Target Grade Level / Age Range:
Students will explore raw fruits to observe their characteristics and graph their observations.
- Fresh fruit in raw form, not cut or sliced:
- Cutting board
- Chart paper or white board
- Hand sanitizer
- An extra adult set of hands
- Skin or peel – the outer protective covering on the fruit
- Fruit – the part of the plant that contains the seeds
Background – Agricultural Connections:
Fruits are a healthy food option for students. They can come in processed or unprocessed forms. Many people enjoy fruits frozen or out of a can, which are considered processed forms. Fruit can also be eaten fresh.
Fruits are high in vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They are grown on farms in states like Georgia, California and Florida, where the climate is warm and humid. Fruits are often imported in the U.S. from other countries, as well.
Fruits are technically the part of the plant that contains the seeds and is formed from a pollinated blossom.
Interest Approach or Motivator:
Have students raise their hands and list a fruit. Challenge the class to come up with as many fruits as possible. Record responses on a white board. Ask students the following questions:
- What makes a fruit a fruit?
- What do we think our class’ favorite fruit is?
- Are there any fruits that look different on the outside than on the inside?
- Where do fruits come from?
- Are fruits healthy? Why or why not?
- Display the fresh fruit in front of the class, setting each fruit on a piece of paper with a number (1-9) written on it.
- For each fruit, ask students to guess what it is. Record correct answers on the chart paper or white board, leaving room between fruits for descriptions.
- Explain that the class will be exploring the outsides and insides of the fruits. In order for everyone to enjoy, the class has to learn some food safety rules:
- Use hand sanitizer before touching the fruits
- Always ask an adult for help when using a knife to cut food
- Always wash the knives and cutting boards with warm soapy water after use
- Practice safety around knives
- One by one, go through the fruits. Have students feel the outside of it and describe it - smooth, soft, bumpy, etc. Record their observations on the board or chart paper.
- Cut open the fruit and investigate the inside. While showing students the inside of the fruit and asking for observations to record, have the adult helper cut up the other half of the fruit into bite-size pieces. Spear a piece for each student with a toothpick.
- After examining the fruit the helper will give each student a piece of fruit to try- we will talk about it’s taste and other qualities- juicy, sweet, sour, crunchy, etc.
- Repeat steps 3-5 for each fruit, until there are observations recorded for each.
- On chart paper, create a class graph to show which fruit the class enjoyed the most by asking students one by one what their favorite fruit was. Use the data to create a bar graph and ask students to read the graph and report which fruit was the most popular.
Do a similar activity with vegetables instead of fruits and compare the nutrition of the two food groups
National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes:
- Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber and Energy
- Identify food safety practices to demonstrate at home
- Food, Health and Lifestyle Outcomes (K-2)
- Identify healthy food options
- Recognize that agriculture provides out most basic necessities: food, fiber, energy and shelter
- Food, Health and Lifestyle Outcomes (3-5)
- Distinguish between processed and unprocessed food
Iowa Core Standards:
- 21st Century Skills:
- S.K–2.LS.6 Essential Concept and/or Skill: Understand and apply knowledge of good health habits. See 21st Century Skills of the Iowa Core.
- 1.MD.C.4 Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another.
- Iowa Core Science Standards:
- Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. Humans use natural resources for everything they do. (K-ESS3-1)