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Center for Ecoliteracy, Carolie Sly


3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Biology, English Language Arts, Health

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plan, 45 minutes
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheet
  • Assessment

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West



Savoring California: A Comparative Tasting of California Fruits and Vegetables

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  • In this lesson, students sample a variety of fruits and vegetables, learn about California's growing seasons and microclimates, and expand their vocabulary to better describe tastes, textures, and smells.
  • The lesson includes a taste test, through which students describe different fruits and vegetables, and a research activity that challenges students to consider the best conditions to grow produce.
Teaching Tips


  • This is an engaging way to teach students about the importance of descriptive language and healthy diets.
  • This lesson allows students to both try new foods and learn new words.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The final part of the lesson on growing seasons and growth conditions requires using the online resources provided in the lesson plan.


  • As a follow-up lesson, students can learn about the health benefits of the citrus peels and consider making candied citrus peels instead of throwing them away.
  • Younger students may not be familiar with some of the terms listed in the handout and may therefore need help. Older students can be encouraged to use a dictionary for words they do not know.
  • This lesson can also be used in health classes to introduce students to the importance of including fruits and vegetables in their diet. Relevant extension activities are included in the lesson plan.
  • To further practice using descriptive words, older students can write about what they learned using the adjectives provided in the handout.
  • Although the final part of the activity is most relevant to California, the taste test can be used anywhere, especially if selecting local fruits.
Scientist Notes
This resource lesson has students taste test several varieties of local produce and learn how to describe the different flavors. This lesson is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • PS3: Energy
      • 5-PS3-1 Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Language (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
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