Lesson 9: What’s in Season?

In this lesson, students will explore the availability of seasonal fruit and vegetables and learn about the benefits of buying and eating fresh fruit and vegetables in season. In Lesson 10, students will create a seasonal menu for a shared lunch and then prepare and share the meal.

Lesson 9 Intro

This lesson is featured in our printed resource; Book 3: Growing and Learning with 5+ A Day, Levels 2 & 3.

Order the print version here or download here to print yourself.

Learning Intentions

Lesson 9 Li

Students will:

  • identify when different fresh fruit and vegetables are available
  • identify fresh and imported fruit and vegetables
  • discuss the importance of buying and eating fresh fruit and vegetables in season.

Possible Achievement Objectives

Health and Physical Education: Level 2


Students will:

  • explore how people’s attitudes, values, and actions contribute to healthy physical and social environments.


Students will:

  • identify and use local community resources and explain how these contribute to a healthy community.

Health and Physical Education: Level 3


Students will:

  • identify how health care and physical activity practices are influenced by community and environmental factors.


Students will:

  • identify factors that affect personal, physical, social, and emotional growth and develop skills to manage changes.


Students will:

  • contribute to and use simple guidelines and practices that promote physically and socially healthy classrooms, schools, and local environments.

Science: Level 2


Students will:

  • recognise that living things are suited to their particular habitat.

Science: Level 3


Students will:

  • use their growing science knowledge when considering issues of concern to them
  • explore various aspects of an issue and make decisions about possible actions.


What You Need

  • eBook: Fredge’s 5+ A Day Feast
  • Photo Card: Cherries/Tiere
  • Photo Card: Tropical fruit/Huarakau pārū 
  • Fruit & Vegetable Availability Chart poster
  • Fact File: Buying seasonal fruit and vegetables/Te hoko-a-kaupeka o ngā huarākau me ngā huawhenua
  • Resource Sheet: Why you should buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season/He aha te take me hoko koe i ngā huarākau me ngā huawhenua rānei ā-kaupeka

Key Vocabulary

These words  are important to this lesson and can be defined and explored in context as you discuss the topic with your students. A number of content words are provided in English and Māori. Introduce terms in both languages as appropriate:

harvest/hauhake: to pick or gather fruit or vegetable crops

import/kawe: to bring goods or products into a country to sell

nutrition/taioranga: eating healthy food that is good for you

pesticides/paturiha: chemicals that are used to destroy pests that harm or damage crops

seasonal/ā-kaupeka: growing in a particular season

tropical/pārū: an area where the climate is hot with a high rainfall (usually close to the Equator)

Learning Opportunity

This lesson will introduce students to the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables according to the season, and the benefits of buying and eating seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables and making good choices.

The Lesson

Photo Card: Cherries/Tiere

Begin the lesson by showing the students the Photo Card: Cherries/Tiere (click on the image to enlarge, download, and print).


  • Who likes cherries?/He pai ki a wai ngā tiere?
  • When do you eat them?/Āwhea koe ka kai ai?

Discuss with the students the fact that cherries are usually available during the Christmas period (December to January) because this is the time of year when the fruit is ripe and ready to eat.

  • What are your favourite fruit and vegetables?
  • When do you eat them?
  • Do you eat them all year around?/Ka kai ēnā hurinoa i te tau? Why/why not?/He aha ai?/Hei aha e kore ai?

eBook: Fredge’s 5+ A Day Feast

Now share the eBook Fredge’s 5+ A Day Feast (click on the cover of the eBook). There is audio for this story that you can use, or students can take turns to read the text.

The focus of the eBook is to introduce the idea of buying and eating fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season. For information on using 5+ A Day eBooks, click here.

There are two interactive activities that follow the eBook. They work on a computer, a tablet, or an IWB. They can be used during or at the end of the lesson or in choosing time to reinforce key information from the story. Students will get the most from these activities if you model them first and explain the actions required and the aims of the activity. Then students can do them independently or in pairs.

For Activity 9, help Aroha buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season by dragging the correct fruit or vegetables into the correct seasons. For Activity 10, help Jaden make a summer fruit pizza by dragging the correct summer fruit onto the pizza.

Discussing the E-book

After you have shared the eBook, you can discuss the following questions:

  • Why did Fredge and Katie decide to have a party? (to celebrate Matariki)/He aha te take ka whakatū pāti ai a Fredge rāua ko Katie? (kia whakanui i a Matariki)
  • How do we usually celebrate Matariki at school?/Ka pēwhea tātou e whakanui ai i a Matariki i te nuinga o ngā wā i te kura?
  • Why is Jaden upset on page 8? (He can’t buy berries for his fruit salad.)/He aha a Jaden e pouri ai (i te whārangi 8)? (Kāore ia e taea te hoko pere mā tana huamata.)
  • Why can’t he buy berries? (It’s winter, and berries are only available in spring and summer.)/He aha i kore ai ia e hoko kākano? (Ko te hōtoke, ā, ka hua mai i te kōanga me te raumati anake ngā pere.)
  • What winter fruit does Fredge suggest using instead? (mandarins, persimmons, kiwifruit, and tamarillos)/He aha ngā huarakau o te hōtoke e mea ana a Fredge kia whakamahia? (manarini, āporo makimaki, huakiwi me ngā tomato rākau)

What's in season?

Now display the Fruit & Vegetable Availability Chart poster (click here). You could project it onto the whiteboard or print out copies for students to share in pairs. Tell them that the poster shows when fresh fruit or vegetables are available to buy in season over the year.

  • What does buying in season mean?

Discuss the fact that different fruit and vegetables are grown and harvested at different times of the year. Point out the fruit on the left and the vegetables on the right. Discuss the different colours that are used and ask the students if they can explain the key (unavailable, short supply, plentiful).

Look at the key. The bottom box is green and it says “plentiful”.

Look at the poster together and ask a student to find a fruit or vegetable with dark green boxes, for example, beans.

  • In which months are beans “plentiful? (December to April)/Ko ēwhea mārama he maha rawa ngā pīni? (Hakihea ki te Paengawhāwhā)
  • What does “plentiful” mean here? (There are lots of fresh beans on sale during these months.)

Now point out the “short supply” box on the poster.

  • In which months are beans in short supply? (May and November)/Ko ēwhea mārama he iti rawa ngā pīni? (Haratua ki te Whiringa-ā-rangi)
  • What does in “short supply” mean? (You can buy them fresh, but they’re not very plentiful. There are fewer for sale.)

Tell the students that fresh fruit and vegetables are usually in short supply at the beginning and the end of a season.

Look at the poster again and indicate the “unavailable” box on the key.

  • In which months are beans unavailable? (December to April)/Ko ēwhea mārama karekau ngā pīni? (Hakihea ki te Paengawhāwhā
  • What does “unavailable” mean? (You can’t buy them fresh during those months.)

Ask the students to use the poster to find other examples of fresh fruit or vegetables that are only plentiful for a short period during the year such as cherries, berries, melon, asparagus, sweetcorn, and peas. Ensure that they understand that this means these fruit and vegetables are only available fresh at these times of the year and that they have relatively short growing and selling seasons.

Then ask the students to tell you when particular fruit or vegetables are not available and to say why. For example, fresh peas are not available from March through October.

Photo Card: Tropical fruit/Huarakau pārū

Show the students the Photo Card: Tropical fruit/Huarakau pārū (click on the image to enlarge and download). You can display the card on a data projector or share printouts in small groups.

  • What fruit can you see? (bananas, pineapple, mango, pawpaw)
  • Can you find these kinds of fruit in the What’s in Season? poster. What do you notice about them? (They are available all year round; they are labelled with the word “imported”.)

Explain that fresh bananas, pineapples, pawpaw, and mangoes are tropical fruit. These kinds of fruit grow well in a tropical climate, which is hot with a lot of rain. We buy these kinds of fruit from countries such as the Philippines and Australia.

Now ask:

  • What does “imported” mean? (to bring goods or products into New Zealand from another country to sell)
  • Why don’t we grow these fruit in New Zealand? (Our climate isn’t hot enough. Tropical countries are close to the Equator, so the seasons don’t change much. The climate is warm or hot throughout the year.)

Storing fruit and vegetables

Now discuss other fruit and vegetables on the What's in Season? poster that are available all year round.

  • Look at the colours in the vegetables section compared with the colours in the fruit section. What is different about the vegetables? (There are more vegetables available all year round.)
  • Why do you think these vegetables are available all year round?

Explain that some fresh vegetables, like potatoes and pumpkin, can be stored for long periods, whereas many kinds of fresh fruit have a shorter life, although fruit like apples and pears can be stored. Other vegetables, such as capsicums, cucumber, and lettuce, can be grown in hothouses and so they are available all year round.

The students can now revisit the eBook and do Activity 9: Help Aroha buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season, independently or in pairs. They can use the poster to help them decide in which season the fruit and vegetables are available.

Fact File: Buying seasonal fruit and vegetables/Te hoko-a-kaupeka o ngā huarākau me ngā huawhenua

Now share the Fact File: Buying seasonal fruit and vegetables/Te hoko-a-kaupeka o ngā huarākau me ngā huawhenua (click on the image to enlarge, download, and print).

You could suggest that the next time the students go to the supermarket, they could look at the signs on the fresh fruit and vegetables and notice the ones that are grown in New Zealand and the ones that are imported.

Reflect on the Learning

This is the time to reflect on the learning outcomes for the lesson. It is also a time for students to talk about and share ideas that are still unclear. In reflecting on this lesson, focus the discussion on the importance of buying and eating fresh fruit and vegetables in season.

Give each student a copy of the Resource Sheet: Why you should buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season/He aha te take me hoko koe i ngā huarākau me ngā huawhenua rānei ā-kaupeka. You can click on the image and download the active PDF for them to complete (they can type directly into the spaces provided) or print the sheet for them to work on. The students can write a persuasive argument about why people should buy and eat fresh fruit and vegetables in season. Remind them that they need to state their position, give at least three examples or reasons (facts) to support their position, and finish with a conclusion that restates their argument. Prompt them to use words or phrases, such as I believe, in my opinion, because, for example, and for this reason.