National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
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K - 2
Students will learn about where fruits grow and their nutritional value by completing an activity to observe the size, shape, texture, and seeds of various fruits.
- Fruit Cards
- Paper towels
- One different type of fresh fruit for each group (Example: apple, peach, kiwifruit, orange, avocado, strawberry, grapes)
- As I See It handout (for each student)
- Set of Fruit Cards
- Set of What Am I Cards (for each student group)
- The Fruits We Eat by Gail Gibbons
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
ascorbic acid: another name for vitamin C; necessary in the body for healthy cells
citric acid: an organic acid which acts as a natural preservative. It is also used to add an acidic, or sour taste to foods and beverages
climate: the weather conditions of a region, such as temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and winds
flower: the reproductive part of a plant. The color, shape, and fragrance of the flowers aid in pollination, which leads to seed production
fruit: Scientifically speaking, the matured ovary of a flower and its contents; some fruits such as squash are called vegetables because they are vegetation that is prepared for the table. They are the sweet, fleshy product of a flowering tree or plant that contains seeds and can be eaten as food
vitamins: a group of essential nutrients used in small quantities to regulate body processes
Did you know? (Ag Facts)
- Dietary fiber from fruits helps reduce blood cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart disease.1
- Bananas, grapes, and kiwis are berries because they develop from the female portion of a single flower called the ovary.2
- Avocados are fruits because they contain a large seed, known as a pit.2
- Pomology is the study of fruits.3
- A cup of dried figs contain just as much calcium as a glass of milk.2
- Apples, pears, cherries, and plums come from the same family tree as a rose, I guess you can say they are cousins.2
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
- Play a short Pictionary game by drawing various fruits. Tell your students that you will be drawing an item on the board and they are to raise their hand when they think they know what you are drawing. For reinforcement, you can also choose to use the Fruit Cards provided in the Essential Files.
- Once they guess each fruit, leave it on the board and move to a new one until you have four or five fruits drawn on the board.
- Ask your students what each picture has in common.
- Once they identify that they are all fruit, ask the following questions.
- "Why should we eat fruit?" (low in calories, high in nutrition, high in fiber, and taste delicious)
- "What are a few ways in which fruits can be eaten?" (fresh (raw), canned, baked, juiced, or frozen)
- "Where do fruits grow?" (trees, bushes, plants, or vines)
- "Who grows fruits?" (farmers and gardeners)
- Tell the students they will be learning about fruits today.
Activity 1: Fruit Characteristics and Nutritional Value
- Prior to class, cut each of your fresh fruits in half.
- Before group work begins, display the entire selection of fruits for the students to observe. Hold each fruit up in front of the class and discuss the similarities and differences in the skin, seeds, and flesh. Explain how each fruit is grown.
- Organize students into groups of two or three. Give each group one half of a piece of fruit. Not all groups will have the same type of fruit. Instruct students to examine the inside of the fruits and complete the As I See It handout.
- After students complete the handout, discuss the answers as a class. Have students hold up their fruit for all of the class to see and point out the seed, flesh, and skin. Discuss the purpose of these different parts.
- Have students find the listed percentage of vitamin C for their fruit. Students ages 4-8 need 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of fruit per day. Students ages 9-13 need 1 and 1/2 cups of fruit per day.
- These are listed on the As I See It handout. Call on each group and ask them for the % vitamin C in their fruit. Write the numbers on the board and make a bar graph for students to see.
- Ask students to look at the bar graph and determine which two fruits are the best sources of vitamin C. Discuss how vitamin C plays an important role in our diets.
Activity 2: Trees, Bushes, and Vines
- Use the Fruit Cards to review a few facts about each fruit. Discuss the color of the fruit and whether the fruit grows from a tree, bush, or vine.
- Ask the following questions; "Do you like to eat this fruit?" "Where can you purchase this fruit?" "What is your favorite fruit to eat?" "What are some ways farmers harvest their fruit?"
- Divide students into groups of 4. Distribute one set of Who Am I cards per group, glue or tape, and 2 pieces of white paper.
- Give oral instructions. First, students should solve all of the addition and subtraction problems and record the answer directly behind the "=" sign on each card.
- Next, students will pair the cards with the same sum. For example a card with the equation 2 + 2 = 4 will match with the card 5 - 1 = 4.
- Last, instruct the student groups to read the description of the fruit, paying close attention to where the fruit can be found growing; a tree, bush, plant, or vine and the color of the fruit. Each fruit description has a matching fruit card printed in the color of the identified fruit.
- Once the match is found, tape or glue matching boxes together with the first card as the fruit description and the second card as the matching fruit onto the white paper.
- Ask each group of students to stand and read one of their matching cards.
- For reinforcement and more understanding, read the book The Fruits We Eat written by Gail Gibbons. Point out the different types of fruits, their characteristics, and where they can be found growing; in an orchard on a tree, plant, vine, or on a bush. Discuss fruits that are grown in your local area.
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation:
At the conclusion of this activity, review and summarize the following key concepts:
- California grows an abundance of fruit crops.
- Fruit is a nutritious snack and provides important dietary requirements like vitamin C and fiber.
- Fruit grows on flowering trees, bushes, plants, and vines.
- The flesh of the fruit attracts animals who eat the fruit. When fruit seeds are planted or deposited in animal scat, they grow into new seedlings and the life cycle of the fruit plant continues.
- Prior to the lesson, ask students to brainstorm ideas for what they should do with the fruit that is used in this activity. Display some recipes for healthy fruit snacks.
- If fruit is not available, examine pictures of fruit from cooking magazines and identify the parts.
- Demonstrate activity procedures before allowing students to begin. ELL students will benefit from observing the procedures before they get started.
- This lesson incorporates hands-on activities. Kinesthetic learning events provide an excellent learning environment for the English learner.
Visit a fruit packing plant or farm. Learn how fruit is grown, graded, and packed.
Have students research a particular fruit and make a poster that illustrates how it is grown and how it gets from the farm to our homes.
Make a collage using the seeds from the different types of fruit.
Suggested Companion Resources
- Apples for Everyone (Book)
- Bring Me Some Apples and I'll Make You a Pie (Book)
- Eating the Alphabet (Book)
- Farmers Market (Book)
- Plants Feed Me (Book)
- The Apple Pie Tree (Book)
- The Fruits We Eat (Book)
- Up, Up, Up! It's Apple-Picking Time (Book)
- What is a Fruit? What is a Vegetable? (Poster, Map, Infographic)
- Apples (Multimedia)
Agricultural Literacy Outcomes
Agriculture and the Environment
- Describe how farmers use land to grow crops and support livestock (T1.K-2.a)
- Describe the importance of soil and water in raising crops and livestock (T1.K-2.b)
Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber & Energy
- Explain how farmers work with the lifecycle of plants and animals (planting/breeding) to harvest a crop (T2.K-2.a)
- Identify examples of feed/food products eaten by animals and people (T2.K-2.c)
Education Content Standards
Health Standard 1: Comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
1.2.1Identify that healthy behaviors impact personal health.
Health Standard 7: Demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
7.2.1Demonstrate healthy practices and behaviors to maintain or improve personal health.
7.2.2Demonstrate behaviors that avoid or reduce health risks.
1-LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
1-LS1-1Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.
2-LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
2-LS2-1Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.
Common Core Connections
Mathematics: Practice Standards
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP4Model with mathematics. Students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. Students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later. They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas. They can analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions.
National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix (2013) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.