Plants Give Us Food: A Lesson About Fruits and Vegetables
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5
- Unit Plan:
Students will learn about the many kinds of fruits and vegetables on farms and the different kinds of plants they grow on. Students will make applesauce and learn how to write a procedure.
- List five fruits or vegetables that grow on farms.
- Describe the kinds of plants that fruits and vegetables grow on.
- Write a procedure.
- The Surprise Garden by Zoe Hall
- Farm Plants (PDF), one per student
- Construction paper
- Scissors and glue
- Chart paper
Ingredients for Applesauce
Tools for Applesauce
- Hot plate
- Paper plates, one per student
- Spoons, one per student
- Plastic knives, one per student
- Cups, one per student
- Optional: Apple corer
Set Up and Prepare
- On chart paper, make a four-column chart that says: Tree, Plant, Vine, Underground. You will be charting how fruits and vegetables grow.
- Make copies of Farm Plants (PDF) for the class.
- The day you make applesauce, wash, peel, and core half the apples ahead of time and have them sit in a little water with lemon juice to keep them from browning.
- Write the following simple recipe for applesauce (or your own recipe) on chart paper:
- A lemon
Directions for Apple Sauce:
- Chop the apples.
- Put them in a pot.
- Add water and lemon juice. Boil.
- Add sugar and cinnamon.
Step 1: Talk to the students about the food that comes from farms. Last week you probably talked about food that comes from animals, and this week you going to focus on food that comes from plants. Ask the students if they know about any food that comes from a plant. Show them the cover of The Surprise Garden and talk about the vegetables on the cover of the book. Read the book.
Step 2: After reading the book, review what fruits and vegetables grow on a farm. Send the students to their tables to write a list of five fruits or vegetables that grow on a farm.
Step 3: When they are finished, have them return to the rug and highlight work of students who thought of different kinds of fruits and vegetables that grow on a farm.
Step 1: Show them the book, The Surprise Garden, again. Look through it at the pictures of the vegetables and talk about how the vegetables grow (on a plant, underground, etc.). Show them pictures from other farm books to facilitate this discussion. As you talk about how the fruits and vegetables grow, fill out the chart you made.
Step 3: As they finish, they can return to the rug so you can share their work.
Step 1: Review the work that the students did yesterday. Use the work to remind them about the different ways fruits and vegetables grow. Explain to the students that today they will be making a "cross-section" of a farm. On chart paper, sketch out a cross-section. Include a tree, a plant, a vine, and a root vegetable. Tell the students that they can design their farm with any fruits and vegetables that they want, but they need to have food from a tree, plant, vine, and a root vegetable.
Step 2: Send the students to their tables to use construction paper to design their farm cross-section.
Step 3: While the students are working, highlight work from students who thought of different fruits and vegetables to put in their cross-section (rather than those who are copying yours). When the students finish, have them come to the rug and show some finished cross-sections.
Step 1: Have the chart paper with the applesauce recipe at the rug. Tell the students that today they will be using a fruit from a tree to make something to eat, but you need their help to read this recipe, so you know what to use. Using the recipe as a ‘clue,' sound out (and use other reading strategies) to figure out what ingredients you need to make applesauce. Then read together what you need to do with the ingredients.
Step 2: Take a field trip to the bathroom to wash hands! Then, when you return, give each student a half of an apple on a paper plate and a plastic knife to cut the apples. When they cut their apples, have them put them in your pot (before the pot is on the hot plate). Then have some helpers add the water, cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice. Keep checking the recipe to make sure that all ingredients were added and all steps were followed.
Step 3: Smell that applesauce cooking! Shoo away pesky visitors and finally, eat up! I usually give each student a cup of applesauce and a spoon to eat it with.
Step 1: Review the recipe from yesterday and tell the students that they will be making their own recipe to take home. Model this by dividing a new piece of chart paper in half. At the top, write and draw the ingredients. Then at the bottom, write and draw three or four steps.
Step 2: Send the students to their tables to write their own recipes. When they finish, share good work!
- The students will list vegetables grown on a farm.
- The students will make a "cross-section" of a farm.
- The students will read an applesauce recipe, make applesauce, and write the procedure of how to make applesauce.
Supporting All Learners
For students who have allergies to apples, they can help cook by adding water and cinnamon to the pot before the apples are added (depending on the severity of the allergy). Make sure to have a little snack for them to eat while the others are sampling the applesauce. When you have finished cooking, be sure to clean all the tables well to remove any apple-remnants that might affect the students.
The students can make other simple recipes with farm fruits and vegetables. They can make a tossed or fruit salad. Everyone could contribute one piece of food. I have done this before with fruit and called it a "Friendship Salad."
The students could look for other apple recipes at home and bring them in to make a class cookbook.
- Can the students list fruits and vegetables that grow on farms?
- Have they learned how several fruits and vegetables grow?
- Can students sequence the steps in making applesauce?
- Were the students able to think of a variety of fruits and vegetables for their projects? Or were they using the ones modeled for the class?
- Were the students able to remember and record the sequence of steps in making applesauce?
- Were the students leading the reading of the applesauce recipe, or were they mostly following you?