K - 2
One 90-minute session or three 30-minute sessions
Students will recognize the names of different fruits and vegetables and understand why they are important.
- Fruit and Vegetable Bingo Cards (seven different cards provided)
- Dried beans (optional)
- Fruit and Vegetable Picture Cards
- Fruits and vegetables cut for snacks
- Various fruits and vegetables to include; apple, pear, cantaloupe, green pepper, strawberry, carrot, potato, tomato, pumpkin, corn, onion, radish, orange
- Foods From Farms by Nancy Dickmann
- Restaurant menu, 1 copy per group (copied with permission from local restaurant or printed from website)
- Sentence Strips
Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)
Fruit and Vegetable Bingo Cards
Fruit and Vegetable Picture Cards
USDA Farm to School
National Farm to School Network
vegetable: any edible part of a plant that is not a fruit, such as the root (carrot), tuber (a potato), seed (a pea), stem (asparagus), flower bud (broccoli), or leaf (lettuce); vegetables can be eaten whole or in part, raw, or cooked
fruit: part of a flowering plant that contains the seeds; fruits that we eat are usually fleshy, juicy, and sweet, like strawberries, apples, and pineapple, but some are less sweet, like tomatoes and cucumbers
Did you know? (Ag Facts)
- Fruits and vegetables are nutritious in every form; fresh, frozen, or canned and as a delicious drink as long as the juice is 100% .
- Brussels Sprouts is one of the most nutritious vegetables, but one of the most disliked because of its taste.
- Broccoli contains more protein than steak.
- Watermelons can keep you hydrated.
- Blueberries improve night vision.
Background - Agricultural Connections
It is a known fact that having a diet consisting of fruits and vegetables is good for human health. However, knowing the nutritional value, classification, and how to prepare them for eating is also important. Fruits and vegetables should replace the unhealthy foods in our diets, not simply just be an addition. They both provide a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in addition to being low in calories and cholesterol. Some have been proven to reduce chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and certain heart conditions. However, if young students don't understand the value of their own nutrition then it is highly unlikely they will choose fruits and vegetables in their diets.
The USDA supports a program called Farm to School. Farm to School offers schools' nutrition directors the opportunity to buy and serve locally produced farm-fresh foods to students in the cafeteria. These foods include fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, meat, and beans. This program connects the local producers within the communities to the educational districts so students can gain access to healthy foods and improve the local economy. This program is also known to help schools create school gardens and cooking lessons for students; consequently this type of education affords students the ability to make better decisions concerning their diet. More information regarding the National Farm to School Network can be found on www.farmtoschool.org.
Through the USDA Farm to School program schools can spend a portion of their USDA Foods entitlement money specifically on fresh fruits and vegetables through the DoD Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. This program is operated by the Department of Defense for supplying fresh fruits and vegetables to schools. To find out more about these programs, contact your state Department of Agriculture or visit their website and look for educational resources.
Interest Approach – Engagement
- After reviewing the vocabulary, discuss the difference between a fruit and vegetable in simple terms. Bring out the following.
- Fruits are often sweet (strawberry)
- Fruits are sometimes sour (lemon)
- Fruits help our bodies heal
- Vegetables aren't usually sweet as fruits
- Vegetables help our bodies grow
- With the students, review the pictures of each fruit or vegetable, making sure to cover the names of each. Use the Fruit and Vegetable Cards included in the Essential Files.
Activity One: "F & V" Bingo
Teacher Tip: Because there are only seven different Bingo Cards, there is the possibility of several winners if students recognize the names of the different fruits and vegetables.
- Distribute copies of the seven different Bingo Cards to students.
- Randomly call out the names of the different fruits and vegetables: apple, grapes, strawberry, orange, pear, carrot, peas, potato, broccoli, corn, bananas, pumpkin, lemon, chili peppers, onion, pineapple, watermelon, avocado, celery, bell pepper, tomatoes, peaches, cherries, eggplant.
- Have students cover the appropriate square with a dried bean or X the square out with a crayon.
- Reward students who successfully call out "Bingo" with a choice of their favorite fruit or vegetable snack.
Activity Two: Food From Farms
- Prepare a basket with as many of the following items as you can find: apple, pear, cantaloupe, green pepper, strawberry, carrot, potato, tomato, pumpkin, corn, onion, radish, and watermelon. You may call on parents or volunteers to help provide these items.
- Call on students to choose an item from the basket and tell why they chose this fruit or vegetable.
- Ask students the following questions; Do you like to eat this type of fruit or vegetable? Is your item a fruit or vegetable? Who grew your fruit or vegetable? Where can you purchase these items? How do you like to best eat your fruit or vegetable; raw, or cooked?
- Read the book Food from Farms written by Nancy Dickmann emphasizing that fruits and vegetables are grown on farms by farmers in the United States. Remind them that various fruits and vegetables can only be grown and harvested during certain times of the year depending upon the climate conditions.
- Have the students place each fruit and vegetable on a table in a random order.
- Next, have the students use the T-chart found in the Essential Files to list each name of the fruit and vegetable on the left side and identify it as a fruit or vegetable on the right side. Review the vocabulary once again to help them classify the item as being a fruit or vegetable.
- Call on a few students to identify each of the examples.
Activity Three: Fruits and Vegetables on the Menu
- Divide students into groups of three and give each group a copy of the restaurant menu.
- Tell the students to find at least five fruits and vegetables listed on the menu.
- Call on groups to share what they found on the menus. Ask the students if their fruit or vegetable was raw or cooked.
- Help students understand that some dishes on the menu were prepared with additional fruits and vegetables such as a hamburger with lettuce, tomato, and onion while served with french fries as a side dish.
- As an exit ticket, have each student write a sentence about their favorite fruit or vegetable on a sentence strip. Check each sentence strip for understanding.
Concept Elaboration and Evaluation
After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:
- Fruits and vegetables are a part of a healthy diet.
- Most fruits and vegetables are grown on farms. Some fruits and vegetables can also be grown at our homes in a garden or on a tree.
- Fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked.
- Some fruits and vegetables can be grown locally, others need a more specialized climate found in other locations.
We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!
- Invite a farmer to your classroom who grows fruits or vegetables, if they can't attend ask if they could Skype for 15 minutes and discuss their farming operation.
Suggested Companion Resources
Fill MyPlate Game (Activity)
Growing Vegetable Soup (Book)
The Vegetable Alphabet Book (Book)
Eating the Alphabet (Book)
The Fruits We Eat (Book)
What is a Fruit? What is a Vegetable? Bulletin Boards (Poster, Map, Infographic)
Activity 1 provided by Utah Agriculture in the Classroom.
Original Author Unknown, Adapted by Michele Reedy
National Agriculture in the Classroom and Utah Agriculture in the Classroom