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Outdoor Education

Descriptions & Observations

Fruits and vegetables are an easy and accessible way to practice observing the senses and practice describing experiences. 


This activity focuses on sensory exploration and learning description words. Students will work as a team to try and describe different fruits and vegetables using sight and touch.


👂  Exploring the world through one’s senses
📖  Learning description categories and words
🔍  Understanding differences and similarities


Select 3 different types of vegetables. We recommend that you have one vegetable of each type for each student table.


Note: For health and safety purposes, these vegetables should be disposed of after the activity or scrubbed clean.


In Class

Provide each table of students with each of the three vegetables. Focus on one vegetable and one sense at a time. For this activity, we are focusing on sight and touch.


Start with asking students to use their eyes and the power of sight. What is the biggest vegetable on the table? What is the smallest vegetable?

Next, ask each student to look at the first vegetable and observe and describe the color, shape, and size (on its own).

  • What color is the vegetable? Have them raise their hand or call out what color it is. Does it have the same color as another food that they know?

  • What shape is it? Prompt with comparisons to familiar objects (a ball, a book, or other foods).

  • What size is it? What has a similar size in the classroom? What is bigger? What is smaller?


Then, ask students to take turns touching each vegetable at their tables. Ask students to observe and describe the texture and density. 

  • Start with gentle touch by asking students to stroke their finger along the vegetable. Does it feel smooth and your finger keeps going along the vegetable easily? Does it feel bumpy and your finger goes up and down? Is it fuzzy and your finger feels ticklish? Are there different textures on the vegetable or is it all the same?

  • Next give the vegetable a small squeeze. Is the vegetable soft or hard when they squeeze it? Does their squeeze leave a mark on the vegetable?

Repeat the activity with the other vegetables.


If you have enough of one type of vegetable, give one to each student and have them do a matching scavenger hunt where they find items in the classroom that match the vegetable’s color, size, shape, etc.

Repeat this activity multiple times with different vegetables. Practice with different colors, textures and shapes. For example, an orange bell pepper, green bean and cucumber. Or tomato, spinach leaf, and broccoli.


check out other lessons . . .

Fresh Green Beans
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