Why So Yummy

Discovery Education/Siemens Science Day
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Activity , Lesson/Lesson Plan
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.



In this lesson students will investigate how fruits help some plants survive. The background information is important to the overall goals of this lesson. It states, "fruit-bearing plants can be distinguished from other plants, because they contain a reproductive structure that develops into an edible fruit. This reproductive structure is the shelter that protects the seeds until they are mature. This is important, because seeds are not distributed to the earth for germination until they are ripe." The teacher will need to purchase some fruits ahead of time for this lesson. Identifying a variety of fruits and especially fruits children might have less experience with will enhance the experience.

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

1-LS1-1 Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

Clarification Statement: Examples of human problems that can be solved by mimicking plant or animal solutions could include designing clothing or equipment to protect bicyclists by mimicking turtle shells, acorn shells, and animal scales; stabilizing structures by mimicking animal tails and roots on plants; keeping out intruders by mimicking thorns on branches and animal quills; and, detecting intruders by mimicking eyes and ears.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students investigate how taste, type and number of seeds, size, shape and protective coverings help some plants survive in their environments.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
To best meet this practice Step 4 of the lesson should allow students to examine all of the fruits and complete the chart in pairs or small groups. Including a science talk into the lesson flow will be important for students as a means to construct understanding.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
To fully meet the Core Idea the students need to make the connection between the structure of the seed (fruit) and the journey of the fruit seed. Making observations of the specific physical characteristics of fruits alone will not fully explain how the plants survives. The Extension Activity is an important aspect to the overall lesson.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Step 3 of the lesson addresses the Crosscutting Concept that shape and stability of structures are related to their functions. In this case, the study of fruits, it is important to not only understand the structure but to realize the importance of the seed being ripe before dispersal.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The lesson plan's grade-appropriate elements of the science, disciplinary core idea(s), and crosscutting concept(s), work together to support students in three-dimensional learning to make sense of phenomena. The lesson clearly supports the Disciplinary Core Idea, but is an investigation about plant structures, and does not include animals.

  • Instructional Supports: The lesson engages students in authentic and meaningful scenarios that reflect the practice of science as experienced in the real world and that provide students with a purpose (e.g., making sense of phenomena. The context, including phenomena, questions, or problems, motivates students to engage in three-dimensional learning.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The lesson elicits direct, observable evidence of three-dimensional learning by students using practices with core ideas and crosscutting concepts to make sense of phenomena. The student handout may be used as a formative assessment.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -