Cooking Sweet Potatoes like George Washington Carver

Part of the "George Washington Carver" Collection


Students will review George Washington Carver’s scientific processes and findings, and prepare his recipe for cooking sweet potatoes.

Estimated Time

1 Hour

Setting Required



  • SS1H1a. Students will identify the contributions made by (various figures, including) George Washington Carver (science).
  • SS1H1b. Students describe how everyday life of these historical figures is similar to and different from everyday life in the present (food, clothing, homes, transportation, communication, recreation).



With students, review the types of experiments Carver did with growing and eating food by rereading In the Garden with Dr. Carver, pages 4-5.

    1. Review the list of Ways of Preparing Sweet Potatoes for the Table
    2. Explain to students that they will be making one of George Washington Carver’s recipes that he wrote in 1936.No. 1. BOILED OR STEAMED Boil or steam like white potatoes without breaking the skin. If boiled, pour off the water as soon as done, cover the pot with a cloth and let stand on the back part of the range a few minutes before serving.
    3. Boil sweet potatoes to taste test with the class.
    4. Fill a saucepan half full of water and heat on the induction burner.
      • Students can assist with washing the sweet potatoes or slicing them into bite-sized pieces. Be sure to review safety and knife skills before inviting students to assist with slicing potatoes.
      • When the water is boiling, carefully pour the sweet potatoes into the water and cook anywhere from 10-25 minutes to desired tenderness.
      • Use a slotted spoon to remove the sweet potatoes from the water and place in a serving dish to cool.
      • Serve each student one sweet potato cube on a fork.

Additional Content for Exploration

Students can make other sweet potato recipes at home and bring them in to share with the class.