National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix


Eat 'Em Up

Grade Level(s)

K - 2

Estimated Time

50 minutes plus homework assignment


In this lesson students will review the plants parts that they eat including the roots, stem, flower, leaves, fruit, or seed. Students will choose a favorite fruit or vegetable to feature in a healthy recipe and prepare it with their families.


For the class:

  • Internet access

For each student:

  • Edible Plant Parts Parent Letter

Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)


agriculture: the science and business of growing crops and raising livestock

commodity: fruits, vegetables, nuts, or grains, as a unit that are bought or sold

farmer: a person who produces food, fiber, or plants, for others to use

nutrient: a chemical component of food that is essential, in some quantity, to a living organism

Background Agricultural Connections

This lesson is part of a series called, Edible Plant Parts. These lessons allow students and teachers to examine the six basic plant parts—roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds—in a unique way. Through hands-on activities, students will learn about the different plant parts, as well as how to include fruits and vegetables into their daily meals as part of a healthy diet. Students will also learn about agriculture and the people who produce our food. The remaining lessons can be found at the following links:

Farmers produce an abundance of fresh produce that provides us with many options for healthy meals. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of the nutrients students need for healthy growth and development. In order to get the recommended daily value of fruits and vegetables, the USDA recommends that children between the ages of 4 and 8 consume approximately 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of fruit and 1 and 1/2 cups of vegetables per day. For children between the ages of 9 and 13, the USDA recommends 1½ cups of fruit and 2 to 2½ cups of vegetables per day. A visit to the supermarket or farmers market will showcase the variety of produce that is available and the different plant parts that are harvested for consumption.

The following list provides some examples of edible plant parts (some foods fit into more than one category):

Interest Approach – Engagement

  1. Review with your class what the purpose is of each plant part. Review roots, stems, flowers, leaves, fruits, and seeds.
  2. List each of the plant parts on the board and ask students to list a food for each plant part. Use the table in the Background Agricultural Connections section of the lesson as a guide.


  1. Visit your local produce department and ask if there are any items that could be donated or purchased at a discount for display in your classroom. Gather a variety of vegetables that fit into the root, stem, flower, leaf, fruit, and seed categories. Spread these fruits and vegetables out on a table in your classroom. Invite students to inspect the samples. As a class, organize the produce into categories based on what part of the plant we eat. Remember that some fruits and vegetables will fit into more than one category. Discuss USDA nutrition recommendations with your students. A healthy diet for children between the ages of 4 and 8 includes approximately 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of fruit and 1 and 1/2 cups of vegetables per day. For children between the ages of 9 and 13, the USDA recommends 1½ cups of fruit and 2 to 2½ cups of vegetables per day. Emphasize to your students that they have many choices to help them meet the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, and that healthy eating makes us feel good and gives us energy to grow, learn, and play.
  2. Send home the parent letter for the Edible Plant Parts unit.
  3. Explain that the class will be going to the computer lab so each student can look up a recipe featuring a favorite fruit or vegetable. Once they have found their recipe, students will go home and prepare the recipe with an adult family member and share it with their family during a meal.
  4. In the computer lab, give students the following step-by-step instructions once they have logged on to
    • Click on the large purple icon called “Download Monthly Elements” in the upper-right corner.
    • Choose a favorite fruit or vegetable from the fall, winter, spring, or summer column and click on it.
    • Click on the PDF for “Family Newsletter” (Choose English or Spanish).
    • Find the recipe on the Family Newsletter.
    • Print or write down the recipe to prepare at home.
  5. Provide students with the parent letter/instruction sheet for preparing their recipe at home. The instruction sheet will need to be signed by an adult family member to show that the recipe was prepared and served to the family.

Concept Elaboration and Evaluation

After conducting these activities, review and summarize the following key concepts:

  • Farmers grow many different types of plants that we eat.
  • Fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet.
  • We eat many different parts of a plant including the fruit, leaves, stem, or the root.


  • Instead of buying fruits and vegetables for display, draw columns on the board for roots, stems, flowers, leaves, fruits, and seeds and ask students to help you fill in examples of each.

We welcome your feedback! Please take a minute to tell us how to make this lesson better or to give us a few gold stars!


Enriching Activities

  • In the computer lab, allow your students to explore the “Kids’ Place” section of MyPlate. There are a number of fun and educational games and activities that teach students about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise habits.

Suggested Companion Resources

Agricultural Literacy Outcomes

Plants and Animals for Food, Fiber & Energy

  • Identify examples of feed/food products eaten by animals and people (T2.K-2.c)

Education Content Standards


Health Standard 7: Demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.

  • 7.2.1
    Demonstrate healthy practices and behaviors to maintain or improve personal health.
  • 7.2.2
    Demonstrate behaviors that avoid or reduce health risks.

Common Core Connections

Reading: Anchor Standards

    Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
    Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards

    Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


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