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Improving Math & Science Learning: Flower Power
Fruit or Vegetable?

Purpose:
To understand the difference between fruits and vegetables. To identify at least 10 different fruits and vegetables the students eat. 

Overview: 
Students will be learning how to identify a fruit and a vegetable. They will be given different pieces of fruits and vegetables after a brief discussion about them and will be allowed to taste and categorize them on the Fruits and Vegetables worksheet.

Objectives:
As a result of this activity, students will be able to:
  1. Identify differences between fruits and vegetables.
  2. Identify fruits and vegetables that are found in their everyday meals.
  3. Categorize them according to the parts of plants they belong to.

Materials:
  • Copies of "Parts of Plants We Eat" (one per student)
  • Prepared pieces of vegetables and fruits such as broccoli (flower), celery (stem), tomato (fruit), peas (seeds), carrots (roots), and lettuce (lettuce). Try to vary the types on each table.
  • Enlarged copy of "Parts of Plants" or small copies from lesson one
  • Plates
  • Napkins
  • Pencils
  • Large chart paper

Motivation:
  1. Ask students how they know what a fruit is and what a vegetable is. Chart their responses.
  2. Refer to the "Parts of Plants" sheet and talk to students about the fruit as the part that holds the seeds and explain that the rest of the parts are considered vegetables.
  3. Ask them what they think might be a fruit or a vegetable. Chart their ideas under the headings "Fruits" and "Vegetables."

Procedures:
  1. Tell them that they will be given some vegetables and some fruits. Given what they already know from the last lesson, ask if they could categorize them on their "Parts of Plants We Eat" sheet. 
  2. Allow them 10-15 minutes to fill out the sheets. When they finish, they may eat what they have.
  3. Give them 5 minutes to clean up and return to the rug to talk about their findings.

Conclusion:
Share their findings and chart them on a new sheet of paper with the same headings ("Fruits" and "Vegetables"), but this time, write the different parts of plants underneath "Vegetables" as sub-categories.

Follow-up:
For homework, allow students to go home with their science journals to look for fruits or vegetables around the house and list them in their journals. Chances are good that the students are going to look at what they eat with a new understanding.

Extension:
Ask students to bring in their favorite recipe using fruits or vegetables. Choose one and use it for a class cooking activity. Enlarge the recipe and read it with the students. Bring in measuring cups and teach the students how to measure. Also take them on a field trip to the neighborhood supermarket with a shopping list of things they need for the activity.

Assessment:
The students' understanding can be assessed using their science journals or their "Parts of Plants We Eat" worksheet.

Background:
Anything we eat that contains seeds and needs to ripen, such as tomatoes, watermelon, and squash, are technically considered a fruit. The rest of the parts of the plant such as the roots, stems, and flower are considered vegetables.

Lessons:
Inside a Flower
Soil Investigation
Flower Investigation
Fruit or Vegetable?
Where Am I?
Seed Dissection
Flowers Galore
Pollination & Fertilization
Flowers & Their Families
Plant Parts & Their Jobs
Identifying Flower Families through Flower Shapes
Brooklyn Botanical Garden Scavenger Hunt
Bibliography

This lesson is part of Flower Power by Rosemarie Young. 

Grade Levels:
3-5

Subjects:
Science, Math and Arts

Beginning Grade
Level:
 3

Ending Grade Level: 
5

e-mail Rosemarie

 

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