#71 Primary Lentil Science (grades K-3)

Regular price $49.75

Perfect-bound 136-page book with 56 job cards, PLUS primary support kit.
Science, math, social studies, language, and art play creatively together in a box of silky, swooshy lentils. Exercise young imaginations and observation skills, develop language and build number sense. Provide structure to guide learning, yet freedom to allow playful exploration. With our book you also receive our complete support kit: WE SUPPLY a job box with all assorted plastic vials cut to correct sizes (you apply labels), baby food jars, sifting screens, bottle connector, magnets, bottle caps, BBs, craft sticks, and scoop. YOU SUPPLY lentils, bean mix, assorted containers, liter bottles, plus other recyclables and simple materials.
To order a copy of the Primary Lentil Science book, see the Get Materials tab below.

More Information – click any of the tabs below to learn more about this title
Click here for a complete list of materials and convenient shopping. Key: When stated, quantities estimate amounts you need to supply a single learning station set up in the corner of your classroom or home. Click here for a printable pdf Quick Start Guide which lists materials and set up needed for each chapter.

Items included in support kit:
Baby food jars: small (2 1/2 oz), medium (4 oz), and large (6 oz) sizes. These are also labeled 1st, 2nd and 3rd foods, respectively, under the Gerber's brand.
8 oz. mayonnaise jar
Assorted plastic vials (see Quick Start Guide for sizes, can also be ordered separately - see below)
40 bottle caps
6x6 inch piece of 1/4 inch hardware cloth (wire screen)
6x6 inch piece of 1/8 inch hardware cloth (wire screen)
4 magnets
30 BB's
60 craft sticks
Double lid or bottle connector
One Job Box: a corrugated cardboard box, about 19 x 14 x 3 inches, commonly supplied by nurseries to carry potted plants. Seamless bottom is highly desirable. Other trays or containers with similar dimensions also work.
Scoop (made out of a quart or pint milk carton)
Recyclables and special materials not included in support kit. Starred* items may be purchased individually (see below).:
4 pounds lentils
Bag of pinto beans or sort 75 pintos out of bean mix
Two bags of bean mix (15 or 16 bean variety soup mix)
3 medium cans (15-16 oz.)
Quart milk carton
Half gallon milk carton
Old towel or cloth
6 half-liter bottles with lids
5 one-liter bottles with lids
24 oz. water bottle
Two liter soft drink bottle
8 oz. Yogurt tub
6 oz. Tuna can
5 one pound margarine tubs
Small yogurt lid
1x2 inch piece of flat, translucent plastic (from a clamshell food container or deli lid)
Spoon, a metal or plastic teaspoon works best
Paper towel tube or other cardboard tube about 11 inches long
10 empty toilet tissue rolls
10 pennies
5 marbles
Small glass mirror
Plastic drinking straw
Funnel made from a 1- or 2-liter plastic beverage bottle
Two wood blocks (2x4's cut to 15 inches long, or substitute with 4 bricks or other prop)
* 10 clear plastic cups (10 oz, tall, tapered cups)
* Clothespin
* Paper plate
* 2 baby food jar lids
* Canning ring and lid
Optional items:
A box and a brick. (Serves as an optional storage cabinet for student folders.)
* 6 film canisters with snap-on lids, or equivalent. (used for storage of smaller items)
Quart jar (used for storing bean mix)
5 one-gallon jugs (used for storage)
Plastic sandwich bag (used for storage)
Lab coats (recycle old white shirts)
Teacher student supplies to have on hand. (Most of these are used in preparing student materials) Starred* items may be purchased individually (see below):
Blank paper (recycle the back sides unused photocopies)
14 index cards (4 x 6 inches)
A paper punch tool
A pair of quality scissors
A pair of blunt student scissors
A stapler
A bottle of white glue
Crayons, colored markers, and colored pencils (optional)
Clear 2-inch packaging tape
* Electrical tape
* Clear tape
* A roll of masking tape
* Box of paper clips
* 30 Medium rubber bands
Assorted tools needed for those who purchase only the book without the support kit: hacksaw; toenail scissors with a curved pointed blade; wire cutters or shears.
  • A/ POUR:
  • job card 1: To practice cleanup procedure for gathering and storing lentils. To arrange a series of pouring pictures in the correct sequence.
  • job card 2: To draw before, during, and after frames of a sequential process.
  • job card 3: To construct a tower of numbered rings filled with lentils. To practice counting by ones, twos, fives, and tens, both forward and backward.
  • job card 3: To understand that 1 cup of lentils can spread outward or fill upward, depending on the width of the container.
  • job card 4: To experience lentils with eyes, hands and ears. To use rich vocabulary to describe them.
  • job card 5: To divide a liter of lentils into equal portions. To understand the relationship between equal parts and the whole.
  • job card 6: To practice accurate representational drawing through careful observation.
  • job card 7: To explore the properties of an hourglass. To develop an ability to estimate the passing of time in seconds.
  • job card 8: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about pouring lentils. To encourage creativity (like creating a funnel holder).
  • B/ SEARCH:
  • job card 1: To search for pinto beans among the lentils in a systematic manner. To practice concentration and observation skills.
  • job card 2: To search for 30 'rabbits' of 3 different 'species' in a lentil habitat.
  • job card 3: To search for seeds and marbles among the lentils with eyes covered, using only the sense of touch.
  • job card 4: To sort mixed beans by size, using a screen.
  • job card 5: To do a systematic search for paper clips using a magnet.
  • job card 6: To invent stories and games. To have fun.
  • job card 7: To explore, invent, and engage the imagination. To express ideas using creative drawings and rich language.
  • job card 8: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about searching through lentils (like avoiding 'sharks').
  • job card 1: To identify symbols and fill containers 'fair and full.'
  • job card 2: To write and draw each symbol on its matching continer. To order the jars and vials by size.
  • job card 3: To distinguish between 4 degrees of fullness.
  • job card 4: To decide by experiment and observation which container holds more and which holds less.
  • job card 5: To decide by experiment which container holds more and which holds less.
  • job card 6: To decide by experiment if several smaller containers equal a larger one. To solve equations.
  • job card 7: To search by trial and error for one particular container that holds as much as a group of containers.
  • job card 8: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about comparing volumes (like inventing a 'cookie' recipe).
  • D/ DESIGN:
  • job card 1: To practice writing letters and numbers.
  • job card 2: To draw geometric shapes scaled to small, medium and large sizes.
  • job card 3: To model, draw and write about a wilderness landscape. To exercise creativity and imagination.
  • job card 4: To hid a 'treasure' within a 'landscape.' To accurately map its location so someone else can easily find it.
  • job card 5: To design and map a town. To develop a sense of direction in terms of cardinal points and street names. To distinguish right from left.
  • job card 6: To try on different job roles and see how they fit. To exercise the imagination.
  • job card 7: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about design. To encourage creativity (like playing lentil hockey).
  • job card 1: To measure volume by counting single cups and by pouring into a calibrated bottle.
  • job card 2: To experience cups that have different heights and widths, but equal volume.
  • job card 3: To explore the quantitative relationship between cups, pints, 'tubs' and quarts.
  • job card 4: To represent the relationship between cups, pints, 'tubs' and quarts as written equalities.
  • job card 5: To understand half cups, cups, pints, 'tubs' and quarts as simple multiples of each other.
  • job card 6: To explore and record the multiple relationships between half cups, pints, 'tubs' and quarts.
  • job card 7: To express the volume of a half cup, cup, pint, 'tub' and quart in terms of a calibrated measuring bottle.
  • job card 8: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about measuring (like comparing hand size).
  • F/ DIVIDE:
  • job card 1: To explore volume relationships between whole cups and parts.
  • job card 2: To solve equations by a hands-on process of trial and error.
  • job card 3: To form concrete equations in the lentil box using containers and symbols. To write them down.
  • job card 4: To review and consolidate a knowledge of basic fractions. To observe carefully.
  • job card 5: To divide geometric figures into equal pieces, and shade some parts to represent fractions.
  • job card 6: To choose fractions and express their meanings in terms of pouring, measuring and drawing.
  • job card 7: To pour out fractional parts and experience how they add together. To predict and record simple fractional sums.
  • job card 8: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about dividing or combining quantities of lentils (like dividing in half over and over).
  • job card 1: To calibrate and label a liter bottle in cups and half cups.
  • job card 2: To solve a calibration mystery. To imagine and invent.
  • job card 3: To calibrate a liter bottle by first pouring out all the lentils in equal portions, then pouring each portion back, marking the level with rubber bands.
  • job card 4: To experience how one cup fills containers of different widths to different heights. To make a bar graph of this
  • relationship.
  • job card 5: To calibrate and graph the rising height of lentils up a measuring stick, as equal volumes are added to small and large containers.
  • job card 6: To calibrate a tub in Baby Food Jars. To express the relationship between volume and height on a simple line graph.
  • job card 7: To calibrate and graph large bottles. To begin to associate the shape of the graph line with the shape of the bottle.
  • job card 8: To provide students with an approved way to pursue their own ideas about calibrating with lentils (like calibrating a bottle that measures everything).

How does Get a Grip (GG) compare with Lentil Science (LS)?

  • 1. You can use these programs in either order without repetition. However, we recommend that you start with GG, then expand into LS.
  • 2. Both programs employ a box of silky, swooshy lentils to inspire hands-on, sandbox-style learning. Lentils don't produce clouds of dust like rice does, they are easy to sweep up, and if escapees are encountered by bare feet, they don't hurt.
  • 3. GG is a more narrowly focused problem-solving program concentrating on math and science. LS has a broader scope and sequence, mixing in creative writing, art, social studies and invention, and using a broader range of manipulatives.
  • 4. GG is ready to go out of the box, while LS requires significant teacher preparation time.  Click here for a printable pdf Quick Start Guide which lists materials and set up needed for each chapter. 
  • 5. Both programs use similar sets of labeled containers for pouring and measuring. GG containers are calibrated for in-depth work with fractions and decimals. These do work in LS activities, but the uncalibrated LS containers won't work with GG puzzles.
  • 6. Both GG and LS accommodate K-6 skill levels. LS is further divided into primary (K-3) and intermediate (3-6) books.
  • 7. GG Puzzle Books are self-checking, allowing students to quickly become independent learners. LS Job Cards are more open-ended, creating divergent learning opportunities that require greater teacher management and supervision.
  • 8. GG and LS are both wonderful ways for kids to play and learn. Which is what they do anyway. So why not run with it?
SAFETY NOTE: While our kit magnets are too large to swallow, be aware of a possible hazard if you substitute smaller magnets. If swallowed, two or more magnets can attract each other in the digestive tract, causing a dangerous health emergency. Don't leave small children unsupervised with magnets or other objects that are small enough to swallow.
National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996)

TEACHING Standards

These Job Cards promote excellence in science teaching by these NSES criteria:
Teachers of science...
A: ...plan an inquiry-based science program. (p. 30)
B: ...guide and facilitate learning. (p. 32)
C: ...engage in ongoing assessment of their teaching and of student learning. (p. 37)
D: ...design and manage learning environments that provide students with the time, space, and resources needed for learning science. (p. 43)


CONTENT Standards

These Job Cards contain fundamental content as defined by these NSES guidelines (p. 109).
• Represent a central event or phenomenon in the natural world.
• Represent a central scientific idea and organizing principle.
• Have rich explanatory power.
• Guide fruitful investigations.
• Apply to situations and contexts common to everyday experiences.
• Can be linked to meaningful learning experiences.
• Are developmentally appropriate for students at the grade level specified.


Unifying Concepts and Processes

NSES Framework: Systems, order, and organization • Evidence, models and explanation • Constancy, change, and measurement • Evolution and equilibrium • Form and function
Core Concepts/Processes: Volume and mass are conserved as they are poured between containers of different shapes and sizes • A box of lentils is a learning system that fosters insightful thinking and integrative understanding in developmentally appropriate ways.


Science as Inquiry (content standard A)

NSES Framework: Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations. • Design and conduct a scientific investigation. • Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data. • Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence. • Think critically and logically to connect evidence and explanations. • Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions. • Communicate scientific procedures and explanations. • Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
Core Inquiries: Open, playful inquiry into science, math, social studies, language and art in a box of lentils.


Physical Science (content standard B)

NSES Framework: K4 Properties of objects and materials • Position and motion of objects
Core Content: Comparing and quantifying volumes.

Life Science (content standard C)

NSES Framework: Organisms and environments
Core Content: Camouflage and adaptation.

Science and Technology (content standard E)

NSES Framework: Abilities of technological design • Understanding about science and technology
Core Content: Imagination and invention in a box of lentils.

History and Nature of Science (content standard G)

NSES Framework: Science as a human endeavor • Nature of science • History of science
Core Content: Sidestep ego barriers to learning by allowing students to roleplay famous scientists of the past and present.