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Database Provider


Center for Ecoliteracy


3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Social Studies, History

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Lesson Plan
  • Worksheet

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West



Oranges: A Taste of California Sunshine

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  • In this hands-on lesson, students will read, observe and taste-test navel oranges, attempt to locate their orange among others after careful observation, and write descriptive paragraphs.
  • Students will also learn about Eliza Tibbets and the history and importance of California's navel orange industry.
Teaching Tips


  • The step-by-step directions provide all of the information needed to walk through this lesson, including learning objectives, vocabulary terms, reproducibles, assessment questions, and additional resources.
  • This lesson includes printable materials that are colorful, engaging, and provide supports to help aid comprehension of the material.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This lesson includes a somewhat lengthy materials list, so be sure to prepare ahead of time.
  • Teachers will need to bring enough oranges for each student or pair, referring to the "Selecting Oranges" section for tips on choosing the best fruits for this lesson.


  • Since this lesson includes a writing task, consider providing writing supports might be most appropriate for your students, such as a checklist, writing rubric, or a writing graphic organizer.
  • As extension activities, refer to the suggestions in the lesson plan, such as conducting comparison tasting or having students research how drought and climate change may impact California's citrus industry. 
  • If time allows, consider having students cut out the "What Makes It Unique?" handout ahead of time to avoid disrupting the flow of the lesson.
  • Before students write descriptors on their "What Makes It Unique?" cubes, brainstorm examples of words or pictures that they might use to describe the unique characteristics of their oranges.
  • Other activities that might supplement this lesson include these enrichment activities and these posters about other California-grown fruits and vegetables. 
Scientist Notes
This resource is an in-depth lesson on Californian grown oranges. It dives into its history as well as its cultivation. All information within is accurate and verifiable. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • 4-LS1-1 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.7.3-5 Explain how cultural and environmental characteristics affect the distribution and movement of people, goods, and ideas.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • Related Resources


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