, pressed flowers and other things from nature to add
to your picture. Make a sample page with a swatch of each different
color you created. Make sure you label each swatch in case you
want to create the same color again another time.
George Washington Carver was called "The Peanut Man"
because he developed 287 peanut byproducts, including food and
beverages, soap, margarine, ink, paints, and dyes, livestock feed,
cosmetics, and medicinal preparations. He even made things from
the shells such as paper, fire wood, paving bricks, and building
blocks. (Caution: make sure no one in
your class is allergic to peanuts before doing this craft. If
you do have anyone who is allergic to peanuts, you can cut out
peanut shapes from paper instead of using real peanuts.) Divide your students into groups and give each group a bowl of
peanuts (or paper peanuts). Give them twenty minutes to come up
with games they can play with their peanuts using only materials
found in your class such as scissors, paint, crayons, etc. Have
each group write down the name of their game, the components,
object of the game, and how to play on a sheet of paper.
can give your children ideas by suggesting that the peanut can be
pushed, tossed, hidden, rolled, handed from person to person, blown
on, written on. They can make a number game, letter game, etc.
George Washington Carver Peanut Party Games:
Object of the game: To be the person to find the most
Components: 20 peanuts,
Rules: Everyone leaves
the room while someone hides the peanuts. On the word "Go"
everyone tries to find as many peanuts as they can. The person
who finds the most peanuts wins.
Object of the game: To be the first person
to pick up all five peanuts in one hand without dropping them.
Components: Five small peanuts and a small ball.
Rules: Play like Jacks, but use peanuts instead. Players take turns
throwing up a ball grabbing peanuts in one hand and catching the
ball with the same hand after it bounces on the table and before
it bounces again. One player starts by picking up only one peanut
at a time until all the peanuts have been picked up. If the player
is successful in picking up all five of the peanuts one at a time
and catching the ball, he continues his play by then picking up
two peanuts at a time and catching the ball. His turn continues
until he misses a peanut or doesn't catch the ball. The next player
then tries to pick up peanuts and catch the ball until he makes
a mistake. When everyone has had a turn the play goes back to
the first player and he continues where he left off on the first
round. The person who picks up all five peanuts and catches the
3. Identify the Correct Peanut
Object of the game: Be the first person to find the correct peanut.
Components: About 20 peanuts and a marker.
Rules: Players sit in a circle. One player placess all the peanuts in a bag and then pulls one out, and passes it around the circle. Each player studies the selected peanut and then passes it to the next player. When all the players have examined the peanut the first player places a dot on the selected peanut and places it back in the bag. Children turn around while the first player places all the peanuts in the center of the circle making sure the peanut with the dot on it is on the table with the dot facing down so that no player can see it. The first player then tells the other players to turn around try to find the peanut with the dot on it without touching the peanuts. The player that finds it first wins, and gets to select a peanut the next round.
Object of the game: To be the person who gets
the most peanuts in a cup.
Components: Ten peanuts and a
Rules: One player at a time is throws all 10 of his
peanuts into a cup from a certain predetermined distance marked
on the floor. If the cup is knocked over at anytime the peanuts
that are already in the cup do not count. Only the peanuts that
are thrown into the cup after the cup is set upright can be counted.
The player who gets the most peanuts in his cup wins.
Object of the game: Be the first person to
spell a three or more letter word.
with letters written on them. Make sure you use lots of vowels.
Rules: Place on the peanuts in a bag or bowel. Player take turns
picking a peanuts from the bag without looking at the peanut.
Players keep picking peanuts until one player spells out a three
or more letter word.
Object of the game: To be the first person
to get his peanut across the finish line by blowing on it through
Components: Peanuts and straws and tape to mark
a finish line.
Rules: Each player picks a straw and a peanut.
On the word go the players blow on the peanuts through a straw.
The first person to blow their peanut across the floor and over
the finish line wins. Players can't touch their peanuts at anytime
during the game.
Unshakable Faith - This is not a children's
but is an excellent source about Carver
Booker T. It not only goes in to
detail their lives,
but explains how their faith
in God directed their actions.