Strawberries: activity ideas
Here is a set of activities provided as an introduction to learning about strawberries. The intention is to inspire children to want to learn more about how a strawberry gets from the farms into our homes. The activities can all be done independently - you can pick and choose whichever is most appropriate or interesting for your purposes.
What’s in the bag?
• Place a few strawberries into a paper bag and ask the children “What do you think might be in this bag?”
• Take suggestions from the children and peep inside. Tell them that the items inside are red and take more suggestions. Ask one of the children to sniff inside the bag (without looking).
• Once someone has guessed what the contents are, tell the children that they are going to be finding out all about strawberries (and taking part in or watching an online field trip to a strawberry farm) but first they are going to share what they already know.
• Ask the children to tell you anything that they can about strawberries and write their suggestions on a board.
• Give out strawberries and ask the children to touch them gently. Are they rough or smooth? Ask them to smell the strawberries. Do they smell of anything?
• Tell the children that they may eat their strawberry, but as they do so you want them to think of at least one word to describe how it tastes.(If your class are taking part in the online field trip you may wish to wait until the event to taste the fruit.)
• When the children have eaten their strawberry, ask for their describing words (reminding them they are adjectives) and scribe them on a board.
• Get children to write the words onto pictures of strawberries or use them to write acrostic poems.
• If possible, provide magnifying glasses and get the children to look closely at the outside of strawberries.
• Tell them that the little yellow dots are actually seeds. Can they guess how many seeds there are on one strawberry?
• Tell them that each strawberry has about two hundred seeds and that strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
• Ask them to look at the top of the strawberry. Explain that the scientific name for the green part is the calyx. It is also called hull, top, cap, hat, crown or leaves. Which of the names do the children prefer? Explain that the green part is edible, although not very nice to eat.
• Under supervision, ask the children to cut the strawberries in half and once again use the magnifying glasses to look carefully. Is the strawberry all one colour inside? Are there any shapes they notice? Do all the strawberries look exactly the same inside?
• Make close observational drawings, using magnifying glasses to focus on the detail. Extend by using pen and ink, chalks or pastels.
Strawberries are good for you!
• Show the children a copy of the Eatwell plate (many versions are available on the internet) and, if they haven’t seen it before, explain what it is for. [It shows the five food groups and the proportions of each that we should eat to ensure a healthy diet.] Ask them which of the sections strawberries fit into. [Fruit and vegetables]
• Tell the children that, as they can see from the plate, fruit and vegetables are a very important part of a healthy diet.
• Ask the children why fruit and vegetables are important. [Because they contain lots of vitamins and minerals.]
• Explain that strawberries are high in vitamin C and that eating just six of them will provide a child with enough vitamin C for one day.
• Print out and play ‘Strawberry Picking’. The aim of the game is to be the first to collect six strawberries (to provide a daily dose of vitamin C). The game may be adapted to suit different children.
• Some children will simply collect a strawberry card each time they land on a picture of a strawberry.
• Others may be required to answer a mental maths question correctly before they can take a strawberry card. [Another set of cards will be needed with sums suited to the children. You might provide these so that they can be differentiated for children’s needs or ask the children to make up cards with questions of their own.]
• If possible, look at a real strawberry plant, or if not, a detailed picture or diagram.
• Point out the parts of the plant (root, leaves, flower, fruit) and explain what they do:
• The roots take in water and nutrients from the soil. They anchor the plant in the ground.
• The leaves make food for the plant using sunlight.
• The flower is the part that becomes the fruit.
• The fruit is the strawberry itself. They should not be picked until they are the right size and are red and ripe..
• If you have a plant, you might choose to draw and label it.
Supporting downloadable materials for this lesson plan are: