A paper or a protective covering, such as newspaper, is spread over
a large table and a group of children sit around the table. To pop the
pod, the thumb is run along the under edge to open the pod. Children help
themselves to peas, shell them and put peas in the containers. The teacher
sits at the table, too, if children are shelling and provides any help
required. This is a group exercise greatly enjoyed by all the children.
It is only possible in the pea season.
Peas or beans left to mature and dry on the plant can be shelled in
the same way and stored in air-tight containers. For example, in the U.S.,
lima beans are stored after pods have dried on the plant.
NOTE: If the school has a large enough garden, peas could be
picked when ready by the children for this exercise. In the country, it
is sometimes possible to take the children to a farm to pick peas or beans.