Theme: Farm to Preschool
Seeds in Our Foods
Objective: Children will learn the differences between the number of seeds inside different fruits.
What You Will Need
- A variety of fruits with seeds, such as apples, tomatoes, green peppers, oranges, strawberries, cucumbers, lemons, watermelons, avocados (one of each fruit for study, and several of each fruit for tasting)
- Cutting board
- Cutting knife – teacher use only
- Plastic cups or containers, labeled with pictures and names of fruits – 1 per fruit
- Paper plates – 1 per child
- Magnifying glasses – 1 per child
- Chart paper – 2 to 3 sheets
What To Do
Note: Have children thoroughly wash their hands before beginning this activity.
- Display the fruits, and tell the children that they will be investigating the seeds in fruits.
- Discuss the fact that fruits have seeds inside but vegetables do not.
- Distribute magnifying glasses, and allow the children to examine the fruits.
- Ask the children to predict where the seeds are (see Guiding Student Inquiry).
- Ask children what could be done to find the seeds.
- Before cutting into the fruits, make predictions about which type of fruit has the most seeds. Record your group’s answers on chart paper.
- For each fruit, have children estimate the number of seeds inside. Record their answers on the chart paper.
- Cut the fruit open, and examine the seeds.
- Help the children count the seeds as they place them in the correctly labeled cup. Record the seed count on chart paper.
- Compare the results of counting the seeds with the children’s predictions.
Guiding Student Inquiry
- Describe where you think the seeds are in the apple, in the tomato, in the green pepper, and so forth.
- Tell me how we could find out how many seeds are in this fruit.
- Describe the inside of the apple, tomato, green pepper, and so forth.
- Describe where the seeds are found in each of the above fruits.
- Tell me how our predictions compare to the actual number of seeds that we found in each fruit type.
Explore, Extend & Integrate
- Wrap some of the seeds in a wet paper towel. Have the children predict which seeds will sprout. Mist the paper towel daily to maintain moisture. Observe the seeds over the next few days, and discuss whether the predictions were correct. Transfer any sprouts to some soil, and grow them on a windowsill.
- Have the children investigate their food during lunch. See if they can find any foods with seeds.
- Challenge the children to find seeds on the playground—seeds such as maple tree “helicopters,” acorns, pinecones, and fluffy, white dandelions. Place these seeds in zip-close clear plastic bags, and place them in the science or discovery area.
Check for Children’s Understanding
- Could children tell where they thought the seeds could be found?
- Could children suggest cutting the fruit open to see the seeds?
- Could children describe the insides of the fruits?
- Could children explain where the seeds were found?
- Could children compare predictions to actual numbers of seeds found?
Did You Know?
Fruit is the part of a plant that contains the seeds. Sometimes, the seed is covered by a hard shell, like a peach seed. Most fruits have seeds on their insides. However, the strawberry is the only fruit that has seeds on the outside. Some fruits have a shell on their outside, like a watermelon. The shell protects the juicy, sweet fruit inside. If a seed is accidentally eaten, it won’t grow inside the body. The body’s digestive juices will break down the seed, and the seed will complete the trip through the digestive system before it would be able to germinate.
Some vegetables are actually fruits. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers are commonly thought of as vegetables, but because the seeds are on the inside, scientifically, they are fruits. Not all fruits contain the same number of seeds. Fruits such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and melons usually have lots of seeds. Generally, oranges, apples, and pears contain about 10 seeds. Other fruits, such as avocados, plums, and peaches, have only one seed.
- fruit – part of a plant that has seeds and flesh.
- investigate – to look closely at to get information and learn facts.
- predict – to say ahead of time that something will happen.
- estimate – to guess the amount or size of something.
- seed – the small part of a plant with flowers that grows into a new plant.
- count – to learn how many things are in a group.
- Some children may be hungry. Offer some of the foods as a snack as you are investigating.
- Be sure to wash the fruits before cutting them.
- Seed, Soil, Sun: Earth’s Recipe for Food by Cris Peterson
- The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
- How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro
- The Fruits We Eat by Gail Gibbons
- Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
Content provided by:
Common Core State
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
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There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.