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 

Benefits of outdoor classrooms

Khloe is making a hummingbird feeder

Whether you add an outdoor learning center, a project-based station such as a vegetable garden, a natural art center, or an area for reflection and writing, an outdoor classroom can be a valuable teaching tool for all students.  Outdoor classrooms provide stimuli that enhance indoor lessons. Science lessons take on a whole new meaning when students are able to touch, observe, collect datas, and experiment.

Relevant classes include both natural materials -like dirt, trees, and stones- along with man-made materials like bird houses and tables. An outdoor classroom provides opportunities for a student to learn in ways not possible in a traditional indoor classroom.  Students can examine the soil, inspect water samples, analyze machinery to see how simple devices unite to make more complex ones, track real-time cloud patterns, and see how human activities can affect the world around us—for better or worse. As they record and study data for themselves, students will learn skills of observation, analysis and prediction that will benefit them long after their classroom years are over.

Neighborhood pavilion provides a shady place for outdoor reading.
Neighborhood pavilion provides a shady place for outdoor reading.

Outdoor learning opportunities have something for every grade level:


  • Take a walking tour through an ecosystem.
  • Activate the 5 senses: TOUCH the grass, SMELL the flowers, SEE the clouds, TASTE the strawberries, and HEAR the birds.
  • Plant-seeds & plant parts. Plant an herb garden.

1st grade

  • Observe  the weather, temperatures, and cloud patterns.
  • Discuss living things-living vs. non-living, plants & animals.
  • Collect and classify insects.

20150525_0942472nd grade

  • Observe and study insects-life cycles & insect anatomy.
  • Observe and study plants, seed parts, leaf & seed comparison, leaf measurement & leaf rubbings.
  • Observe and study habitats-prairie land, forest & wetland comparisons.

3rd grade

  • Follow the water cycle. Learn more about evaporation, condensation, precipitation & temperatures.
  • Study plants and plant parts, leaf shapes & seed dispersal.
  • Compare ecosystems such as forests & wetlands.
Simple machines
Simple machines

4th grade

  • Study and observe plant and animal adaptations.
  • Study ecosystems & Soil-habitat, niche, producer, consumers, decomposers, soil & temperatures comparisons.

5th grade

  • Plants-monocot/dicot, roots, tree rings, bark & leaf rubbings.
  • Build and observe sophisticated weather instruments.
  • Observe and study erosion & runoff.
  • Build soil and erosion labs.
  • Use metric measurements in science.
Native tree
Native tree

6th grade

Ecology- using microscopes with pond water, ecosystem & temperature comparisons (wetland, forest and prairie), insect collecting & food chain.


Researchers of The Natural Learning Initiative recognize that today’s children and families have limited opportunities to connect with the natural environment. They spend more time watching TV or playing video games on their computers than they do in active physical activity.  They spend less and less time outdoors breathing the fresh air. That’s unfortunate because the developmental benefits are endless.


Outdoor classrooms also include places where children can move around, exercise, and even ask questions about equipment design.  The benefits of daily exercise help children in many ways. Exercise makes our lungs and heart stronger for increased energy and endurance. That means children can play, walk, or jog longer without feeling tired. Exercise strengthens and stretches muscles and builds strong bones,

Because exercise gets our blood flowing,  more oxygen reaches our brains. This means children can think better, stay more alert,  improve test scores, and get better grades. Exercise affects chemicals in our brains. And these chemicals can affect how we feel.

Exercise can:

  • Give us energy so we feel good and can do things we want to do like sports, dance, play an instrument, or read.
  • Make us feel better during stressful times.
  •  Help calm students down when they have to give a class presentation.

20150407_090433     20150422_125640     20150320_131637

Whether you plan daily lessons in your backyard or the neighborhood park, your home schoolers will benefit from spending time outdoors.