From Seed to Seed:
Activity 31: There's Fruit in My Dinner Salad!
Associated Lesson Topics:
Planting the Seed...
What do you think the difference is between a fruit and a vegetable? During what meals do you eat each one? Have students brainstorm and record their thoughts on the following questions in their journals: What is a fruit? What is a vegetable? Can you name some that you think fall in each category? Do not worry if their responses are not scientifically accurate. Through this experiment, they will begin to understand the botanical distinctions about fruits and vegetables.
In this experiment, students will investigate what makes a fruit, a fruit, and a vegetable, a vegetable. Although this topic may seem straightforward, it can be tricky distinguishing the two. For example, tomatoes are fruits, yet we include them in the vegetable category! In botanical terms, fruits are derived from the ovary, whereas vegetables are derived from other plant parts. However, this distinction is often blurred in everyday conversation. In this experiment, students will learn 1) the botanical difference between a fruit and a vegetable, 2) plant anatomy, and 3) which plant parts mature into which fruits and vegetables.
Harvesting the Crop...
Students may think that we can only eat the plant parts that produce fruits and vegetables. In fact, flowers can be a tasty and nutritious addition to their diet. Consider growing some edible flowers to include in a harvest salad. We recommend nasturtium, Johnny-jump-up, and arugula. If you have the space, you can grow an entire edible flower garden!
Alternatively, this activity can lead into a lesson on the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables.
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