Name/Title: Fruit Salad/Vegetable Soup Classroom Idea

Academic content: Health/Wellness

Purpose of Event: For students to recognize and identify different fruits and vegetables while being physically active.

Prerequisites: Lessons should have been taught about fruits, vegetables and different locomotor skills (Running, hopping, jumping, etc...) animal walks (crab, bear, etc…) tempos (Fast, slow) and levels (High, medium, and low).

Suggested Grade Level: K-2

Materials Needed: Plastic or foam fruits and vegetables, music player.

Physical activity: Locomotor and non-locomotor skills: Spatial awareness.

Description of Idea

Note: This is a nice lesson to do for the physical education teacher if they are forced to be in a classroom.

Let students know they are going to be identifying fruits and vegetables and moving today.

Move desks in class out of the way so the students have as much room as possible to move safely. Make a circle out of a jump rope and put in the middle of the room on the floor. This is where they will toss the fruits and vegetables after their answer. Make sure the students move outside of this circle.

Have the students spread out in their own self space within the open area with the desks on the side. Tell the students they are going to move first (animal movements like an elephant, like a bear, like a lizard, or you might just ask them to skip or hop) and when the teacher says stop they are to freeze and look at the teacher and listen.

Hold up a plastic/foam fruit or vegetable and have the students answer out loud to identify the fruit or vegetable (you can do more than one fruit or vegetable at a time). Help the students with hints if some of them do not get the correct answer. Give the fruit or vegetable to a student of your choice and have them toss it in the middle of the jump rope circle. This process will continue until all of the fruits or vegetables are in the middle making our “fruit salad or vegetable soup”.

At the end of the activity, you should talk to students about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.


Add music so the students move to different music during the animal walks and locomotor movements.

You could add other food groups as well. You can put a “my plate poster” in the middle of your circle and pass food from other food groups. When the music stops, students have to decide where to put the food on the plate in the middle of the circle.

You can also combine locomotor movements/animals walks with level changes and having students move at different tempos.

During the activity, when the music stops you can have students put their hand on their heart and ask students if their heart is beating fast or slow.

Assessment Ideas:

Check for understanding during the activity and at the end. Ask different students to name the fruits/vegetables.

At the end of the activity, you can ask students why it is important to eat healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables. You can also ask students why we should be physically active every day.

Teaching Suggestions:

If you have very limited space or a large class, you can have students sit down instead and do non-locomotor movements such as climbing, swimming, touching toes, etc.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

You can partner up students who need extra help. For students with limited mobility or use a wheelchair, you can give them different exercises that fit their needs.

Submitted by Michele Sampsell who teaches at Rochester Prep Elementary West Campus in Rochester, NY. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 6/11/2015.
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