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The Strawberry Debate



Students will gain a deeper understanding of cell structure, genetic traits, plant life cycle, hybridization, ecosystems, and health factors as it pertains to strawberries.

Subject Area(s)

Reading, Science, Health

Essential Files/Links


Abiotic factors: non-living things in an ecosystem, such as sunlight, wind, clouds, water, rocks, energy, temperature, and soil.

Antioxidants: substances that inhibit oxidation in living organisms and remove potentially damaging oxidizing agents.

Biotic factors: living things in an ecosystem, such as plants, animals, trees, and microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, and algae.

Commensalism: as association between two organisms in which one benefits and the other is neither benefited nor harmed.

Consumer: a person who purchases or uses goods and services.

Cultivated: grown on a farm to be sold for consumption.

Daughter plant: a plant that is naturally reproduced through the mother plant.

DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the carrier of genetic information.

Dominant: influential or prominent.

Ecosystem: a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.

Gene: a unit of heredity that is transferred from parent to offspring and determines some characteristic of the offspring.

Heredity: the transmission of genetic characteristics from parents to offspring.

Hybridization: the process of plant breeding with an individual of another species or variety.

Hybrid: new form of species.

Life cycle: a series of changes in the life of an organism including reproduction.

Minerals: solid, inorganic substances of natural occurrence.

Mutualism: an association between two organisms that is beneficial to both organisms involved.

Neutralism: an association between two organisms that does not have an effect on the evolutionary fitness of each other.

Nutrients: substances that provide nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life.

Nutritional value: the content of food and the impact it has on the body.

Offspring: the descendants of a person, animal, or plant.

Parasitism: relationship between two organisms in which one benefits at the expense of the other.

Parent plant (mother plant): an organism that has produced one or more organisms similar to itself.

Plant breeders: scientists who develop new plant varieties.

Plugs: small-sized seedlings, often grown in trays ready to be transplanted into a larger area.

Producer: a person or country, that makes, grows, or supplies goods.

Propagation: the breeding of an organism (plant) by natural processes from the parent stock.

Punnett square: a square diagram used to predict genotypes of a particular cross or breeding experiment named after Reginald C. Punnett, who invented this approach.

Recessive: relating to or denoting heritable characteristics controlled by genes that are expressed in offspring only when inherited by both parents.

Runner: a shoot or branch off of the strawberry plant often referred to as a “daughter plant.”

Strawberry: a sweet, soft, red fruit with a seed-studded surface.

Traits: observable, physical characteristics obtained through genetic inheritance.

Transplanted: to be moved or transferred to another place or situation.

Vitamins: any group of organic compounds, which are essential for normal growth and nutrition.

NC Ag Facts

  • Did you know strawberries can be grown anywhere in North Carolina? In 2019, about 1,100 acres were harvested and planted across all regions of North Carolina including the piedmont, coastal plain, and mountain regions.1
  • Strawberry harvest begins in early-mid April in Eastern North Carolina, early May in the Piedmont, and mid-June in the Mountains.2
  • Strawberries should be picked every other day or about 3 times a week, with the best time to pick in the early morning hours.2
  • North Carolina designated the strawberry as the official red berry of the state in 2001.4
  • North Carolina is the fourth-largest producer of strawberries in the United States.1
  • April signals the start of strawberry season in North Carolina, and in a season with high yields, strawberries will continue to produce through the end of May, until Memorial Day and ends in mid-June in the mountains.1

Background Knowledge

Strawberries are unique! Did you know strawberries are the only fruit that wear seeds on the outside? Most fruits that are categorized as “berries” contain their seeds inside the fruit; however, strawberries are not considered a true berry. Strawberries are a member of the rose family. There are several different fruits and berries that belong to the rose family including raspberries, blackberries, cherries, apples, and pears. Strawberry plants are perennials. That means if you plant one it will grow back year after year, but most strawberry farmers do not use this method. Instead they purchase strawberry plugs, which are young, small strawberry plants that are grown and then transplanted in the farmer’s strawberry patch. Strawberries are also the first fruit to ripen in the spring, and no other small fruit produces berries as soon after planting as strawberry plants.2

Health Benefits

Strawberries have many health benefits. Listed here are a few facts to better understand their health benefits.

  • Strawberries are packed with nutrients! Nutritionists have found strawberries to be an excellent source of vitamin C.2 Levels of vitamin C help protect the human eyes from free radicals in UV rays that can damage the protein of the eye lens.3
  • One serving of fresh strawberries (one cup or about 6-9 berries) has only 50 calories is a significant source of fiber in the diet.3
  • They are a good source of potassium and manganese.3
  • Strawberries are rich in antioxidant compounds such as anthocyanin, quercetin, resveratrol, and ellagic acid. These compounds found in strawberries help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and hypertension, improve immune systems, and reduce cognitive declines in aging.3 Ellagic acid helps prevent wrinkles and repair skin damage caused by UV rays.
  • Additional benefits of strawberries include healthy support for eyes, brain activity, and prenatal development for expecting mothers.3
  • The polyphenol compounds found in strawberries have been linked to promoting proper brain functionality by protecting the central nervous system against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Dementia.6
  • Strawberries can regulate blood pressure due to their potassium content of 18 milligrams per berry.3

Planting & Caring for Strawberries

In North Carolina, strawberry farmers plant in the fall, around late September through early October, depending on the location. The plants are planted as transplants in rows on raised beds. The raised beds are covered with a special plastic that is typically black in color. This plastic serves as a weed barrier, increases soil warmth through insulation, holds in moisture, and provides a clean surface for strawberries to grow and ripen. Between the rows, rye grass is often planted to prevent soil erosion. Throughout the growing season, farmers watch the weather for rain and extreme temperatures that drop below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower). They irrigate the berries in dry conditions with watering systems, such as sprinklers or drip tape laid beneath the black plastic. Additionally, during winter months, with below freezing temperatures sprinkler systems are used to provide a layer of ice as a barrier for frost protection for the strawberry plants. Strawberries are typically harvested in late April through May, and can continue to June, depending on weather and location.

Did you know that if an average of 25 strawberry plants were planted, these plants and the resulting runner plants would produce 25 quarts of strawberries? Imagine nearly 6 gallons of strawberries produced from 25 plants.If it takes approximately 5 lbs. of strawberries to make a gallon, how many lbs. could a farmer sell from 25 strawberry plants? Answer: 30 lbs.

Student Motivator

Before you begin identify any food allergies among the students. Provide them with a few favorite breakfast and snack foods such as a strawberry pop tart, fruit roll-up, and any other foods with strawberry as an ingredient. Allow students to conduct a taste-testing party. Ask students, “What is your favorite snack food you sampled today? What is the common feature these different snacks share?” Direct student conversations by explaining that the snack foods they sampled contain strawberries to provide a desirable flavor. Ask students the following questions:

  • Have you ever eaten a strawberry?
  • Have you ever picked your own strawberry?
  • Have you ever eaten a strawberry grown in your local county?
  • Have you ever eaten another food that had strawberries in it?

Create a class pictograph, bar graph, or tally chart to display the information. Explain to students the next several days/weeks they are going to be learning more about strawberries and how important they are in our diet and in our community.


Activity 1: Students will gain a deeper understanding of cells and cell organelles through the exploration of different cell types.

Standards: 6.L.1.1, 6.L.1.2, W.6.2.A, 7.L.1.2, 8.L.5.1


  • Technology (computer/SMART Board/document camera)
  • Poster paper
  • Whiteboard
  • Colored pencils/crayons
  • Pencil/eraser
  • Chart paper
  • Markers

Essential Files/Links (see list on Page 1 for downloadable files):

  • Picture of a Strawberry

Essential Question: Are humans the only living thing made up of cells?

  1. Before beginning the first hands-on activity students should have a good understanding of cells, cell organelles and their functions, and the structure of DNA.
  2. Bring students to a central area in the classroom. Begin dialogue with students to create a discussion about cells and food needed for proper cell function. Topics may include:
    • Farmers grow and raise many different agricultural commodities such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat for sustaining human life.
    • We as humans are made of cells that help us function and survive.
    • We must receive nutrients from our food to feed our cells in order to live.
  1. To begin an open class discussion, ask students, “Are we the only living thing made up of cells?” Allow students time to turn and talk with their partner and/or group. Ask students to share their ideas/responses with the whole class. Answer: No, all living things are made up of cells.
  2. Say to students, “We are all made up of cells and in fact, all living things are made up of cells. So why are we talking about this today? Cells are very important; they have given us our existence to life. We all originated from a cell. Even a strawberry is made up of cells containing important nutrients for the human body’s digestive system.” Show students a Picture of a Strawberry (see Essential Files). Say, “This strawberry is a living organism made up of cells and DNA.”
  3. Divide students into three groups: Group A: simple cell, Group B: human cell, and Group C: plant cell. Explain to students that within their groups they will be researching to find as much information as possible on each type of cell. Each group will create an informational poster or slideshow (if technology is available) to teach the class about the different types of cells. Note: Provide students with poster paper, markers, and other craft materials if technology is not used to create the poster.
  4. Compare/Contrast Cell Types: After students have created their posters and presented the information as a whole group, compare and contrast the different types of cells. Using Jamboard (through Google Suite) or Padlet (see link: https://padlet.com/) and have students enter their responses about how the cells are similar (compare) and how they are different (contrast). To guide student responses it may be necessary to prompt their thinking with questions:
    • Show students a picture of a simple cell. Ask students, “What comes to mind when you see this picture?” Then say, “The picture you see is a simple cell.”
    • Ask students, “What does a cell do?” Answer: Cells contain stored energy in allowing animal/plant/human body systems to function properly.
    • Ask students, “Where does the energy come from?” Answer: It comes from the foods we eat, which are grown and raised by farmers/producers.
    • Ask students, “What do you see that is different about the plant cell?” Answer: Plant cells are shaped differently than the animal cells. Plant cells can be square or rectangular and tend to have distinctive edges.
  1. Finally, recap all learning of the different cell types with the students, bringing attention to the plant and animal cell. Now that students have a good understanding of cell types and knowledge that a strawberry is a plant cell made up of DNA, students will be prepared for the following activities.

Extension: Challenge students to create a 3-dimensional model of either a plant, animal, or simple cell. Allow students to display their work in the classroom. Use the website below as a guide to what students should include in their cell design.

Extension: To support research and understanding of cell types, specifically the DNA related to strawberries, have students write a research paper documenting the process of a plant cell and how their learning of cells relates to their understanding of strawberries. Note: Students should note that strawberry DNA is located in the nucleus of the plant cell. Students should include the processes of each cell part. Additionally, students should include what cells need to survive, such as sunlight (the processes of photosynthesis) and water (the process of osmosis through the cell wall).

Activity 2: Students will understand dominant and recessive traits through strawberry varieties.

Standards: 7.L.1, 7.L.2, 7.L.2.2, 7.L.2.3, W.7.1, W.7.1.A, W.8.1, W.8.1.A, W.8.1.B


  • Technology (computer/SMART Board/document camera)
  • Chart paper
  • Whiteboard
  • Markers
  • Play dough (3 tubs of 6 different colors = 18 tubs)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Toothpicks
  • Index cards
  • White copy paper
  • Colored pencils/crayons

Essential Files/Links (see list on Page 1 for downloadable files):

  • Strawberry Varieties Image
  • Trivia Time
  • Dominant & Recessive Identification Chart
  • Diagram of a Strawberry Plant
  • Gene Key for Strawberries

Essential Question: What determines the traits of a strawberry?

  1. Say to students, “Today we are going to start with a guessing game. I am going to give you a list of clues and from those clues you will have to guess what specific food we are going to be learning about.”
  2. Bring up Trivia Time (see Essential Files) on the SMART Board. Say to students, “As I read each slide from Trivia Time (see Essential Files) raise your hand to guess the answer.” Read each slide:
    • This food comes from a perennial plant.
    • In the United States, California grows the most of this food.
    • This food is usually red but can also be yellow or white.
    • This food has seeds on the outside.
    • This food is a fruit.
    • This fruit provides vitamin C to our diet.
    • It is North Carolina’s state red berry.
    • What is this fruit? Strawberries!
  3. Display the Strawberry Varieties Image (see Essential Files). Ask students to list the similarities and differences they see among the pictures. Help students recognize that various colors, sizes, and shapes of strawberries exist. Answer: Strawberries are usually red, but they can also be white, yellow, and even blue. Strawberries can also be small or large and oblong or round. 
  4. Say to students, “We can see that the DNA in each of these strawberries is slightly different, leading to variation in characteristics. Did you know the same is true for us as humans?”
  5. Ask the question, “Have you ever wondered why we look the way we do? Pose questions to create a discussion amongst students:
    • Why are our eyes different colors?
    • Why do some of us have blonde hair, black hair, or brown hair?

Students will respond with a variety of answers. The key is for them to realize that our traits make us who we are.

    • Answers: These are all characteristics that are called traits. A trait is a physical characteristic or feature, which is inherited from one or more parents. The transmission of traits from parents to offspring is known as heredity. This is the process of how our cells work and it is the same in plants.
  1. Explain to the students that traits are passed down from parents to their children through DNA. The piece of DNA that carries the trait is called a gene. Explain to the students that there are two different types of genes: dominant and recessive.
  2. On the board write the two words: dominant and recessive. Explain a dominant trait is displayed if one or both parents carry the trait. A recessive trait is displayed only when both parents carry the trait.
  3. Test students’ knowledge of dominant and recessive traits by asking a question, “How many of you have attached earlobes?” Allow students to raise their hands. Next, say to the students, “If you raised your hand then you demonstrate a recessive trait, as attached earlobes are a recessive trait and unattached earlobes are a dominant trait.”
  4. Pass out Dominant & Recessive Identification Chart (see Essential Files). Allow students time to look through and identify different character traits to identify dominant and recessive traits. Have students count up how many of their own traits are dominant and/or recessive.
  5. Show students a picture of a Diagram of a Strawberry Plant (see Essential Files). Explain the parts of the strawberry plant to students. Draw attention to the mother plant (point to the actual plant) and a daughter plant (point to the runner).
  6. Review what a trait is and list several traits a strawberry could possess. Examples include:
    • Color: All shades of red, pink, or white.
    • Size: Small, medium, or large.
    • Shape: Round or oblong.
  7. Help students recall their prior knowledge of genetics and ask, “What determines the traits a strawberry does or does not have?” Answer: It is genetics or DNA passed down from the parent plant.
  8. Say to students, “Strawberry farmers and plant breeders have used their knowledge of DNA and genetics to create different varieties of strawberries. Today we are going to create our own DNA strand to symbolize strawberry DNA.”
  9. Divide students into groups of 2  (partners) to complete this activity. Each group of students will need toothpicks, popsicle sticks and 6 different colors of play dough. Note: Any other medium such as molding clay, candy gum drops, marshmallows, etc. can be used to create a DNA double helix. Students will only take a portion of the play dough; they will not need an entire tub of each color.
  10. Provide students with a passage that describes DNA in detail.
  11. Step One: Explain to students that, in order to create strawberry DNA, sugar units have to be one color; the phosphate units have to be another color, and the base units will have four different colors. That is six total colors in all.
  12. Step Two: Lay out the base units first, then the phosphate units and sugar units. Allow students to figure out how the base pairs should match with the sugar units. Decide what you will use to help your pieces fit together. Remember the phosphate molecule will attach to the sugar molecule. Note: Remind students that sugar units alternate with phosphate units and that base pairings must be A-T and C-G.
  13. Step Three: Say to students, “Now we will select the traits we want our strawberries to have using the Gene Key for Strawberries.”  Provide a copy of Gene Key for Strawberries for each student (see Essential Files).
  14. Step Four: Build your DNA model. Don’t forget to label the units in your DNA model, either by a drawing labeled in front of your DNA model or a color code written on an index card.
  15. Display student work around the room and allow students to walk around and view the variety of strawberry DNA they created.

Extension: Opinion Writing: “Who cares the most about strawberry varieties?” Have students write an opinion piece explaining their response to this question with factual information gained from research. Explain to students they will take the knowledge of genetics and DNA, and their knowledge of strawberry varieties to conduct research to determine how this impacts farmers and consumers. Be sure to use appropriate opinion writing expectations, which includes an introduction with topic statement, a body, and closing remarks. The paper should be about 5 paragraphs in length. Note: Ensure students are using agriculturally literate websites with accurate information:

Extension: Opinion Writing: “Which strawberry variety is the best?” Pose this scenario to students: Imagine you are a farmer growing strawberries; you are among several neighbors who are also growing strawberries. You have to plan out what you will use to gain consumer interest, while still maintaining cost and labor. You also have to decide which varieties of strawberries you are going to plant and when you are going to plant them. Research the different types of strawberries and decide which variety you would grow and explain why. Note: Remember that some strawberry farmers plant different varieties so they have strawberries coming off all season. Be sure to use appropriate opinion writing expectations, which include an introduction with a topic statement, a body, and closing remarks. The paper should be about 5 paragraphs in length. Note: Ensure students are using agriculturally literate websites with accurate information:

Activity 3: Students will understand the life cycle of a strawberry and how strawberries are grown through the process of propagation.

Standards: 6.L.1.1, W.6.2.B, W.6.7, 7.L.2.1, 7.L.2.2, 7.L.2.3, W.7.7, W.8.7


  • Whiteboard
  • Markers
  • Chart paper
  • Technology devices (computer/iPad/SMART Board)
  • Notebook paper
  • Pencil with an eraser

Essential Files/Links (see list on Page 1 for downloadable files)

  • Wild and Cultivated Strawberries
  • Life Cycle of a Strawberry Plant
  • Propagation Note Taking Sheet
  • Diagram of a Strawberry Plant
  • Map of the United States of America

Essential Questions:

  • Are strawberries grown from seeds?
  • What is the life cycle of a strawberry plant?
  1. Say to students, “Let’s recall what we have learned so far about genes and DNA.” Allow students time to discuss and ponder their thoughts and ideas. If time permits assign a student to write down class thoughts as other students share out ideas. Answer: We know that genes are passed down from our parents through DNA. We know that these genes contain traits that are dominant and/or recessive. We know that strawberries have DNA. We know that there are different varieties of strawberries.
  2. On the SMART Board or document camera, display a picture of Wild and Cultivated Strawberries (see Essential Files).
  3. Ask students to identify the differences they see in the two groups of strawberries. List noticeable differences between the two groups of strawberries on the whiteboard or a sheet of chart paper. Answer: differences: size, color; similarities: seeds are on the outside; color is generally red in origin, etc. Say to students, “There is one significant difference between these two groups of strawberries: one group is cultivated, and the other group is wild. Cultivated means that it was grown on a strawberry farm to be sold for consumption.” Note: This may be a great time to talk about consumer perception and issues of supply/demand and how this affects farmers. Bring students opinion writing from previous lesson/activity in as a way to encourage discussion or debate certain topics: supply/demand and consumer/producer and who controls the market.
  1. Say to students, “So, the question remains how did cultivated strawberries come to exist?” On a document camera or SMART Board display the Life Cycle of a Strawberry Plant (see Essential Files).
  2. Say to students, “This is the life cycle, or a series of changes, in the life of a strawberry plant. As you look at the life cycle of a strawberry plant I want you to take a guess at how strawberry plants are started?” Answer: Strawberries can be grown from seeds or from other strawberry plants.
  3. Say to students, “Strawberries can be grown from a seed like most other fruits and vegetables, as well as through a process called propagation. Most growers or gardeners do not plant seeds. They buy plants that have already been grown (transplants), or propagate their own.
  4. Provide students with Propagation Note Taking Sheet (see Essential Files). Allow students time to fill out the meaning of both propagation and hybridization.
  5. Next, draw students’ attention to Diagram of a Strawberry Plant in their note taking sheet. Display Diagram of a Strawberry Plant (see Essential Files) on the SMART Board or document camera for a larger image. Point out the runner on the diagram. Say to students, “This runner will be the start of a new strawberry plant. This runner is a daughter plant.”
  6. Say, “Now what I want you to do is draw and explain how you think propagation works. Think to yourself, what does the farmer do? What materials are needed?” Allow students time to draw out their predictions and make a few comments regarding propagation.
  7. After students have made predictions share this video with them explaining strawberry propagation.

  1. After watching the video have students draw a picture or description of how propagation works and compare/contrast the similarities and differences in the 2 images and/or descriptions they have drawn.

Extension: Research the origination of the strawberry. Say to students, “Scientists believe the first cultivated strawberry originated from Fragaria x ananassa as an accidental hybrid between F. chiloensis, which grows along the western seaboard of North and South America, and F. virginiana which is a woodland species mostly found in eastern North America.”

Show students a Map of the United States of America (see Essential Files) to illustrate the influence settlers have had on our world. Make them aware that both varieties were eaten by indigenous people before they were brought to Europe and before the mid-16th century, where they were then cultivated separately. Provide students with a technology device and have them research the history of strawberries. Ensure you are using agriculturally literate websites with accurate information, such as:

Activity 4: Students will gain a deeper understanding of observable traits through an investigation of Punnett squares, GMOs, and hybridization.

Standards: W.7.2, W.7.2.A, 7.L.2.2, 7.L.2.3, W.8.2, W.8.2.A, W.8.2.B


  • Chart paper
  • Whiteboard
  • Markers
  • Pencil
  • Technology devices (computer/iPad/SMART Board)

Essential Files/Links (see list on Page 1 for downloadable files)

  • Strawberries and Hybridization
  • Strawberries and Hybridization Analysis
  • Punnett Square Project

Essential Question: What is hybridization?

  1. Begin the lesson by saying to students, “Today we are going to learn more about how farmers and plant breeders grow strawberry plants with desirable characteristics and traits.”
  2. Watch the America’s Heartland episode:

This 5-minute video highlights strawberry production at a California farm, describes how strawberries are selectively bred for specific traits, and explains how strawberries are packaged for shipping all over the United States.

  1. Say, “What is hybridization?” (Hybridization is the process of plant breeding with an individual species or varieties of plants to produce hybrids (a new form of species). You are going to learn more about hybridization and GMOs in this passage. What is a GMO?” Answer: GMO means genetically modified organism and this is an organism that has been genetically altered.
  2. Say to students, “I am going to show you a short video clip that can help clear up any questions about GMOs; this video is actually the journey of a seed.”

  1. After the video, say to students “This is an example of a seed that has been cross germinated to obtain desirable traits for developing a commodity. In some cases strawberry farmers use a method called hybridization.
  2. Share the reading passage, Strawberries and Hybridization (see Essential Files), with students.
  3. After students have read the passage, ask them to identify what genre the text is. Say to students, “What genre is our passage, Strawberries and Hybridization?” Students should identify it as a non-fiction passage. Talk with students about the use of text features (identify text features in reading passage). Have students write a summary of what they learned about hybridization and GMOs on their copy of Strawberries and Hybridization Analysis (see Essential Files). Students should make connections to text features within the text. Have students to explain how the text features helped them to better understand their reading.
  4. Take it a step further and have students review some of the key terms found in their reading using Quizlet.com via this link:
  1. Say to students, “Now that you are beginning to understand the concept of hybridization we are going to practice this process using a Punnett square.”
  2. Say to students, “We have learned that strawberry farmers use hybridization to breed different species for desired characteristics. We know that it takes two species to create a hybrid-cross. So for us to continue we first have to answer this question, what is a Punnett square?” (A Punnett square is used to predict the genotypes of a particular cross or breeding experiment. It is used to determine the probability of an offspring having a particular genotype.)
  3. Say to students, “This is a very scientific way of saying we are taking two plants examining their traits and then breeding those two plants to create a new hybrid with desirable traits. This is also known as hybridization. So how do we do this? We create a Punnett square!”
  4. Punnett Square Project: Say, “You are a farmer who likes to study genetics. In studying genetics you want to create a new strawberry plant. In fact, you have found there is a market for different colored strawberries.” This is the first part of the instructions for students on the Punnett Square Project (see Essential Files).
  5. Students will follow instructions in the Punnett Square Project to create their own strawberry plant. Students will explain what characteristics their two strawberry plants have and what characteristics they want their hybrid-cross to display. Students will name their strawberry and create an ad to market their new and improved strawberry to the public.
  6. Students will submit their project for a grade. As a part of their grade have students write a short essay about what they have learned about genetics, hybridization, and Punnett squares. Have them include the importance of these concepts to a farmer as the producer and consumer.

Extension: Explanation Writing: When shopping for strawberries you may see some labeled “GMO free” or “Non-GMO”. Does this mean a container of strawberries that does not have this label is filled with berries that are GMOs? Some companies use this label as a marketing technique because many consumers assume if they see this label on a product there must be a GMO option. Currently, there are only 10 foods that have a GMO option, and strawberries are NOT one of them. Gather research to explain what GMO means, then research the food products that are GMO. After research write a half page explanation about GMO products.

Extension: Opinion Writing: “How can strawberries be improved?” Allow students time to conduct research on how farmers have “changed” certain produce items through selective crossing or hybridization and explain the difference between the two. Strawberries are not GMOs. New varieties of strawberries have only been created through hybridization. Do you feel this is the best way to create new varieties? Do you think it needs to be changed or improved? Why or why not?

Examples of other produce that is changed through selective crossing or hybridization include the production of seedless watermelons and grapes, strains of corn and wheat that are disease resistant, dwarf trees, and the production of tangelos and broccoflowers. Allow students to further research these different foods to support their learning.

Activity 5: Students will understand DNA through strawberry DNA extraction.

Standards: 6.L.1, 7.L.1, 7.P.2, 8.P.1


  • Technology (computer/SMART Board/document camera)
  • Pencil
  • Crayons
  • White copy paper
  • Ziploc bag containing 3 strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons of DNA buffer solution
  • Funnel
  • Plastic cup
  • 2 squares of cheesecloth or 2 coffee filters
  • Graduated test tube
  • Pipette
  • Test tube
  • 3-4 microcentrifuge tubes (1 per student)
  • 3-4 pieces of yarn (1 per student)

Essential Files/Links (see list on Page 1 for downloadable files)

  • Strawberry DNA Extraction Lab Activity Sheet
  • Properties of Matter Connections Sheet
  • Force & Motion Connections Sheet

Essential Question: How is DNA extraction important in agriculture?

  1. Activity Prep: The day before the lesson prepare the DNA extraction buffer. Make one day ahead so there are no bubbles in the solution. In a gallon container mix:
    • 1/2 gallon (2000 ml) water
    • 1/2 cup (120 ml) clear dish detergent or a clarifying shampoo
    • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) salt
    • Also, place 70% to 95% isopropyl alcohol in the freezer overnight.
  1. On the day of the lesson begin by saying, “You have conducted a lot of research and gained a deep knowledge of cells and DNA, but most importantly of strawberries. Today we are going to apply our knowledge and understanding by extracting our own strawberry DNA.”
  2. Pass out a Strawberry DNA Extraction Lab Activity Sheet (see Essential Files) to each student.
  3. Divide students into groups of three or four and provide each group with the following materials:
    • Ziploc bag containing 3 strawberries
    • 3 tablespoons of DNA buffer solution
    • Funnel
    • Plastic cup
    • 2 squares of cheesecloth or 2 coffee filters
    • Graduated test tube
    • Pipette
    • Test tube
    • 3–4 microcentrifuge tubes (1 per student)
    • 3-4 pieces of yarn (1 per student)
  1. Guide students through the following instructions, which are also provided on their lab activity sheets:
    • Collect your materials.
    • Carefully remove most of the air from the Ziploc bag, and seal it well.
    • Gently mash the strawberries through the bag. Be careful not to break the bag, but mix the strawberry mash thoroughly.
    • Place the funnel in the plastic cup. It should sit on the rim of the cup.
    • Place the two squares of cheesecloth into the funnel, forming a liner for straining.
    • Carefully pour the strawberry mixture into the funnel, making sure to catch the solids with the cheesecloth. After filtering the mixture, remove the cheesecloth, and place it into the Ziploc bag for disposal.
    • Add 5 ml of the filtered strawberry extract to the graduated test tube using the funnel. Hold the tube near the top so that the heat from your hand does not affect the extraction.
    • Remove the funnel, and use the pipette to forcefully add 3 ml of the isopropyl or rubbing alcohol to the test tube. Take care not to tilt or tip the test tube; do not mix the two liquids.
    • Observe the line between the strawberry mixture and the alcohol. You will notice a white, thread-like cloud appearing at this line. This is the strawberry DNA. The DNA will clump together and float to the top of the alcohol layer.
  2. Holding the tube still, observe the tubes of others around you. Do you notice any differences?
  3. Create a necklace with yarn and a microcentrifuge tube. Frist, measure out yarn for each person. Lay the yarn to the side, making note of each students’ piece of yarn. Next, take the pipette and add some DNA strands and some of the alcohol in the test tube to each person’s microcentrifuge tube. Repeat steps 6 and 7 if necessary to collect enough DNA for everyone’s microcentrifuge tube.
  4. Close the cap of the microcentrifuge tube tightly around a piece of yarn and tie the ends of the yarn to make a necklace.
  1. Say to students, “Now it is time to clean up your area. You will dump the remaining strawberry solution into the sink area, throw away the Ziploc bags, and (student name) will come around to collect the cups, test tubes, funnels, and pipettes to clean so they can be used again.”
  2. Once all the experiment and DNA extraction materials have been put away explain to students the final piece in this lesson. Say to students, “Your DNA necklace makes a great talking piece and is a way you can educate others to be agriculturally literate. To help explain more about strawberries, create a half-page info graphic explaining strawberries, strawberry DNA, the growth of strawberries, etc to share with others.”
  3. Provide students with a half sheet of paper. Recall with students important the information they have learned in previous lessons. Allow students to use their previous assignments to gather information.
  4. Say to students, “A neat way to start your info graphic could be: Did you know that a strawberry has 8 chromosomes, each containing thousands of genes? This is why it is so easy to extract strawberry DNA. This necklace is actual DNA extracted from a strawberry.”
  5. Visit these websites for more information on extracting strawberry DNA:

Extension: Expansion on understanding of Force & Motion: While students are conducting strawberry DNA experiment have them to think about the force and motion, and energy transfer that is taking place during their work. Provide Students with Force & Motion Connections Sheet (see Essential Files). Note: Students should identify force is being applied to mash up the strawberry. Students may also realize that suction is a type of force and in using their pipette they are using suction to pull out material from the strawberry mixture.

Extension: Expansion on understanding of Properties of Matter: While students are conducting strawberry DNA experiment ask them to classify the materials and objects being used as solids, liquids, or gases. Provide students with Properties of Matter Connections Sheet (see Essential Files). Note: Students should identify that the strawberry is a solid.  They are using a buffer solution (water and dish soap), which is a liquid to alter the state of the strawberry.

Activity 6: Students will gain an understanding of organisms within an ecosystem and the relationship between the two.

Standards: 6.L.2.1, 6.L.2.3, W.6.2, 8.L.3, 8.L.3.1, 8.L.3.2, 8.L.3.3, W.8.2


  • Technology (SMART Board/computer/iPad)
  • Crayons/colored pencils
  • White copy paper
  • Craft materials
  • Recycled cardboard boxes

Essential Files/Links (see list on Page 1 for downloadable files):

  • Creature Comparison Chart  
  • Hardcopy Creature Comparison Chart
  • Interdependence Response Sheet
  • Ecosystem Project Rubric

Essential Questions:

  • Do strawberry farmers need to understand the ecosystem?
  • Are farmers important to our community?
  1. Now that students have a good understanding of where strawberries are grown across North Carolina and the United States of America it is time to dive a little deeper. Say to students, “Through our lessons we have learned how strawberry plants are grown and we have learned what parts of the state and different states they are grown in. Now we are going to learn more about strawberry production in these areas, especially looking at the ecosystems found across these states.”
  2. Begin the lesson with a review of abiotic and biotic factors. Say to students, “We are going to take a nature walk around the school and as we are on our walk you are going to document all of the things you see in nature. But, you are not simply going to draw and write the things you see; you are going to categorize them into categories of abiotic and biotic factors.”
  3. Write the word and definition of abiotic factors and biotic factors on chart paper or white board.
    • Biotic factors: living things in an ecosystem. Examples include plants, animals, trees, and microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, algae.
    • Abiotic factors: non-living things in an ecosystem. Examples include sunlight, the wind, clouds, water, rocks, energy, temperature, soil, etc.
  1. Allow students a moment to brainstorm their ideas of abiotic and biotic factors. Discuss any questions or ideas students may have.
  2. Line students up and begin a nature walk outside. Note: If weather is not permitting simply bring up different nature images from the Internet.
  1. After the nature walk, bring students back together in a central area of the classroom. Continue with a group discussion of the key differences between abiotic and biotic factors.
  2. Show students a Diagram of a Strawberry Plant (see Essential Files). Say to students, “Together let’s categorize all of the things we see in this diagram that are abiotic and biotic. Now let’s think about the other factors that farmers use to produce strawberries. Let’s categorize those as well.” On chart paper or white board, write down student answers. Answers: Biotic: leaves, flower, roots, and strawberries Abiotic: soil, rocks, sun, and water. Explain to students that they will be using this same concept to categorize the abiotic and biotic factors found in their ecosystem project.
  3. Continue lesson by writing the word ecosystem on the white board. Ask students to explain, “What is an ecosystem?” (An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscape work together to form life. Ecosystems contain biotic and abiotic factors).
  4. Say to students, “To understand an ecosystem we have to understand all things work together to make up an ecosystem. First, let’s think about the role of interdependence of insects and animals within an ecosystem.” Show students the Creature Comparison Chart (see Essential Files). Students will first look at the different animals and insects. Then explain to students they are going to help you categorize these animals and insects into two groups: helpful and harmful. Say to students, “When I call on you, choose a creature and tell me if it would go into the helpful or harmful category. You may “phone a friend” for help. Once you have chosen your answer come up to the SMART Board and drag the creature into the correct column.” Note: If technology is not available, there is also a hard copy of this activity: Hardcopy Creature Comparison Chart (see Essential Files).
  5. Say, “Now, let’s think about how these creatures impact the growth and production of strawberries. Before you start I want to teach you a few terms that describe the plant/animal relationship. Explain to students the meaning for animal/plant relationships: mutualism, parasitism, commensalism, and neutralism.
  6. Show students the image list of all the creatures in the previous activity. Say to students, “As we go through these images I want you to tell me what relationship the creature has with the strawberry plant. For example, birds can be an example of commensalism because they like to eat ripe strawberries. But there are some other things we have to consider with this example.” Pose questions and discussion with students:
    • We need to consideration that the bird could damage the strawberry plant in the process of eating the strawberry. If this were the case, what type of relationship would this be? (If a bird takes a strawberry and damages the plant this could be an example of parasitism because the bird is benefiting at the loss of the strawberry plant.)
    • How would this affect the strawberry plant? (It could prevent the production of runners and integrity of the plant itself.)
    • What about the farmer? What precautions will the farmer take to prevent birds from eating the strawberries? (The farmer may use scarecrows to distract and prevent birds from going near the strawberry plants.)
    • Explain to students that they have to think about each stage and all effects when looking at interdependence between organisms. First, think about the growing stage of the strawberry plant, and then each stage of the insects or animals that we are discussing in relationship with the strawberry plant.
  1. Provide students with Interdependence Response Sheet (see Essential Files). As you display each image slide, students are going to write their response on their sheet with a pencil.

Say to students, “Great job. Now I want to tell you why it is important for us to pay attention to the creatures in ecosystems. Insects/animals and plants live within the same ecosystem. Imagine you are a farmer growing strawberries. Do you think it is important for the farmer to understand the ecosystem and how it works?” Allow students to respond. Possible answers: Yes, farmers have to know the soil type. Yes, farmers have to know what may eat the strawberries or the strawberry plants. To solidify understanding, show students a video of a North Carolina Strawberry farmer answering the question, Do farmers have to think about ecosystems? See link here: https://www.ncfarmtoschool.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Strawberry-Ag-in-the-Classroom-3.mp4

  1. Find different places around the United States of America that grow strawberries. Say, “We are going to consider all aspects of what makes an ecosystem when analyzing each state. Think about the climate, soil type, animals present, land availability, etc.”
  2. Ecosystem Project
    • Students are going to select one ecosystem to study; students will create a diorama of that ecosystem and/or a pamphlet describing the ecosystem and what plants/animals live in that ecosystem.
    • Students will create a chart to categorize the different insects/animals as helpful or harmful to the strawberry plants within the specific ecosystem.
    • Students may present their diorama/pamphlet to the class as a project grade.
    • See Ecosystem Project Rubric (see Essential Files).

Extension: After students have completed their ecosystem project have them write a paper explaining these areas:

    • Summarizing the relationship among producers, consumers, and decomposers including the positive and negative consequences (reference the examples of animals/insects that were used in the ecosystem project).
    • From this writing students will go deeper and create a food web (drawing or clip-art). Explain how the flow of energy within a food web is interconnected within the cycling of matter.

Activity 7: Students will understand how foods such as strawberries provide energy, vitamins, and minerals that support growth for healthy bodies.

Standards: 6.NPA.1, 6.NPA.1.2, 6.NPA.1.3, 7.L.1.4, 7.NPA.1, 7.NPA.1.1, 7.NPA.1.2, 8.NPA.1.2, 8.L.5.1, 8.L.5.2


  • White board
  •  Markers
  • Technology (SMART Board/computer/iPad)
  • Measuring cup
  • Product food labels
  • Pencil
  • Plain copy paper

Essential Files/Links (see list on Page 1 for downloadable files):

Essential Question: Are strawberries a healthy snack?

  1. Introduce strawberries as a great choice for a healthy snack and to use in meals. Say, “Did you know strawberries have tons of amazing vitamins and nutrients that are great for us?”
  2. Show students the book, From Farm to School – Crops of North Carolina: A Visit to a Strawberry Patch by Heather Barnes and Karen Baltimore.
  3. Read page 27, and draw students’ attention to the sentence, “Strawberries are packed with vitamin C and potassium.” Ask, “What are vitamin C and potassium?”
  4. Research Project: Students will research the following:
    • What vitamins and minerals are found in strawberries?
    • What are antioxidants? Explain antioxidants benefits to the human body.
    • What are nutrients?
  1. Once students have had time to research health information pertaining to strawberries, divide students into groups (3-4 students per group). Before beginning, say, “Today, you are going to learn how the role of the digestive system works in the human body. In doing so, you will also examine the vitamins and nutrients from strawberries and the benefits we receive from eating them.”
  2. Model by showing students a diagram of the human body digestive system. Show students these videos:
    • How the Digestive System Works

Allow students further reading and clarification of the digestive system here:

  1. Continue learning by showing students a product label for fresh strawberries. Explain to students, “We read food labels to help understand the things we are putting into our bodies. Go through and identify each area of the food label with students.”
  2. Go deeper into the health benefits of strawberries (see Background Knowledge). Allow students time for further research of health benefits from strawberries.
  3. Next, provide each group with a strawberry or strawberry flavored product or product label. Use a Strawberry Product Nutrition Facts Label (see Essential Files) as an option for labels. Any product or product label containing strawberries will do: candy, juices, fruit chews, smoothies, yogurt, milk, etc.
  4. Then, students will examine the food labels of the strawberry products for nutrients.
    • What is the nutritional value of these items?
    • Do they actually contain strawberries?
    • Do they contain a strawberry flavoring?
  1. Have students create a chart comparing the calories, sugars, fats, sodium, and vitamin C in each of the strawberry products. This can be done by drawing a graph on chart paper or entering information into an excel document.
  2. After students have examined their food label, come together as a whole group. Have students compare and contrast the information they learned about strawberry products. Students should identify the information about added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and whether the products actually contained strawberries.
  3. Have students compare and contrast their product food label to one for fresh strawberries. Have students draw a conclusion as to why the nutritional values vary greatly. They should respond with obvious observations from the food label such as added sugars or that artificially flavored products actually have no strawberries in the product.

Extension: Apply MyPlate meal planning by researching food recipes that use strawberries. Distinguish the healthy foods versus the non-healthy choices.

Concept Elaboration and Evaluation:

  • Are humans the only living things made up of cells?

No. Humans are not the only living things made up of cells. In fact, all living things are made up of cells. There are simple cells (such as a bacterium), animal cells (human and animal), and plant cells. Each of these cells has special characteristics and shape unique to them. Cells are important because they are the basic building blocks of all living things. All cells found in living things carry DNA and other information that allows function and survival.

  • What determines the traits of a strawberry?

DNA determines the traits of a strawberry. How? DNA is heredity material in humans and almost all other organisms; DNA is what guides living organisms to exist and function. Traits are passed down from parents to their children through DNA. The piece of DNA that carries the trait is called a gene. A trait is an observable, physical characteristic obtained through genetic inheritance. Genes are passed down from the parent or mother plant to the daughter plant. Strawberry farmers pay close attention to the traits of the strawberries to determine which variety they want to grow.

  • Are strawberries grown from seeds?

Yes, but strawberries are unique because they can be grown in other ways too. Strawberries can be grown from seeds. However, strawberries almost never (except perhaps for alpine types) are grown from seed. Like most fruit crops, they are vegetatively propagated, from a plant part and not seed. One important reason is that this ensures that the offspring will be “true-to-type,” basically clones of the parent plants. Strawberries make this easier than some because they naturally propagate prolifically through their runners and daughter plants. Farmers and gardeners have been raising strawberries from the runners ever since strawberries were domesticated.

  • What is the life cycle of a strawberry plant?

Strawberries are perennial plants. The same plant can survive and bear fruit for many years through the formation of new plants on runners. This is how many home gardeners and some commercial growers, mostly in more northern areas, raise their strawberries. Among commercial growers, this practice is generally called “matted row.” Strawberry farmers in the Southeast (as well as in Florida and California) raise their strawberries as annual plants, harvesting them for only one year. North Carolina farmers set out their plants in the fall (September/October), harvest them in the spring (April-June), and then turn the plants under and start all over again the next fall with new plants. Planting on black plastic helps keep the plants growing during the winter so there can be a good harvest the following spring. These first year plants are very productive and have large fruit. Growers who choose to keep plants for a second year of harvest find that berries tend to be much smaller. Additionally, plants that are carried over through the summer don’t do well in North Carolina and are more likely to develop diseases from the heat and humidity; ultimately, affecting next summer’s crop.

  • What is hybridization?

Hybridization is the act of mixing different species or varieties of animals or plants to produce hybrids (a new form of species). The most common type of hybridization involves crossing two organisms of different breeds (in cultivated plants, these are called varieties or cultivars) within the same species. This is also called crossbreeding. In agriculture, it is used to create healthier crops, or varieties that combine good features of the two parents or new flavors. One example of cross-species hybridization is the tangelo, a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo. In agriculture, it is vitally important to maintain genetic diversity, and by extension, the health and longevity of a crop. Hybridization is not to be confused with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which involve inserting a foreign agent (such as a bacterium) or genetics of a totally different type of organism into a separate organism to produce desired results. www.wishfarms.com/genetically-modified-organisms-gmos- explained/

  • How is DNA extraction important in agriculture?

When we think of DNA we often think of health and science. Although this is accurate, it goes deeper than just health and basic science. DNA extraction is very important to the science of agriculture because the DNA identifies the genetic code of all living things such as strawberries. The process of DNA extraction is an important component of agricultural biotechnology, allowing plant and animal breeders to accurately select for desirable traits. In strawberry plants, farmers and scientists look at desirable traits, extract strawberry DNA to verify the genetic code, and use a process called hybridization to cross plants in creating a new more desirable product.

  • Do strawberry farmers need to understand the ecosystem?

Yes! Farmers have to be aware of the surroundings, organisms, environment and other factors that make up an ecosystem. Here are a few things a strawberry farmer will consider:

    • First, the farmer has to think about the soil. Strawberries like well-drained, reasonably fertile soil with a pH of 6.0-6.5. They are grown in a variety of climates and soil conditions around the world.
    • Choice of strawberry variety is also important for growers/farmers as a marketing strategy. Some varieties are suitable for narrow climate ranges, where others are more broadly adapted. Key factors for growers include yield, flavor, disease resistance, and harvest season.
    • Insects and pests of strawberries differ somewhat for growers depending on the method they use: matted row (a perennial system) or plasticulture (annual system). The main pest for NC plasticulture strawberries is the twospotted spider mite. Other pests may include leafrollers, strawberry clippers, thrips, and aphids. Deer are always a major problem, in addition to birds and opossums.
  • Are farmers important to our community?

Farmers are essential to the needs of the community. Students should recognize that most of the food they eat was grown on a farm, processed in a factory, and sent to the store where consumers purchase it. These foods are available year-round in supermarkets and restaurants. Fresh produce is now available year-round because it comes from farms in many parts of the U.S. and from other countries, but North Carolina farmers grow lots of fruits and vegetables. The produce from local farmers is available during the part of the year when our climate allows them to be grown and harvested.

  • Are strawberries a healthy snack?

Yes! With only 50 calories in a serving (about a cup 6-9 berries) strawberries are packed with many nutrients and health benefits. Strawberries are a great source of nutrients including: vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. They are rich in antioxidants and provide additional benefits including healthy conditions for eyes, brain activity, and prenatal development for expecting mothers.

Suggested Companion Resources

National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes

Agriculture and the Environment

  • Describe benefits and challenges of using conservation practices for natural resources (e.g., soil, water, and forests), in agricultural systems which impact water, air, and soil quality
  • Discover how natural resources are used and conserved in agriculture (e.g., soil conservation, water conservation)
  • Discuss (from multiple perspectives) land and water use by various groups (i.e., ranchers, farmers, hunters, miners, recreational users, government, etc.), and how each use carries a specific set of benefits and consequences that affect people and the environment
  • Recognize how climate and natural resources determine the types of crops and livestock that can be grown and raised for consumption
  • Recognize the factors of an agricultural system which determines its sustainability

Plant, Animals, Food, Fiber, and Energy

  • Describe the differences in plants and animals used for food, clothing, shelter, and fuel before and after European settlement of the United States
  • Identify renewable and nonrenewable energy sources
  • Identify where labeling indicates the origin of food and fiber (fabric or clothing)

Food, Health, and Lifestyle

  • Identify agricultural products (foods) that provide valuable nutrients for a balanced diet
  • Identify sources of agricultural products that provide food, fuel, clothing, shelter, medical, and other non-food products for their community, state, and/or nation

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

  • Describe how biological processes influence and are leveraged in agricultural production and processing (e.g., photosynthesis, fermentation, cell division, heredity/genetics, nitrogen fixation)
  • Explain the harmful and beneficial impacts of various organisms related to agricultural production and processing (e.g., harmful bacteria/beneficial bacteria, harmful/beneficial insects) and the technology developed to influence these organisms


NC Standard Course of Study

English/Language Arts
6th Grade

W.6.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
W.6.2.A Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
W.6.2.B Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
W.6.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

7th Grade

W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
W.7.1.A Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
W.7.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
W.7.2.A Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
W.7.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.

8th Grade

W.8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
W.8.1.A Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
W.8.1.B Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
W.8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

W.8.2.A Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
W.8.2.B Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
W.8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.



6th Grade

6.L.1 Understand the structures, processes and behaviors of plants that enable them to survive and reproduce.

6.L.1.1 Summarize the basic structures and functions of flowering plants required for survival, reproduction and defense.

6.L.1.2 Explain the significance of the processes of photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration to the survival of green plants and other organisms.

6.L.2.1 Summarize how energy derived from the sun is used by plants to produce sugars (photosynthesis) and is transferred within food chains and food webs (terrestrial and aquatic) from producers to consumers to decomposers.

6.L.2.3 Summarize how the abiotic factors (temperature, water, sunlight, and soil quality) of biomes (freshwater, marine, forest, grasslands, desert, Tundra) affect the ability of organisms to grow, survive and/or create their own food through photosynthesis.

7th Grade

7.L.1 Understand the processes, structures and functions of living organisms that enable them to survive, reproduce and carry out the basic functions of life.

7.L.1.2 Compare the structures and functions of plant and animal cells, including major organelles (cell) membrane, cell wall, nucleus, chloroplasts, mitochondria, and vacuoles).

7.L.2.1 Explain why offspring that result from sexual reproduction (fertilization and meiosis) have greater variation than offspring that result from asexual reproduction (budding and mitosis).

7.L.2 Understand the relationship of the mechanisms of cellular reproduction, patterns of inheritance and external factors to potential variation among offspring.

7.L.2.2 Infer patterns of heredity using information from Punnett squares and pedigree analysis.

7.L.2.3 Explain the impact of the environment and lifestyle choices on biological inheritance (to include common genetic diseases) and survival.

7.L.1.4 Summarize the general functions of the major systems of the human body (digestion, respiration, reproduction, circulation, and excretion) and ways that these systems interact with each other to sustain life.

7.P.2 Understand forms of energy, energy transfer and transformation and conservation in mechanical systems.

8th Grade

8.L.3 Understand how organisms interact with and respond to the biotic and abiotic components of their environment.

8.L.3.1 Explain how factors such as food, water, shelter and space affect populations in an ecosystem.

8.L.3.2 Summarize the relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers including the positive and negative consequences of such interactions including: Coexistence and cooperation, competition (predator/prey), parasitism and/or mutualism.

8.L.3.3 Explain how the flow of energy within food webs is interconnected with the cycling of matter (including water, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen).

8.L.5.1 Summarize how food provides the energy and the molecules required for building materials, growth and survival of all organisms (to include plants).

8.L.5.2 Explain the relationship among a healthy diet, exercise, and the general health of the body (emphasis on the relationship between respiration and digestion).

8.P.1 Understand the properties of matter and changes that occur when matter interacts in an open and closed container.



6th Grade

6.NPA.1 Analyze tools such as Dietary Guidelines and Food Facts Label as they relate to the planning of healthy nutrition and fitness.

6.NPA.1.2 Evaluate Food Facts label with the advertisement of nutrition choices and allowable claims on food labels.

6.NPA.1.3 Apply MyPlate meal-planning guides to ethnic and vegetarian choices.

7th Grade

7.NPA.1 Apply tools (MyPlate, Food Facts Label) to plan and employ healthy nutrition and fitness.

7.NPA.1.1 Use the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to eat nutrient dense foods in moderation.

7.NPA.1.2 Analyze Food Facts Labels for nutrients such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

8th Grade

8.NPA.1.2 Summarize the benefit of consuming adequate amounts of vitamins A, E, and C, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, folic acid, and water in a variety of foods.

Sources and Credits

  1. https://www.morningagclips.com/2019-n-c-strawberry-season-under-way/
  2. https://burke.ces.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/strawberries-in-the-home-garden-copy.pdf?fwd=no
  3. https://ncstrawberry.com/consumers/consumer-information
  4. https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/north-carolina/state-food-agriculture-symbol/strawberry
  5. https://strawberryplants.org/strawberry-plant/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18211020

Additional Links



http://brobichaud.pbworks.com/w/page/27565767/Life Cycle of a http://www.schoolrack.com/mcisek/task/



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