Periodic Table of Fruits & Vegetables

Looking to incorporate the “farm to table” concept into the fruit and vegetable unit of her 9-12 Basic Foods class, Liz Odle, a teacher at North Platte High School, Nebraska did just that by creating the Periodic Table of Fruits & Vegetables project!  A colleague helped her iron out the details and the project was created to accommodate new standards as well as 90 minute periods.  This lesson is not only informative, but engaging, and when complete, creates a large periodic table display that is hung in the hall for all students to view!  See how she teaches this entire unit below.

Set 

  • Since Liz teaches in Nebraska, she invites the creator, David Lott of the app/website “Seasonal and Simple” to her classroom to speak with her students.  The app/website has a section on fruits and vegetables you’d find in a store or farmers market, showing how to select, when best to purchase and recipes using fresh, frozen, canned and dried varieties. Liz has her students work through a worksheet to learn how to navigate the app or website. (Note: the information is the same on both.)
  • Students then select a recipe from the app/website to prepare in the lab and complete the follow-up afterward.
  • Students are then assigned the Periodic Table project.
  • Label popsicle sticks or use slips of paper with the name of a fruit or vegetable.  Students randomly select a stick/slip to determine the fruit or vegetable they will be researching.
  • Have each student make a copy of the “Periodic Template Slide Show” in Google and then after viewing the sample, set up their fruit or vegetable accordingly, making sure to limit all information to one slide. Also, remind students to select “school appropriate” images. See the instruction sheet and rubric for specific details.

Materials

  • iPads or Laptops
  • Printer Access
  • Tape for Hanging Periodic Table
  • Google or Google Classroom
  • Seasonal & Simple App (Apple/Android) or Website

Activities

  • After students receive their fruit or vegetable, they have the rest of the period (90 minutes) to complete the research and fill in their template.
  • On the second day, the “fruit and vegetable elements” are printed hung.  As their summative assessment, students go on a gallery walk to fill in the information about each fruit or vegetable on their form. Liz also spreads this project out over 2-3 different classes so each student has their own fruit or vegetable to research which is also why there are so many fruits and vegetable on the note-taking chart.
  • After notes are complete, Liz creates an actual “periodic table” of fruit and vegetable elements in the hallway for others to view!
  • At the end of the unit, students complete the “Getting Ready to Cook” prelab questions prior to preparing Sauteed Apples and Garden Pasta Salad in the foods lab.

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