Welcome to Kitchen Classroom, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids is sharing a weekly set of kid-tested and kid-approved recipes, hands-on experiments, and activities paired with suggestions for how to bring learning to life in the kitchen.
In this week’s edition of Kitchen Classroom, we’re taking kids back to the Kitchen STEAM Lab. In our Regrow Your Vegetables activity, kids will use just water, sunlight, and scallion scraps to grow new scallion greens in about a week. In this week’s Learning Moment, kids will create a bar graph or line graph to chart one scallion’s growth over the course of the week. After all the growth and observation, kids can use their regrown scallion greens to top Nachos, a Corn, Tomato & Bacon Galette, or Stir-Fried Tofu with Green Beans.
Don’t forget to share what your family makes by tagging @testkitchenkids or using #ATKkids on Instagram, or by sending photos to email@example.com. Visit the America’s Test Kitchen Kids website for more culinary content designed especially for kids, plus all of the Kitchen Classroom content in one easy-to-scan location.
Regrow Your Vegetables
In this activity, kids will use scallion roots and whites to grow new scallion greens, using only water and sunlight. They can regrow a single scallion two times. After that, the plant won’t have enough nutrients left to continue regrowing with this method. They can also use this method to grow pungent, flavorful garlic greens.
What You’ll Need:
2 tall drinking glasses or Mason jars
For this activity, try to use scallions with roots that are ½ inch or longer — they will grow faster.
Don’t buy scallions specially for this activity! If you’re making a recipe that calls for scallion greens, use the white and light green parts, including the roots, to grow new scallions.
Use chef’s knife to cut off scallion greens, leaving roots, white bulb, and 2 to 3 inches light green part intact. Save scallion greens for another use.
Add about 2 inches water to drinking glass. Place scallion bulbs in water, root end down (top of light green part should be sticking out of water). Put glass in sunny location.
The part of the scallion that’s green grows above ground. It gets its color from a pigment called chlorophyll (“klor-oh-fill”). Chlorophyll and sunlight help give green plants energy to grow!
Every day, discard water from glass and replace with fresh water.
Watch your scallions grow! When scallion greens have grown 5 to 7 inches above white and light green parts (after about 1 week), use chef’s knife to remove new scallion greens, leaving roots, white bulb, and 2 to 3 inches light green part intact.
If desired, repeat steps 2 through 4 to regrow and harvest scallion greens again. You can regrow a single scallion 2 times.
Garlic can be regrown in the same way. When you have leftover garlic cloves, don’t throw them away. Instead use them to grow garlic greens. Garlic greens taste similar to chives and scallions. You can use them the same way.
Add 1/2 inch water to a small glass or shallow container. Place leftover unpeeled garlic in water with root end (the flat part) facing down. Replace water daily. When garlic greens are around 5-7 inches tall, after about one week, use a chef’s knife to remove the greens.
Measurement & Data (Representing and Interpreting Data):
Young chefs will harvest their scallion greens once they’ve grown 5 to 7 inches above the white and light green parts, which takes about 1 week. That means they’ll get to see lots of growth in a short amount of time — scallions can grow up to 1 inch per day.
In step 2 of the activity, instead of placing all of the scallion bulbs into one glass, place a single bulb into its own separate glass. Then, proceed with the activity as written. Tell kids that they are going to create a graph to chart the growth of the single scallion over time. Explain to kids that graphs show you information as a visual image (like a picture). Ask kids: What information will this graph show us? They might say that it will show how long it takes the scallion to grow, how tall the scallion is every day, that it shows on which days there was a lot of scallion growth, and on which days there was less scallion growth.
Give kids the option to make a line graph (good for older kids) or a bar graph (better for younger kids) to measure how much their scallion grows each day. If kids are already familiar with making graphs, have them set up their graph on their own, including a graph title, and then explain the parts of it to you. Guide younger kids or those less familiar with graphs with the following instructions:
Give kids a sheet of graph paper or a sheet of paper. Have them make a long vertical line along the left side of the page (this will be the y axis), and a long horizontal line that connects to the vertical line along the bottom of the page (this will be the x axis).
Tell kids to label the y axis with “Scallion Height in Inches,” and mark it with evenly spaced marks labeled from 0 to 12.
Have kids label the x axis with “Day of Growth” and mark it with evenly spaced marks labeled “Day 1,” Day 2,” and so on for 7 days.
Then, have kids add a graph title, such as “Scallion Growth Over 1 Week.”
Make a prediction: Ask kids what they think the graph will show. Do they think the scallion will grow the same amount each day? Do they think it will grow a lot at the beginning of the week, and then slow down at the end of the week?
Before adding their single scallion to its glass on day 1, have kids use a ruler to measure its height in inches. Kids making a line graph should identify the corresponding number on the y axis, then make a dot at that height over the “Day 1” mark on the x axis. Kids making a bar graph should color a vertical bar starting at “Day 1” on the x axis and ending at the corresponding number on the y axis. Repeat this every day for the remaining 6 days. Kids making a line graph should use a ruler to connect each dot to the previous day’s.
Observe your results: At the end of the week, ask kids to interpret their graph. What day had the most growth (represented by the biggest jump in graph height from one day to the next)? What day had the least growth? Did they notice any patterns? Did anything surprise them? After analyzing their data, kids can use their regrown scallion greens to top Nachos, a Corn, Tomato & Bacon Galette, or Stir-Fried Tofu with Green Beans.