Fruit Dissection






Students will understand the concept of fruit as anything with seeds in it. Students will infer that the size of a fruit does not indicate the size or amount of seeds.


Where do seeds come from?

How are seeds and fruits different from one another?


A variety of colorful fruits with enough for classroom pairs to each have 1 (eggplant, pepper, tomato, okra, bean pod, gherkin, cucumber, squash, pumpkin, cranberry, etc.)

“A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds” book; cutting boards and knives for slicing fruits; measuring tapes; paper or worksheet for seed counting


Set up yoga dots as platforms or other place markers for “statues” to stand on


Play “Silent Museum” to model the examples of fruit you’ve brought in. Pair up students. One person from each pair will start as a statue holding a fruit. The other person from the pair will start as a tourist. Statues must not move once they’ve been placed. Tourists must not touch the statues (show the class what you’re looking for by example, using a student volunteer for one of the roles). Hand each statue a different fruit on the way to their “platform,” which can be a rubber dot, a mat, or another designated area. At the sound of the signal, statues must be frozen in place and tourists may begin going through the exhibit. At the second signal, pairs will switch spots – tourists become statues and vice versa. At the third signal, all pairs come back to the blanket/meeting space together.

Think, pair, share – how are all of these items alike? What category do they all fit in? Why is an eggplant like a squash? Why is a cranberry like an okra?

The answers: They are all fruits. They all hold seeds inside them. They are all harvested in our garden in the fall

Activity 1:

Read “A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds” – reinforce that a fruit’s job is to protect seeds and attract humans and animals to eat/spread the seeds around. That’s why fruits are usually so colorful and delicious!

Activity 2:

At picnic tables with clipboards student pairs will draw their fruit and label it. Make a description based on its size. They can use measuring tapes or a simile. “A gherkin is about the size of my thumb.” Or “the tomato is 9 inches around.”

Once the fruit is illustrated and described, go around the room and dissect (aka cut in half lengthwise) the fruits for students. Then they can count and write down the number of seeds each fruit has.

Closing thoughts:

Share fruit and seed counts with classmates – either think pair share or inside/outside circle. In circle try to get them to infer the number of plants that could grow from those seeds. If a pumpkin has 100 seeds in it, how many pumpkin plants could we grow? If an okra has 34 seeds, how many okra plants can we grow?

Example student work


Dissect and count seeds from the same type of fruit and compare how many seeds are in each one.

Play Flower to Fruit memory game: Have several flowers with their matching fruits printed out and laminated. Give about 2 minutes for students to memorize the matches, going through the different colors and shapes of petals and fruits. Then flip them all down like the memory game, and play! Kids really enjoy this and will play two or three times. Use a velcro board they can velcro the pairs on once they match them.

Do the “Tomato Challenge” with tomatoes or other seasonal fruits – have students try to identify their tomato in a bowl full of tomatoes based purely on a detailed drawing of it (see lesson write up).

Play Harvest Blanket with a variety of fruits and try to guess which is which by their shape and texture (see lesson write up).