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Miracle Berry

Topic: Creativity, cause & effect

This is a KS1 activity. In the 1960s, Robert Harvey, a biomedical postgraduate student, encountered the miracle berry, a fruit from West Africa which turns sour tastes to sweet.

In this activity children will investigate which foods are sour and which are sweet. They will discuss whether the miracle berry is a good thing and when it should be used.

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Click to Download Miracle Berry activity
Miracle Berry activity

Click to Download Miracle Berry teacher notes
Miracle Berry teacher notes


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You will also need the latest version of the flash player to be able to play swf files.

· we have a sense called taste

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 2 successfully.

· that some tastes are sweet and some are sour

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 2 successfully.

· that sour tastes can be made sweeter

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 3 successfully.

Curriculum Link

QCA Unit 1A: Ourselves
· that we have five senses which allow us to find out about the world
· to record their ideas about foods using drawings and charts
Scientific enquiry
The investigative work focuses on:
· exploring and using senses
· observing and describing living things, and communicating what happened in their work.

Running the Activity

Introducing the activity
· Display Page 1 through a projector or as an OHT. Discuss the images with the children. The news is that a berry can make sour things taste sweet.
Discussion questions:
- What are the advantages of this?
- Can you think of the sort of people who would find this particularly useful?
- When would you like to change the taste of something?
- What sour tasting things would you eat if they tasted sweet?

Leading the main activity

· Display Page 2 through a projector or as an OHT. A copy of the table could be printed for each child to record their answers. Discuss with the children the foods and decide whether they are sweet or sour tasting. This could become a practical activity by providing the food and the children tasting it.

Health and Safety: If children taste food, ensure they wash their hands before doing so and that tables etc are clean. Do not allow foods to become contaminated. Do not use nuts as many children are allergic to them, especially peanuts. Remind the children not to put unknown substances into their mouths.

· Display Page 3 through a projector or as an OHT. The pictures show a number of occasions when the miracle berry could be useful. Discuss with the children and tick when they would use the miracle berry and when not. The situations have been chosen to provoke discussion about the advantages of the miracle berry and the disadvantages of sugar.

Web Links

BBC News
The news story behind the activity

New Scientist
Information about the miracle berry

The First Post
The story behind the miracle berry

School Food Trust
A useful website with some lesson plans for healthy eating and PSHE activities.

Mail Online
Is sugar killing you? Article on the dangers of too much sugar in the diet

British Sugar
Information on how sugar is produced

The British Dietetic Association
Information on sugar

Diabetes UK
Information about diabetes

Reviews & Comments

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