a journal of our edible education

Watermelon Geography

You must be thinking this is a stretch.  It isn’t really.  Aside from the obvious questions about where watermelons originated and the climatic and seasonal requirements necessary to grow these vines successfully, there is an interesting opportunity to use a melon to discuss our planet’s shape and how it’s surface is portrayed in maps.  Many times students overlook the subtle but significant differences between globes that sit on a table and flat maps that hang on a wall.  Anytime a three-dimensional object is portrayed in a two-dimensional medium, distortion is inevitable.  To highlight this distortion students were asked to first draw the continents on small cantaloupes (a surprising challenge very different from drawing them on a sheet of flat paper).  These will later be sliced into sections and eaten.  The skins will then be spread out on a flat surface to see how this changes our perception of the drawings.  A few students were asked to wrap a flat sheet of paper around a watermelon and find the necessary alterations that must be made to the paper to avoid any over lapping surfaces.  This was an interesting task as these students had just come from math class where they had been using this same watermelon to discuss the measurement of surface areas.  Now they were thinking of this surface area as a map of Planet Watermelon.

Mapping a melon

Mapping a melon

Cantaloupe map

Cantaloupe map

Ever wonder how to gift wrap a watermelon?

Ever wonder how to gift wrap a watermelon?

IMG_3561 IMG_3564

Planet Watermelon

Planet Watermelon

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2 responses

  1. I just love the creativity! You are teaching our youth to think outside of the box. This is something they will carry throughout their lives. Bravo!

    September 19, 2013 at 7:54 am

  2. Reblogged this on glennmelnichenko and commented:
    Wow

    September 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm

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