Explore Together (indoors): Look Inside Fruits

  • 3 whole fresh fruits that look very different inside (such as an orange, a peach, and a melon)
  • camera or cell phone with camera
  • crayons
  • magnifying lenses
  • paper
  • pictures of fruit trees/plants
  • plastic plates
  • precut pieces of the fruits selected above
  • fruit
  • seed

MA Standards:

English Language Arts/Speaking and Listening/SL.PK.MA.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners during daily routines and play.

MA Draft Standards:

Life Sciences/From Molecules to Organisms: Inheritance and Variation of Traits/LS1/3.F: Identify similarities and differences among individuals of the same species. [Patterns]
Life Sciences/From Molecules to Organisms: Inheritance and Variation of Traits/LS1/3.A: Describe/draw and compare the body parts of animals (including themselves) and plants they are investigating [System] and explain functions of some of the observable body parts. [Structure and Function]

Head Start Outcomes:

Science Knowledge/Conceptual Knowledge of Natural and Physical Worlds: Observes, describes, and discusses living things and natural processes.
Science Knowledge/Scientific Skills and Method: Collects, describes, and records information through discussions, drawings, maps, and charts.
Logic and Reasoning/Reasoning and Problem Solving: Classifies, compares, and contrasts objects, events, and experiences.

PreK Learning Guidelines:

English Language Arts/Language 2: Participate actively in discussions, listen to the ideas of others, and ask and answer relevant questions.
Science and Technology/Life Sciences 10: Observe and identify the characteristics and needs of living things: humans, animals, and plants.

Explore Together (indoors): Look Inside Fruits

© Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care (Jennifer Waddell photographer). All rights reserved.

STEM Key Concepts: Recognize that fruits are parts of plants that hold the seeds; Understand that many of the foods we eat come from plants; We eat certain fruits and seeds; Do simple experiments, talk about cause and effect, and share ideas

ELA Focus Skills: Follow Directions, Listening and Speaking, Vocabulary

Educator Prep: Slice fruits before gathering. Have slices of three fruits for children to explore and compare.

Safety Tip: Remind children to wash their hands before and after the activity.

Show children three different whole fruits. Talk about each one. Tell children that you will talk more about different fruits and seeds we can eat in the next unit. Pass them around for children to touch and smell. Ask questions such as,

  • Have you seen these kinds of fruit before?
  • Have you ever eaten them? What did they taste like?
  • What do you think we’ll see inside if I cut this <orange> in half?

Display the precut slices and ask children to point to the seeds in each fruit. Then give children precut slices of fruit on plastic plates and have them freely explore the fruit seeds. Tell them they will have a chance to eat some fruit pieces after they explore the fruits and seeds. Suggest they compare, count, and sort the seeds while exploring.

Encourage children to draw and write to record as they compare the seeds. Listen and engage children as you notice they are interested or focusing on something. Ask questions such as,

  • What do you notice about the size, shape, colors, and textures of the different seeds?
  • Where do you find the seeds in each fruit?
  • How might a magnifying glass help you observe the seeds?
  • What plant do you think this seed will grow into?
  • How many seeds can you find in the pear, the kiwi, and in the melon?

Help children document their exploration of fruit seeds by taking photos with a camera or cellphone. Allow children to eat their own piece of fruit or set some pieces aside for snack time.

Reflect and Share

Talk about what children noticed and discovered while exploring. Share the photos you took and have extra fruit and seeds available so that children can point to and/or demonstrate as they speak. Ask,

  • What did you notice about the seeds?
  • How were different kinds of seeds the same and different? (ask children to compare two specific seeds)
  • How did the magnifying lens help you observe the seeds? What “details” could you observe with the lens that you couldn’t without it?
  • What did you notice about where the seeds were in the different fruits?
  • What did you notice about how many seeds there were in the different fruits?

Take It Further: Ask children to bring in seeds from fruits and vegetables they eat at home. Encourage them to notice ways in which some of the seeds are similar and others are different. Help children think of different ways to sort the seeds -- For example, by size, color, texture, or shape. An empty egg carton works well for sorting and organizing seeds.

English Language Learners: Review the names of the fruit with children. Hold up and pass around each fruit as you say its name, and have children repeat the name after you. You may want to expand the use of the name with descriptive sentences such as, “The orange is the color orange.” “The kiwi is brown and fuzzy.”

Educator Tip: You may want to include children’s native fruits if possible. Many grocery stores carry a variety of fruits native to different areas.

Adaptation: If very young children have trouble getting out seeds or exploring them, work one-on-one, holding their hands to help loosen the seeds and use the magnifying lens.

Adaptation: If children are tired or have short attention spans, have them do the sorting, drawing, or counting at another time.

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