In this lesson, your preschoolers will learn about different types of fruit. They will also have a chance to taste different fruits and complete a cut and paste fruit basket activity. The book for this activity is "Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z," by Lois Ehlert. This book introduces fruits and vegetables from around the world and also teaches upper- and lower-case letters. The book offers brilliant watercolour illustrations and a glossary with interesting facts about each type of food.
"Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z"
Have your students sit in a circle and hold up a basket with fruit in it (e.g. apple, orange, banana, kiwi, papaya, mango etc.). Next, hold up a piece of fruit you think all the preschoolers might be familiar with and ask the preschoolers about it:
"What is the name of this fruit?"
"What colour is this fruit?
"Raise your hand if you have tasted this fruit."
"How did it taste to you?"
Then pass the fruit around the circle so that each child can hold it, then put it back in the basket.
Next, hold up a piece of fruit that might be less familiar and repeat the process of asking questions and passing the fruit around the table. Then return the fruit to the basket and read the book "Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z."
As you read each page, hold the book up at the preschoolers' eye level and move it slowly around the circle so that each child gets a chance to see each picture.
Fruit Tasting Activity
After hand-washing, let the preschoolers sit at the table(s). Bring the basket to the table, cut the fruit into pieces 3 inches or larger and put it into a bowl. Serve the fruit to the children on paper plates and provide lots of paper towels. Sit and eat the fruit with your students as you discuss the taste (e.g. sweet, sour) and texture (e.g. squishy or hard).
Remember: Objects that are 1.2 inches or smaller can become choking hazards for children 3 or younger -- this includes foods such as grapes and berries. Check each child's file for food allergies, too.
Pass out fruit worksheets to your students as they sit at craft tables. Pass out crayons and let the students colour the fruit on the worksheets. Then collect their crayons and pass out the scissors. Be there to help your students with any cutting problems if necessary.
Assemble the Paper Fruit Basket
Give each student a paper basket cut from brown construction paper and make sure the students still have all the paper fruit that they cut out. Next, pass out a small glue stick to each child. Have the children apply glue to the outside edge of each piece of paper fruit, then glue it onto the basket. (You can also pass out the beginning letter for each piece of fruit and let your students glue a letter onto the correct piece of fruit.)