Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Apples for the Teachers

Apples may be on the menu for lunch or snack at school today. Chances are your school computer might also be named after one. What are the latest go-to tools for teaching about apples?

Here is the video link to Apples in the How Does It Grows series by Nicole Jolly.
This is the "first of its kind series" that follows food from farm to fork.

Watch the 5-minute video at any season. 
Then extend the learning for your students’ age group.

Study a fruit tree

Ornamental Cherry Tree
 Gunston Middle School, Arlington

  • Take your class out in the spring to study an apple tree, or visit a fruit tree from the same Rosacea (rose) family; such as a cherry, plum, almond or pear. 
  • Observe the flowers and leaves of your fruit tree. Count the petals on the flower. Look at the leaf shape and edge. Can you see how the fruit is forming?
  • Visit the same fruit tree over the following months. Study how the fruit ripens. 
  • What else do you find evidence of living on and near the tree?
  • How does a tree produce its own food, and get water and nutrients?
  • How does the tree grow in the spring, and summer and fall, and then conserve energy in the winter? 
  • How does the tree fit in our ecosystem? 

Taste a fruit

Farm to School Day
Arlington, Fall 2014

  • Feature locally grown, fresh apples as part of a Farm-to-School program.
  • Visit a local orchard or fruit farm.
  • Check out nutrition facts and some recipes.
    Why do we say, "An apple a day...keeps the doctor away"?

Link to Pollinators

The How it Grows: Apples film states that 100 hives of bees are needed to cross-pollinate the 27,500 apple trees in the Lyman’s 100-acre apple orchard. 

  • Extend your study of apple family trees to pollinators, including both native bees and honeybees too.
  • Research the latest discussions, science and politics of crop pollination. For example, discuss pollination of the almond crop in California.

Apples: history, myth and inspiration

Apples (1975) by Don Moulton
Portland ME Museum of Art

  • Research the apple in religion, myth, storytelling and history including: Adam and Eve, the Golden Apples, Newton, Johnny Appleseed, Apple Corps.  and the Apple Inc. computer brand name and logo
  • Design your own apple and name it
  • What product would you name after a fruit and why? 
  • Do you like playing Bananagrams or Appleletters

These are all questions to mull over while you munch an apple slice or two, 
or choose to reach for a banana. 

As Greek fairy tales say:

" Three apples have fallen from the sky; one is for me; one is for him who listens; and the third is for him who tells this tale."

Resources for apples as teaching tools:

How Does it Grow
Red Tomato/Eco Apple
US Apple Association
Apple Activities for 4-6 grade 
Apple Activities for PreK - 3 
How Apples Grow by Betsy Maestro (for elementary age students)
Farm to School
Garden to Snack/Classroom e.g. in Charlottesville, VA

Pollinators: Bee Basics An Introduction to Our Native Bees by Beatriz Moisset et al.
Intro to USDA research on pollinators

Fairy Tales of Greece, Retold by Ronald Seth, 1961

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