Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Science
- Variety of fruits and vegetables, such as avocado, banana, apple, pear, pineapple, eggplant, zucchini, potato, onion, orange, lemon, and mango
- Chart paper and markers
- Paper or plastic plates
- Paring knife
- Two large trays
- Magnifying glasses
- A scale
- Science concepts
- Math concepts
- Language development
- Observational skills
- Sensory awareness
Plan to do this activity over a two-day period.
Invite children to gather around a table. Place the suggested fruits and vegetables in the center. Hold one food item up at a time and ask the group to share what they know about it. Help them learn the names of each.
Write the names of each item along the left side of a sheet of chart paper. Pass the fruits and vegetables around and encourage everyone to touch and smell each one. Tell them that the outside of a fruit or vegetable is called the "skin," just like the outside of our body. Ask them to describe differences and similarities between the different skins.
Discuss which fruits or vegetables must be peeled before they can be eaten or cooked. Which of them have skin we can eat?
Remove the skin from each fruit and vegetable. Put the peeled items on a large tray and the skins on another. Invite children to match the fruit or vegetable with its skin.
Place the tray with the skins in the science area. Give children magnifying glasses and a scale so they can further study and compare them.
Remember: Bilingual children may use the vocabulary of their home language to refer to the fruits and vegetables you show them. You may need to give them the words in English so that they can build their vocabulary.
Fruity fractions: Ask parents to invite their child to separate a peeled orange into sections. How many sections are there? Can he put them together again? Ask parents to remove two sections. Now can it be made whole again? Suggest parents look for other opportunities to teach fractions, such as dividing a sandwich into halves and then quarters.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: ART
Still-life painting: Tell the children that they will be creating paintings of fruits and vegetables. Give them smocks, paper, and paint in colors that correspond to their chosen fruits or vegetables. Place the food items on a highly visible table for children to use as models. Display their finished work.
Eating Fractions by Bruce McMillan
The Fruit Group by Helen Frost
How Are You Peeling? by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers