Prickly Pear Cactus

K - 2 Activity - Teacher Directions


The Prickly Pear Cactus is found throughout this region. The prickly pear is the official state plant. It is green in color. Its "pads" are actually branches and its needle like thorns are "leaves." It does bloom with either yellow, red, or purple flowers; and produces a fruit. The pads (nopales) have been cooked and eaten as a vegetable for hundreds of years in Mexico! The fruit (tuna) is cooked and eaten too!


One toilet paper roll for each child
Crayons or markers
Copies of cactus parts for each child
Cactus Parts
Several flat wooden toothpicks broken into thirds, for each child

  1. Have students color each part of the cactus green.
  2. Glue the large rectangle piece around the toilet paper roll.
  3. Glue the tabs of each "pad" of the cactus to the outside of the toilet paper roll, two on one side and one on the other.
  4. Glue three or four broken pieces of toothpicks to each pad.


Additional Activities

Have students help you create a Panhandle Landscape on a bulletin board or wall by taping or gluing student made cacti to a background of plains grass.