Who Was George Washington Carver?

George Washington Carver was a world-famous chemist who made important agricultural discoveries and inventions. His research on peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other products helped poor southern farmers vary their crops and improve their diets. A monument showing Carver as a boy was the first national memorial erected in honor of an African American.

George W Carver laboratory

Here is a free resource! based on the book Who Was George Washington Carver, by Jim Gigliotti. You can use this as a Study Guide designed to help students gain deeper knowledge or as a Quiz to test their knowledge after they read this book.

Vocabulary: Write the definition for each of the following words.

orphan: _____________________________________________________

immigrant: ______________________________________________________________________________

bushwhacker: ____________________________________________________________________________

Amendment: _____________________________________________________________________________

nursery: __________________________________________________________________________________

horticulture: _____________________________________________________________________________

chemist: _________________________________________________________________________________

botany: ___________________________________________________________________________________

nutrients: _________________________________________________________________________________

legacy: ____________________________________________________________________________________

Questions: Please answer the following questions in this format:

statue of Carver as a boy
The boy Carver statue is a nine-foot high bronze statue by Robert Amendola. It depicts George Washington Carver as a boy and is mounted on a large limestone rock. The boy Carver statue was dedicated at the George Washington Carver National Monument of July 17, 1960. 
The George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri, was approved by Congress in 1943. It was the first national memorial to an African American. The chief sponsor of the legislation to create the monument was Missouri native Harry S. Truman. He was a senator from Missouri at the time. A dedication ceremony of the monument was held on July 13, 1953. 
[SHS 007935; Massie-Missouri Resources Commission photo]
  • Write complete sentences in your own words. Do not copy straight from the book. 
  • Restate the question. For example, to answer Question #1, you might write, George got the nickname “the Plant Doctor” after he… . 
  • Begin each sentence with a capital letter.
  • End each sentence with punctuation. 


  1. How did George get the nickname, “the Plant Doctor?”
  2. Who are Moses and Susan?
  3. Who are Mary and Jim?
  4. Describe Missouri’s role in the Civil War.
  5. What is the importance of the 13th Amendment? 
  6. Re-read pages 14-15. Write a paragraph and summarize (briefly re-tell) what those two pages are talking about.
  7. What significant (important) event happened to George when he was 8 years old?
  8. Why did George refer to God as “Creator”?
  9. Describe Mariah Watkins.
  10. Why didn’t Mariah Watkins like it when George said, “I’m Carver’s George”?
  11. Why did George move to Neosho?
  12. Compare Neosho to Diamond Grove.
  13. What was the name of George’s school in Neosho?
  14. Re-read page 41. Write a paragraph that describes Jim Crow Laws. **Remember: a paragraph is not one long sentence strung together with the word “and.” Write 3-4 complete sentences. 
  15. Read pages 46-47. Describe the house that George built.
  16. What was the Homestead Act of 1862? Who signed it into law?
  17. Describe George’s experience at Simpson College. Why did he leave? 
  18. What was the “Atlanta Compromise”? Who wrote it? How did black people feel about it?
  19. Read page 61. Write a short paragraph about Booker T. Washington.
  20. Why did Booker T. Washington want George to attend Tuskegee?
  21. Describe the booklets that George wrote for slaves.
  22. What was the Jesup Wagon?
  23. What did George say after Booker T. Washington died?
  24. Why did George want farmers to rotate their crops?
  25. Describe George’s famous peanut booklet. Why did the Royal Society of Arts in London honor him for this booklet?
  26. What was George’s goal when he started the George Washington Carver Foundation at Tuskegee? 

Internet activity: use the Internet to learn more about whooping cough. Describe what it is. 

On your own: 

  1. Write a 2-page essay titled The Legacy of Dr. George Washington Carver. Describe his legacy in 3-5 paragraphs. Support your essay with plenty of details and description of his great work. 
  2. Create a “How to” brochure

George Washington Carver created a booklet called How to Grow the Peanut, and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption.

Create a tri-fold “how to” brochure about something that you love. 

  1. The cover should be a photo of you involved with the topic. For example, if you are writing a “How to” about playing the piano, you will be in a photo playing the piano. If you are writing about how to bake a cake, your photo might include you in the kitchen baking a cake. 
  2. The inside pages should include the following: 1) an introduction and something interesting about the topic; 2) “How to” details about the topic; 3) other suggestions on how to use the product.
  3. The back page should include Acknowledgements that thank people, such as Mom and Dad, who helped you complete the brochure. This page should also and References, such as books or Internet sources that you used. Books and Internet sources should be in MLA format. 

Thank you for visiting our blog, TAMS and ED Home schoolers. Feel free to copy and paste this lesson and use it as a supplement to your Reading, Writing, or Social Studies lessons.

For more lessons that emphasize African Americans and their great contributions to education, follow my blog. Also, like us on Facebook, TAMS and ED Homeschool. Visit our website at http://www.tamsanded.com 

It’s compost time!

Having a compost pile or bin is a great way to learn and work together as a team. At TAMS and ED Homeschool, all of us take our responsibility for taking care of the Earth very seriously.

Composting is a great way to reduce your waste and replenish the Earth and to be good stewards of the world we’ve been given.

As part of our classroom gardening project, we study the benefits of composting. Here’s a few key facts.

  • Composting creates a medium for plants that is filled with the nutrients they need to flourish.
  • Compost is made up of things you already have in your home like newspapers, coffee grounds, leaves, grass clippings, egg shells, and fruit & vegetable peels.
  • Composting helps the environment and reduces the trash we send to the landfills. That’s a good thing!

REMEMBER: Food and garden waste belongs in the compost pile, not in the garbage.

GeoFun for your geokids

From the backyard to the beach, summertime activities naturally pave the way for students from pre-K to high school to make some great geological discoveries.   

 Geology is the study of the earth’s physical structure including diamonds and gem stones, rocks and rock formations, fossils, volcanoes, minerals, the ocean floor, hurricanes, earthquakes, and more. Because children are naturally drawn to mud pies and water, the younger they are when we introduce them to basic principles of geology, the better.  School supply stores have lots of resources for children as young as pre-K. However, my blogs focus on Free or low-cost resources that parents and students can use, so let’s take a look.

soil painting
Soil painting is an Indian art that uses the rich tones of the earth.

Stanford University hosts GeoKids, which is a program that is filled with opportunities for 1st and 2nd graders to explore various aspects of geology through fun and hands-on activities such as soil painting, volcano and lava games, or constructing fossils. Graduates from Stanford’s Earth Science Department oversee the program. Elementary students each receive a Geology Field Book,  just like the one that real geologists use, which includes such treasures as fossil identification, mineral types and colors, soil critters, and even a recipe for rock candy.

Geology.com has a wealth of Free resources for students in pre-K through high school.  Here’s is a snippet from the exhaustive list of great geological stuff including:

photograph of Niagara Falls partially frozen.

  • Anatomy of a Tsunami – a virtual look at how a tsunami forms plus survival tips from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
  • Adaptive Earth Science Activities this 80-page PDF is filled with experiments and labs for every grade level. A few fun activities include Rock Riddles, The Geologic History of insects, and Modeling Geologic Columnsgg Sand Art. 
  • NASA’s SciJinks, is filled with news you can use about hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, and more. They have colorful games and interactive puzzles. These resources, mostly for middle schoolers  hurricane post cards, and a Field Guide to the San Andreas Fault.
San Andreas Fault

Want more? Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TAMSandED Visit our website http://www.tamsanded.com or follow my blog for hands-on resources for parents, teachers, and students.

TAMS and ED stands for Technology, Language Arts, Math, Science, and Education. We provide a tough yet achievable home school for students who need personal attention in a safe home environment. We utilize a number of cross-curricular teaching tools including standard textbooks, computers and technology, academic excursions, and hands-on learning. Our qualified Board of directors consist of certified educators, parents, and administrators who are passionate about challenging every child to reach for the academic stars.

We promote diversity and tolerance in a safe learning environment. For TAMS and ED students, the world is their classroom. Come and join us!

Felicia Moon-Thomas, Director

Better Than a Worksheet: Teaching Photosynthesis to 4th and 5th graders

One advantage that homeschool classrooms have over traditional classrooms is freedom of movement and more creative learning opportunities. As much as possible, I incorporate colorful tools and and living examples that reinforce my lessons.  My students and I take lots of field trips and lots of photographs. These hands-on approaches allow students to study key concepts and ideas and actually observe their lessons in action. This lesson is for 4th and and 5th graders.
20150603_105648To begin, I clipped a few stems from an overgrown Pathos plant and allowed each student to propagate his/her own starter. After a about a week they assembled their projects.


Water travels up through roots and stems to the leaves.

20150526_205811Sunlight is absorbed by a green chemical called chlorophyll.

20150526_205823Carbon dioxide from the air diffuses into the leaves through tiny holes.

Chlorophyll converts carbon dioxide with the help of sunlight into glucose and oxygen.


  1. carbon dioxide: a colorless, odorless gas; plants “breathe in” carbon dioxide and “breathe out” oxygen.
  2. chlorophyll: the green pigment found in plants.
  3. diffusion:  the movement of molecules from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration.
  4. oxygen: is a chemical element O; humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.
  5. photosynthesis: is the process by which plants and other things make food. It is a chemical process that uses sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into sugars the cell can use as energy.


  • Plastic or clay pot (we used plastic).
  • Any house plant (we use the Golden Pathos).
  • Plastic folders (yellow, blue, green, orange). In Texas, these folders are $.50 each. I cut them about the size of small index cards. I use these in case they get wet.
  • Permanent markers in various colors.
  • Potting soil.
  • Colored push pins. I used them to secure the attachments. A good glue for plastic works just as well.


  • Use a small portion of the green folder to draw and cut the leaves. Use the black marker to draw the veins.
  • Use a small portion of the blue folder to draw and cut the water waves.
  • Use the yellow folder to draw and cut a small circle for the sun.
  • Use the orange folder to draw and cut the solar flares that will go around the sun.
  • Use a bright yellow strip for the title: Photosynthesis. Wrap and attach at the top of the pot. Secure with yellow push pins or glue.
  • Write each step of the process of photosynthesis on a different cutout card.
  • Use a brown marker to draw the roots.
  • Assemble each card and element or compound in order -beginning with water and ending with “Chlorophyll converts …”

Want more? Visit us at http://www.tamsanded.com. Like us on Facebook TAMS and ED, which stands for Technology, Language Arts, Math, Science, and, Education.