We cannot create observers by saying ‘observe,' but by giving them the power and the means for this observation and these means are procured through education of the senses. ~ Dr. Maria Montessori
Learn the Parts of a Fruit
The first step to learning about the parts of a fruit was to read this book:
These books excited my boys and by the time I brought out the basket of fruit (see above image), they were ready to explore more. For us, as I have mentioned in the past, an introduction is always largely concrete. My boys are 4 and 2.5 years old. Not only are concrete objects a way to hook them into the activity, concrete objects feed their development brains, which are unable to think abstractly just yet.
I found these amazing fruits at a local grocery store. One was a Kiwano aka a “horned melon”, another was an Asian pear, a Pomegrante and, of course, Star Fruit. I introduced the fruit by using simple language to describe it. I also asked my boys what they saw, felt and, perhaps, even smelled. The Kiwano has a very thorny skin, while the Pomegrante is quite smooth. My job is to give them the language so that they are able to compare and contrast.
Then, together, we cut open each piece of fruit. Even an adult will be amazed at how different the inside appears not only from the outside but from the other fruit. We touched and took a taste of the fruit. I identified the Parts of the Fruit by pointing to each part: “pericarp. exocarp. mesocarp. endocarp. seeds. blossom. leaf.”
Then I placed the fruit in a large bowl and let my sons explore with their hands. Normally I wouldn't use food in this way but given that we have lots of fruit loving birds in our area, I was okay with placing this fruit in our bird feeder once the lesson was complete.
There are wonderful Parts of a Fruit nomenclature cards from The Helpful Garden that I will be integrating into our next Botany lessons but for now sensory exploration was a great start. Deb at Living Montessori Now also has a really resourceful Montessori inspired Fruit unit round up. Montessori for Everyone also offers FREE Whole and Half Fruit Matching Cards.
I hope you found this introduction to Parts of a Fruit helpful. More to come in the future. Please leave me a comment. Hearing from you always makes me smile. Be sure to subscribe our Free Weekly eNewsletter too.
Thanks for reading!