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Go Bananas!

Students create cheers explaining the benefits of various fruits

Tags: nutrition activities, middle school, additional activities

OVERVIEW
Description: In small groups, students create fun cheers and slogans about different fruits.
Objective: Students will identify a variety of fruits they can eat for dessert.
ACTIVITY
  1. Have the students form a circle around you.
  2. Ask them what some of their favorite dessert foods are. Tell them cakes, cookies, and ice-cream are "slow" foods and should not be eaten too often. Tell them fruit, with natural sugar, is a great alternative when they are craving something sweet for dessert.
  3. Explain that each type of fruit has different amounts and types of nutrients, so it is important to eat a variety of them. Tell them vitamin C in watermelon and oranges helps fight sickness, potassium in bananas helps prevent muscle cramps, and vitamin E in blackberries helps cuts heal.
  4. On your signal, have students begin to skip (hop, slide, gallop or jog, etc) around the room.
  5. Explain that you will call out a number. Students must stop moving and quickly form a group with that number of students in it.
  6. Once in their group, students are to come up with a fruit and a very short cheer for that fruit, including both words and movements. For example, they can spell out the letters of the word A-P-P-L-E with their bodies or jump up and down as they cheer "Go Bananas!" Demonstrate one of these cheers for the students.
  7. Tell them to create their cheer as quickly as possible. You can suggest they go with the group’s first idea. You might even want to set a time limit.
  8. Have each group demonstrate their cheer for the class.
  9. Encourage the class not to repeat fruits.
  10. Continue playing using different numbers to form groups until time runs out. (See below for a shorter version of this activity.)

Activity Variation

If you have limited time, divide the class into groups, assign each a fruit (from the list above), and tell them that they have one minute to come up with a cheer. Then have each group perform their cheer for the class.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Fruit provides bodies with nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong. Fruits are an important source of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and other food components that can help reduce a person’s risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. They also provide vitamins (such as A and C), minerals, are low in calories, fat, and sodium, and contain no cholesterol.

100% juice is one way to get fruit servings, but whole fruit is a better choice. In general, 6th graders should eat 1½ servings of fruit per day and vary their fruit choices as fruits differ in nutrient content. One serving of fruit is about:

  • one medium piece of fruit (apple, pear)
  • six strawberries
  • two plums
  • fifteen grapes
  • a half cup of 100% juice

Fruits:

  • apples
  • bananas
  • dates
  • figs
  • grapes
  • lemons
  • melons
  • mangoes
  • oranges
  • peaches
  • pears
  • apricots
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • cantaloupe
  • cheeries
  • nectarines
  • pineapples
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • watermelon
  • starfruit

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.8.1, 1.8.2, 1.8.7, 5.8.6, 7.8.1, 7.8.2, 7.8.3
NSPSELA: E3b, E4a
NSPE: 1, 2, 5
NS: NS.5-8.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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