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Plums (3-5)

9 minutes
Primary subjects: 
Health
Grade: 
3, 4, 5
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About

This lesson includes a discussion of plums and identification of its nutritional benefits. At the end of this lesson, students should be able to identify the food group that plums belong to (fruit) and other benefits of plums. They will be able to explain that plums grow on trees and are in a group called stone fruits. Lastly, they will know the nutrients found in plums.

Key objectives for students
Expose students to plums, their nutritional benefits, appearance, and taste
Identify which food group contains plums
Discuss why a plum is a stone fruit
Discuss how plums grow
List two main nutrients in plums
Secondary subjects
Agriculture Science, Health and Nutrition
Topics
Healthy choices regarding food, Five food groups, Nutritional benefits of healthy food
Skills
Communication skills
Values
Curiosity, Optimism
Methods
Real-World Application
Background information for teachers

The majority of 9-Minute Nutrition Ninja lessons include taste tests of the day’s lessons. We have provided an allergy form. Please provide this allergy form to all students approximately one week before the tasting activities to allow ample time for parents/guardians to read, sign, and return to the classroom.

HOW TO SERVE

  • Pass out the plums that have been rinsed and sliced
  • Serve at room temperature
  • Serve on small cocktail napkin or plate
  • Ask questions such as “Do you like the taste of plums?”, “Do plums taste that way you thought they would?”
In Advance

One Week
Please provide a printed copy of the allergy form to all students approximately one week before the tasting activities to allow ample time for parents/guardians to read, sign, and return to the classroom. Check your school policies to understand how to handle food allergies and modify the tasting activities for students with food sensitivities.

Two days

  • Purchase plums (soft plums are the juiciest with most flavor) and wash plums
  • Serve at room temperature
  • Provide gloves for those handling food
  • Use tongs for passing out food
  • Use cocktail napkins or small plates
Materials needed
  • Plums (soft plums are the juiciest with most flavor)
  • Gloves for those handling food
  • Pair of tongs
  • Knife for slicing plums
  • Enough cocktail napkins or small plates for each student
Time Exercise Description
9 minutes Discussion
Implementation

Discussion

  • Hello Nutrition Ninjas!
  • Today we will be talking about plums. Has anyone ever heard of plums?
  • What food group are plums in?
  • Plums are in the fruit group and they are a type of fruit called stone fruits.
  • Stone fruits are fruits that have a large seed or ‘stone’ on the inside.
  • Like other stone fruits, plums are grown on trees.
  • Can anyone tell me another fruit that has a large seed on the inside?
  • That’s right, peaches, nectarines, apricots and cherries all have large seeds and are part of the stone fruit group.
  • Did you know there are over 2,000 different kinds of plums?
  • Plums are small heart-shaped sweet fruits that can be red, purple, blue-black, yellow or amber (show whole plum).
  • They can be eaten raw, made into jellies and juices, or used in desserts!
  • When plums are dried they are called prunes. Prunes are a sticky, chewy and delicious way to enjoy plums!
  • Has anyone ever tried a plum? How was it served?
  • Plums are ripe when they are soft, which is when they will be the juiciest.
  • A serving of plums is about 1 cup. That’s about the size of a baseball! If you make your hand into a fist, it is about the size of a baseball, or the serving size of plums. Can you make your hand into a fist?
  • Plums are not only delicious but they are very good for your body.
  • Plums contain vitamins like Vitamin A, fiber, and potassium.
  • Vitamin A keeps our eyes healthy.
  • Fiber keeps our bodies clean and full.
  • Plums also have potassium, which keeps our blood and muscles healthy and working well.
  • Who would like to try a plum? Let’s try some (give samples of plums)!
  • I also have something about plums for you to take home with you today (pass out Plum Handout).
Assessment Opportunities

At the end of this session, each student should be able to answer at least 3 questions correctly. Questions can be as simple as “How big is one serving of plums?”, “Why do they call it a stone fruit?”, and “What organ does Vitamin A, found in plums, help?”

Standards assessment

Grades 3-5 Health and PE state-by-state standards_Plums

Grades 3-5 Science state-by-state standards_Plums

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science Grade 4
STRAND: NGSS.4-LS. LIFE SCIENCE
TITLE 4-LS1. From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
PERFORMANCE EXPECTATION 4-LS1-2.
Students who demonstrate understanding can: Use a model to describe that animals’ receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.

Community connections

Students can discuss with family members what they learned about tofu, and show them the Plums Handout. Encourage students to share with their family members a new fact they learned, such as “Plums are a type of fruit called stone fruit because they have a large seed on the inside that looks like a stone” and report back if their families knew this fact.