Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Apples, Apples, Everywhere!

Our first science unit in kindergarten was all about the 5 Senses. We covered what they were, how they worked, and practiced using them with various objects and experiences in the room. We discussed how good scientists have three jobs--they have to observe the things around them, collect information about those things, and then communicate what they’ve learned.

Then we took our awesome scientist skills, and applied them to apples. Yum!

We read the books The Tiny Seed, and Ten Apples Up on Top. I know there are lots of other good apple books out there, but I’m just starting to build my library. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

We made stained glass apples,

Our apples had black "frames," but I didn't snap a picture.

And we explored actual apples from the grocery store. We used all five of our senses--seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and finally, tasting!

We described them, like good scientists, so that others can learn from what we know.

And, like good scientists, we made predictions--we guessed which color apple (red, yellow, or green) we would like the best. Each student took a slip of paper in the color of their guess. Then we tasted! 

If the students made correct predictions, they kept their slip of paper. If the results from our experiment surprised them, they could change the paper.

I emphasized at this point that science is less about being right or wrong, and more about learning new things. It’s always ok if our predictions are wrong!

We graphed the results.

Next, we made diagrams of our apples. These are ripped pieces of paper, and I printed out labels (our handwriting is still iffy!) so we could continue to communicate our learning. Didn’t they turn out adorable!?

The culmination of our Apples unit had two parts. (As you can see, we covered a lot of ground here! This took us most of September to accomplish.) We visited a local apple orchard, where we took a hayride, picked pumpkins, learned about how orchard workers pick apples, and picked apples to take home with us. I picked extra so we could have a special treat.

Crock pot applesauce! We made a recipe (which tied very neatly into our Sequence of Events unit from language arts) and let the apples simmer all day. Our classroom smelled fantastic.

Just FYI, it definitely took longer than three hours. More like five.

You will not believe how many times over the course of the day
students informed me that they were certain it was ready. It never was. 

It was the perfect--and delicious--way to finish off our apple unit!