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"A What?!" (Fruit Version)

Students learn about less common fruits in this fast-paced game

Tags: nutrition activities, middle school, breakfast

Description: This rapid action hand-off game lets kids create and repeat fun dialogues about breakfast and fruit.
Objective: Students will identify a variety of less common fruits they can eat for breakfast.
Materials: About five tennis balls, beanbags, or Koosh Balls or pictures of fruits or the fruits themselves (see below for which fruits).
  1. Ask the students to form two even lines facing each other at opposite ends of the room with their backs against opposite walls.
  2. Tell them it is a good idea to have fruit with their breakfast meals because fruit helps us fight off colds, gives us energy, keeps our hair shiny, our skin soft, and our teeth and bones strong.
  3. Each type of fruit has different amounts and types of nutrients in it, so it is important to eat a variety of them (vitamin C in oranges helps us fight colds, potassium in bananas helps prevent muscle cramps, etc). They should eat about 1.5 servings every day (see below for specific amounts).
  4. Explain that you are going to introduce them to some less common fruits while you play "A What?"
  5. Choose a student to be the Leader. Give her or him a ball, beanbag, picture, or fruit and tell her or him it is a "papaya." Tell them the person directly across from them is the Receiver. The Leader should run across the room to the Receiver and say, "This is a papaya."
  6. The Receiver should say, "A what?" and the Leader should repeat, "A papaya." The Receiver should then say, "Oh! A papaya!" as they take it. Then, the Receiver should run across the room to the next person in line (at a slight diagonal from them).
  7. The Receiver is now the Leader and should speak the Leader’s lines to the new Receiver.
  8. Once the "papaya" has been passed along a few times, hand the original Leader a second ball, picture, or fruit and ask them to pass a new fruit ("This is a cranberry") so there are two balls in rotation at once.
  9. Add as many balls or fruits as the group can realistically handle (up to five). See below for fruit ideas.

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 an even better choice. In general, 5th-8th 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

More Common Fruits:

  • apples
  • oranges
  • bananas
  • cherries
  • pears
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • watermelon

Less Common Fruits:

  • apricots
  • papayas
  • coconuts
  • kiwi
  • figs
  • plantains
  • cranberries
  • cantaloupes
  • starfruit
  • tangerines
  • lychee nuts

Related National Standards

NHES: 1.5.1, 1.5.2, 7.5.1
NSPE: 1, 2, 5
NS: NS.5-8.6

Further information about the national standards can be found here.

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