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Your Own Grown Vegetable Soup ~Lesson Plan

Posted by Susan Armstrong on September 2, 2010 at 9:10 AM

How to Make Vegetable Soup!


Growing Vegetable Soup sensory lesson plan is designed for older preschool and kindergarten age children. The activity is designed for the children to take ownership of making their own food that they get to eat. They will grow, harvest, clean and cook the food, giving them such a tremendous feeling of accomplishment and success. (This should be part of an ongoing learning about vegetables and gardening. Begin planting either in classroom, or if outside, after threat of frost has passed.)

Here's a great link that gives gardening tips:


Purpose/Objectivesof Activity:

  •  Learn the sequence of how things are planted, grown, harvested, cleaned, prepared,cooked and eaten.
  • Compare and contrast food textures and tastes before and after cooking
  •  Learn to complete tasks from beginning to end; learn patience
  • Social skills strengthened by working cooperatively in a group for the same end result
  • Broaden language skills with recipe/cooking lingo (cut cubed, rounded, squared)
  • Develop small muscle control and eye-hand coordination
  • Follow directions and become familiar with following a recipe
  • Proper cooking habits and practices (Washing hands, food, preparation area)
  • Learn about delicious and nutritious foods, first hand
  • Build self esteem and cooperative skills

Space and Materials Needed:

This cooking activity is to be be done in the kitchen. Tables are needed for cutting and preparing food. Class must have access to sink to wash hands and vegetables. (If you have a small kitchen,prepare recipe at lunch tables, load crock pot and put that in kitchen when finished preparing.) Cook in crock pot for an all day sensory experience or it can be modified and cooked on the stove if preferred.

  •  Book “Growing  Vegetable Soup” By Lois Ehlert
  • Vegetables the class has grown from the garden
  •  Recipe
  •  Plastic cutting boards
  •  Plastic serrated knives
  •  Vegetable peelers
  • Measuring spoons and measuring cups
  • Slotted spoon and ladle
  • Bowls
  • Spoons
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic containers for food storage


This activity is the last step in the sequential process of making vegetable soup. This is to be done after the class has planted, harvested, cleaned, read and discussed Growing Vegetable Soup book as a group. If preferred, you can modify activity by having store bought vegetables, for a quick and easy lesson.

1)    Read Growing Vegetable Soup as a group. Discuss and reflect on the steps already taken to prepare the soup (planting, watering, and harvesting). Ask the children “Have you ever cooked a meal? What’s your favorite type of soup? Are you excited about making your own lunch today? I know I am!” Tell them you are proud of how hard they have worked already. Encourage the children to wash the tables, their hands, and the vegetables thoroughly. Explain the importance of cleanliness and how it helps us to stay healthy. Have everyone put on smocks or aprons.

2)    Help the children separate the vegetables. Help them to gather the ingredients needed to make the soup. Go over the recipe with them so they know what and how much to gather. Ask questions like “How do you suppose our soup will taste? I wonder if carrots will taste different before they cook than they do after they cook. Would  you like to make any predictions about what it will be like?”

3)    Help the children to cut and peel the vegetables. Ask them to describe what the vegetables feel like. Make sure and have some extra vegetables so you can encourage the children to taste the vegetables before they are cooked. Say “I wonder what they will feel like after it’s cooked? I wonder what they will look like after they cook? I wonder how it will taste after it’s cooked?” Encourage the children to describe the smells of the vegetables before cooking them. Say “I wonder if it will smell the same after it has cooked?”

4)    Help the children measure the last of the ingredients! Place prepared ingredients into the crock pot; set on high for four hours (or longer if you prefer, for added tenderness of the vegetables). Stir until blended. Let the soup cook as you go on through the day’s activities, letting the children stir occasionally, with your guidance, to avoid burns. As the smells fill the room, discuss them. Ask “I wonder which of the vegetables smells the strongest or loudest?” Ask the children to describe the smells. As each child gets a chance to stir, ask them to discuss the way it looks “Has it changed any? Does it look the same? I wonder if it tastes the same?” As you do this, use descriptive words such as thick, thin, hard and soft to talk about the soup’s textures. Make sure to allow time for the soup to cool down once it is finished cooking.


5)    Gather everyone around table, allow the children to dip out some soup into their bowls, with guidance. As the class is eating, ask “Can you describe how it tastes? How does it smell now? I wonder, does it taste or smell differently than it did when we prepared it, before it cooked? Are the vegetables hard or soft?"  Encourage the children to describe the soup’s smells, textures and tastes. Also encourage comparing and contrasting the raw and cooked vegetables. Also, eat some soup too!


6)    Clean up. Place remainder of soup in a plastic container or remove crock pot ceramic container, cover and place in refrigerator. Tell the children what a great job they did on growing and preparing their very own soup.They should take great pride in such an accomplishment!



Remember to guide the children through the entire activity. If the plastic serrated knives will not cut a vegetable, such as a carrot, encourage the children to break it in pieces; or cut it  yourself with a steel knife. You may also consider guiding the child’s hand so the child is the one cutting with the steel knife, but do not let their fingers near the blade!


Were all objectives met? Did all the children participate as planned? Did the children take ownership of their vegetable soup? Will this lesson be remembered? What would you change next time you do this activity?




How to Make Vegetable Soup

1 large onion, peeled

2 carrots

1 medium potato with skin

9 green beans (ends off)

1/6 small head cabbage   

5 cups water

1 stalk broccoli

3 medium tomatoes

1 small green pepper

1 zucchini (5-6 inches)

1 celery stalk

1 big handful of peas


Teacher- gathers before class:

4 bouillon cubes

1 bay leaf

½ cup snipped parsley

1 tsp dried marjoram

1 tsp dried thyme

Salt & pepper to taste

Slice onions & carrots into rounds. Cut potatoes into small cubes. Cut beans into1 inch pieces. Chop cabbage wedge into shreds. Slice broccoli stem into rounds,then into pieces; leave tops whole. Chop tomatoes into eighths. Cut out stem of green peppers and remove seeds; slice into rounds. Cut celery into ½ inch pieces, remove ends.

Mix all prepared ingredients and cook.

Makes12 small servings—Double recipe if you have a larger class

Of course, you can always use your own vegetable soup recipe or modify this one.









Categories: Lesson Plans

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