The Tomato Salsa Challenge

Students in grades 3-5 learn surprising facts about California tomatoes and extend their learning through comparison tasting and a hands-on tomato salsa challenge.

Although most people are aware that food provides nourishment, we rarely consider the geographic, historical, and cultural conditions that have influenced what we eat and how we procure, prepare, and serve it. By exploring food through a prism of culture, time, and place, we build a deeper appreciation of how regional characteristics have shaped our global food system.

Tomatoes — whether fresh or cooked with other foods — are one of the most popular foods around. In this lesson, students learn some surprising facts about tomatoes, conduct a comparison tasting of different locally grown tomato varieties, and invent tomato salsa recipes using an assortment of possible ingredients.

Grade Levels: 3-5

Learning Objectives: Students will

  • Recognize the unique qualities of tomatoes.
  • Compare the tastes and textures of different tomato varieties grown in
  • Invent and test a recipe using tomatoes.

Length: One to two 50-minute periods.

Standards: This lesson contains specified alignments to Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards.

Download The Tomato Salsa Challenge PDF [2.3M]


A California Food for California Kids® downloadable resource