Homeschooling S.T.E.A.M.: Fruit – Apples

When I posted last week’s lesson plan, I said I would be doing a lemon-themed lesson this week. I meant to. Up until yesterday I meant to! But then I got the notification that one very critical piece I needed for the science lesson was delayed and would not arrive in time. Ugh. So I moved ahead a week and decided, instead, to discuss apples. Good thing I had already pulled books a week ahead! And since I never tell the kids until the day of the project what we’re doing, they didn’t even notice a chance. We just talked about apples. And ate them. And it was fun.

We continued in our haiku writing, today. As the style becomes easier, the poems get better.

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She tried to write a third, but the syllable count didn’t work, so it became a rhyming couplet instead.

Apples and math are not the same.
Apples are better and math is lame.

She’s lucky I have a good sense of humor, because I thought that was hilarious! I love math, but I get that not everyone does. Besides, she did such a nice job on the tempo and rhyme, that I couldn’t help but be proud. She’s doing such a great job in her writing!

For our book picks today, we used two nonfiction titles and two fiction. In the nonfiction category, we used Apples by Gail Gibbons and How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro. For the fiction category, I selected Our Apple Tree by Görel Kristina Näslund and A New House for Mouse by Petr Horácek. This last one isn’t really about apples, but an apple does get a Best Supporting Actor award for its part in the book, so I decided that it qualified. And the kids liked it a lot, so it counted.

We did a series of science activities with apples. As directed in How Do Apples Grow?, we cut one apart and looked at how the apple forms, identifying the ovary, seeds, and remnants of the original flower. The kids thought this was fascinating and spent several minutes looking at it and comparing it to the pictures in the book. Then we cut the apple into wedges, doused them in a variety of liquids (I let the kids pick what to use), and set them aside to see what browned fastest. Cue discussion on oxidation. They were surprised that lemon juice did so much better than vinegar. They were not, however, surprised that it tasted better!

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To finish up the day, we decided to make caramel apples. Because reasons. 😊 They each helped to the best of their ability, measuring, stirring, pouring, and learning how to read a candy thermometer. Had to explain how that works, too. I love that they’re so willing to ask me questions. It’s the best way to learn, after all! Since we have allergy issues in the family, we made a vegan honey caramel. And since the kids asked to, we made both dipped apples and hollowed out a few to fill with the candy. Both were delicious, but I’m partial to the filled kind.

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The caramel was wonderful, but the time together and the things we learned made it really worthwhile. This was a very tiring lesson, but it was a memorable one for me, and, I think, one that really helped the kids learn things they didn’t know.

Next week… LEMONS! At least, I hope so. I’ll be watching my mailbox for that delivery!

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