Healthy Lesson Plan: Fruit or Not

August 26, 2015

To help you start off the school year in a healthy way, we’re sharing two lesson plans that you can incorporate into your curriculum to teach your students healthy habits. These lesson plans come from Healthy Schools Campaign’s Fit to Learn professional development program. This lesson plan is best for grades K-2, takes about 45 minutes and incorporates elements of nutrition, math and science.

It may come as a surprise, but several vegetables we eat every day are actually fruits! Fruits are defined as the ovary of a plant, which contains the seeds. Several foods we commonly call vegetables, such as peppers, tomatoes, beans, pumpkins and cucumbers are actually the fruit of a plant because they hold the seeds. True vegetables would be foods that are the stems, leaves, roots or flowers of the plant. Generally foods that are sweet are labeled as “fruits,” and foods that are not sweet are called “vegetables.” This lesson plan will challenge what your students already know to see if they can win the game of “Fruit or Not?”

The lesson begins with a discussion about what makes a fruit a fruit. Student responses might include that it’s sweet, it’s healthy, it grows on a tree, it has a stem, it comes from a seed, etc. Have students imagine all the fruits they’ve ever eaten before. What other things do those fruits have in common? Incorporate a mini science lesson by teaching students that fruits contain seeds.

The second part of the lesson is a “Fruit or Not?” competition. Show pictures or list a large variety of fruits and vegetables and have the class make a prediction about whether or not the picture or word is a fruit. Have one student keep track of everyone’s answers on the board.

Students work in pairs to investigate if a type of produce is a fruit or not. Give each pair a bowl/plate with one type of produce. Challenge students to discover if the produce is a fruit or not. If so, suggest that they collect and count the seeds. This exploration should take several minutes.

Once students have used the evidence in front of them to decide if their produce is a fruit or vegetable, come back together as a group. Go through the produce one-by-one and compare what the students found compared to their initial predictions. Was their prediction correct?
Why or why not?