Building Vocabulary with Fruit Haiku
Lesson Objective: Enrich student vocabulary and writing through a fruit tasting
Grade 6 / English / Health

Thought starters

  1. What activities are used to hook students and sustain high levels of engagement?
  2. How does the tasting experience help students come up with a richer vocabulary?
  3. In what ways are students' senses used to reinforce learning about syllables, imagery and poetry?
I will be teaching Esperanza Rising this year to my sixth grade class. I am going to include this in my unit. Thank you for such an awesome idea.
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I really like this lesson. It is a great way to incorporate healthy eating with literacy concepts. It allows for students to creatively express themselves and learn at the same time! I will definitely keep this in mind.
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This lesson can be used in a Culinary Arts classroom. We teach taste testing and having this list of vocabulary available is so helpful. Thank you for this lesson that I can adapt to my curriculum.
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Students are doing a Poetry unit and I presented this lesson to my students. Needless to say they enjoyed eating the fruit, but this lesson helped them to use descriptive words to write their Haiku poems. I plan on doing this activity again to help my students gain a deeper understand of descriptive words. Thank you for sharing your lesson. B. Crowder
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  • Great Lesson Ideas: Fruit Haiku with Beth Sonnenberg

    Beth: I'm Beth Son-en-berg. Here is a fun lesson I

    Great Lesson Ideas: Fruit Haiku with Beth Sonnenberg

    Beth: I'm Beth Son-en-berg. Here is a fun lesson I teach. Fruit in-spired haikus.

    "So, right here, we have, pretty much, the largest type of citrus to the very smallest."

    Kids love fruit, and it's sweet. And, everybody likes sweet.

    "Today we're gonna be talking about citrus, and why do you think citrus is the kind of fruit..."

    This lesson was a tasting, and we tried four different types of citrus. And, what we did was a little bit of the nutrition piece, a little bit about sensory, descriptive words, and a little bit about constructing some sort of poem, in the form of a haiku.

    "So each table of two is gonna get four things that you're gonna try."

    Student: "Yummy!"

    Beth: While they're tasting, they are recording descriptive words.

    Student: "Sweet. Bitter."

    Student: "Sour."

    Student: "Tangy."

    Beth: So they're using their four senses - touch, and taste, and smeill and sight. And, that they use those words as opposed to 'Hate it. Love it.'

    Student: "Well, it smells a lot like a flower, for some reason. I don't know why, but..."

    Beth: "Give me a descriptive word of blood orange. Let's have a good one. Right here, yeah."

    Student: "Sweet."

    Beth: "Sweet. Shout it out!"

    I think it's really important that kids have something really fun in their day.

    Students: "Tangy. Fresh. Sugary."

    Beth: I mean, it needs to be reigned in, but I always think of it as, like, driving a bit 'ole Cadillac. You don't kind of steer it hard, you just kind of guide it.

    Student: "Sour."

    Student: "Fresh."

    Beth: "OK. Right here. Lexi"

    Student: "It smells like perfume."

    Beth: So then, I introduce the haiku. Has anybody heard of a haiku? What is the form?

    "It's like this - five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables. Let's talk about what a syllable is. So.."

    And then describe what a syllable is, so that students are able to count out syllables. And, I might use my name or I might use a type of fruit, something like that to get them thinking about 'what is a syllable?'

    Student: "Ex-treme-ly so-ur."

    Student: "It is very sweet."

    Student: "Tan-ge-los are per-fum-y. That's seven, and then Tan-ge-los are good. That's five."

    Beth: Oh yeah, it's always entertaining to see what they come up with.

    Student: "I love the kumquat. It tastes very good and very sour. I love to eat kumquat."

    Beth: "You're on deck."

    Student: "Refreshing and strong. Tart, tangy, chewy, bitter. It's a kumquat."

    Beth: "Nice."

    What we want to really teach them about is making healthy choices, and so, it's important to me that they know that fruit is really good for them, tastes really good, and is an excellent option.

    Student: "Eat the blood orange. It's sweet when you eat it. I love to eat them."

    Student: "Kumquats are the best. it is sour, then it gets sweet. Sour, sour, sour, sour."

    Student: "Extremely sour, but also sweet and tangy. I love lemonade."

    Beth: The thing about this is it's really easy to do. I often do a fifteen-minute tasting; it's not the whole class period, just two different types of pear, or two different kinds of apple. Very simple. I think if you have a collendar, a cutting board, and a knife, and maybe even a few paper towels, you can really easily do this lesson, and have it be very successful.

School Details

Martin Luther King Middle School
1781 Rose Street
Berkeley CA 94703
Population: 957

Data Provided By:



Beth Sonnenberg
Math Science / 6 / Teacher


Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Planning

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Engagement

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12 / ELA / Tch DIY