The Fruit

Dissecting the Fruit

Material Description:

Large variety of fruits with seeds and where possible remainder of the parts, stems, calyxes and stigma; some succulent ones, grapes, tomato, pineapple, grapefruit, cucumber and plums and some dried fruits, walnuts, almonds, chestnuts, fruit of trees like the ash.

Chopping board and a fruit knife.

Method:

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Oral Introduction

‘Remember how we spoke about the pollen and how it was carried from one flower to the next by insects and it was dropped on the pistil, well the pollen is able to send a little tube down the style to the ovary, so that when the pollen meets the eggs in the ovary it cause the ovary to swell and swell and swell and in this way it becomes a fruit.  So this is a swollen ovary and so it this’.

Show examples of the fruit

‘Let’s have a look at our tomato, here we can see the remainder of the calyx and the stigma’ (the calyx is the tip going to the stem and the stigma at it’s base).

I am going to cut these in half to see what I can see, cut a plum, ‘Some fruits have one large seed’.  Then cut a tomato and say, ‘some have many tiny seeds’.  Sometimes the seeds are in little chambers like in the tomato.  Each of these seeds was once an ovum, once an egg.  The pineapple is rather special because the pineapple plant has a lot of flowers, all joined together,  If you look at the pineapple you can see that all the flowers joined together and all of the ovaries joined together and now you can see that the calyxes are all over the pineapple’. Show the pineapple.’

‘Some fruits are soft and juicy, they are called succulent fruits, from the Latin ‘succus’ meaning with juice, other fruits are dry and hard and they don’t have a juicy outside, these are known as dry fruits from the Old English ‘druye’, meaning free from juice’.  Show these

Give the children the opportunity to collect seeds from fruit plant them and watch them complete a whole cycle of growth.  If possible have some at different stages. Look out for the emerging fruits – look out for the ovary and classify them using the charts for the flower hypogynous, perigynous and epigynous.

Simple Classification Exercise

Using the nomenclature material invite the children to come and inspect the fruit and classify them into succulent or dry fruits, the younger children can use the picture and the label and the older just the label. The children can cut the fruits to check.

After the lesson:

The children can draw the fruits, whole or in pieces

Parts of the Fruit

Material Description:

Choose a piece of fruit with a single stone as the parts are more obvious, e.g. plum, peach, avocado, chopping board, knife, needle, blank labels and a pencil

Method:

Cut the fruit in half

Say, ‘All the parts of the fruit except the seed is called the pericarp, ‘peri’ Greek, meaning around and ‘carp’ meaning fruit.  The outside part of the pericarp which we usually call the skin is called the epicarp, meaning ‘epi’ upon.  The part in the middle which we like to eat, it’s flesh is called the mesocarp, ‘meso’ means middle, the stone inside is called the ‘endocarp’, ‘endo’ means inner, we crack this open to find the seed’.

While saying this point with a fine needle

As the children explore the parts they will become curious about the varieties

Notes:

Show one particular fruit in which the parts are easily distinguished and then let the children explore with different fruits

Varieties of Fruits

Material Description:

Large variety of fruits with seeds and where possible remainder of the parts, stems, calyxes and stigma; some succulent ones, grapes, tomato, pineapple, grapefruit, cucumber and plums and some dried fruits, walnuts, almonds, chestnuts, fruit of trees like the ash.

Chopping board and a fruit knife.

Method:

Succulent Fruits

Fruits like the peach and the plum, where you can see the parts clearly, with soft parts which surrounds the single large stone, the mesocarp, which contains one seed is called a ‘drupe’

‘Fruits like the orange, tomato and grapes, where the epicarp, mesocarp and endocarp are soft and fruity is called a ‘berry’.

‘Cucumbers, melons, squash and pumpkins have hard outer skins epicarp with a succulent mesocarp is a special kind of berry called a ‘pepo’.

‘Fruit like the apple, strawberry and the pear, with a part in the middle, the core markings are the real fruit, the flesh around it is just a part we like to eat. This kind of fruit is actually called a ‘pome’. Slice the fruit on the transverse to show it most clearly.

Explore other real fruits

On another day, show fruits based on the transformed flowers

‘All fruits which come from one flower and one ovary are known as simple fruits’

‘Fruits like the blackberry and the raspberry have one kind of flower but many ovaries, each ovary becomes a tiny little fruitlet, this kind of fruit is known as an ‘aggregate fruit, from the Latin ‘add’ and ‘gregare’, meaning to gather into a flock.  While the pineapple comes form a plant with lots of flowers, called an ‘inflorescence’ and each flower has it’s own ovary, in the process of becoming a fruit all of the ovaries joined together, to make what we call a ‘composite fruit’

Notes:

Apples and pears are false fruit, the part we eat does not grow from the ovary

Composite fruits can also be called multiple fruits, e.g. figs and mulberries

Dried fruits

Material Description:

Dried fruits and books

Method:

On a new day introduce the dry fruits

Say, ‘Fruits of the plants such as the poppy, the wallflower and the honesty, they have fruits which explode when they are ready, they shoot the seeds out, these are known as ‘dehiscent’ fruits, from ‘di’ and ‘hiscere’, which means to burst open.’

‘Fruits of plants like the sycamore and the chestnut, they don’t explode, they are known as indehiscent’, not able to burst open’

After the lesson:

Explore with the variety of dried fruits and books, nomenclature cards and exploration outside.

Children can collect fruits found outside, especially dried fruits.

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