Eight Ways to Celebrate Fruit
Activities designed to incorporate the study of fruit into your classroom during National Fruit and Vegetable Month.
By Bethany Stagliano
Biting into a thirst-quenching slice of watermelon on a hot summer day. Taking a crisp bite of an apple right off the branch. Slicing up a banana to add flavor to our bland cereal. Fruit is delicious! It is an essential part of our diet, and many of us eat a wide variety every day. Children will have fun learning where their favorite fruit comes from, tasting different fruit from around the world, and inventing their very own fruit!
Here are some great ways to incorporate fruit into your day in the classroom.
- Students share prior knowledge on familiar fruits, especially those they love to eat.
- Pupils tell or write stories on their experience with fruit: favorite kinds, trips to apple orchard, etc.
- Younger children can match up a fruit to it's color (i.e. grape=purple).
- Older kids can “dissect” fruit to see what they find inside!
1. Fruit Detective
Detective Orange on the case:
- What is an orange?
- How does it grow?
- Can you eat the skin?
- If I plant a seed, will I get an orange tree?
Most kids know the types of fruit that many of us consume every day: bananas, apples, oranges, strawberries, etc. But do they know how they grow? Where they come from?
Let your students become fruit detectives! Assign a type of fruit (or allow them to choose), that they will research, and then present their findings to the class. They may be surprised at what they find. Did you know that the banana peel that we all throw away is edible and full of nutrients? On presentation day, have a fruit tasting to add to the fun.
2. Foreign Fruit
Who has heard of the following fruits?
- Lychee: A berry from China.
- Cloudberry: Grows in cold weather, very sour.
- Cherimoya: Has poisonous seeds.
- Starfruit: Tropical, looks like a star when sliced open.
Sometimes you can find these exotic fruits in your local grocery store. Introduce these unique fruits to your class and have a lively discussion about the variety of fruits in the world and the fascinating places where some of them grow.
3. Geography and Fruit
After your class discussion about foreign fruit, use maps to pinpoint where different types of fruit are grown. I recommend having maps of both the United States and the world. With a little ingenuity, you can identify fruit that grows in many of the United States. World fruit will be a little more enlightening for your class. Pupils may know that oranges come from Florida, but they may not know that oranges grow in Brazil and even China!
4. How Does Fruit Grow?
Field trip! The best way to show how fruit grows is to take a trip to where it is actually growing. Depending on your region, plan a trip to an apple orchard, a vineyard, an orange grove, or a strawberry field. Let kids roam the area to see just how much land it takes to grow a crop of fruit. If the farmer is amenable, have kids pick some fruit themselves. They will notice the fresh flavor of vine-ripened fruit, and you can prompt them to think about how long it takes to grow another crop. As a class, take the time to sit and appreciate the beauty of nature and the wonder of where our food originates. This field trip is sure to create a fun, memorable experience for everyone in the class.
5. There's a New Fruit in Town
Ask if anyone has ever had a grapefruit. It sure is silly that it's named after a grape when it looks nothing like one! Kids, and many adults, may not realize that grapefruit is actually a hybrid fruit. This means that it came from two other, different fruits (the pomelo and the sweet orange). An amazing fun fact that will capture learners' interest.
Extend the lesson by asking kids to think about the delicious flavors of their favorite fruits:
- Can they invent their own hybrid fruit?
- Have them think about their favorite flavors, do they like the sour taste of a blackberry?
- Or the sweet taste of a pineapple?
- What would this new fruit look like?
- What would it be called?
- Will it be named after it's color, like a blueberry? Or after it's reputation, like the dragonfruit (which attacks other fruit)?
6. Be a Chef!
What is a recipe you enjoy that contains fruit? Is it pineapple on your pizza? Strawberries on your salad? Blueberries in your cereal?
This is another great chance to have a fruit tasting. With their parents help, your pupils can write out recipes containing some of their favorite fruit. If possible, they can whip up a batch of their fruity food, and bring it in for the class to sample. Post all of the recipes on the class website to create sort of a class fruit cookbook.
7. Supermarket Scavenger Hunt
Take a class trip to the supermarket (or assign as homework). Depending on the age of your students, have a picture checklist or a list of various kinds of fruit. Have them identify all the fruit they can find in the store. Reporting the results of the scavenger hunt can be as simple as checking off the list and bringing it back to class, or you can ask for a more complex project. Kids can draw pictures of the fruit they found, write a few paragraphs about their grocery store experience, or make a poster that relates to their hunt. At some stores, produce managers will offer individual or class tours of their department. It doesn't hurt to ask!
8. Michelle Obama's Let's Move Campaign
Michelle Obama has made it her mission to help fight childhood obesity. Part of her plan is to introduce more fruit into a child's diet. As teachers, it is our job to teach the “whole” child. Incorporating healthy nutrition tips into our lessons can help in this national campaign. The more children learn about what they eat, the more they will want to eat it! After all, fruit can sometimes be considered nature's candy!
Pupils learn to identify and describe different types of fruit and vegetables through some fun games.
A PowerPoint presentation that names each fruit and pairs it with a picture. This is for beginners, such as ESL pupils.
A lesson on how to teach about fruit and have a feast of different types of fruit!