As we begin the season of fall, we can expect shorter days, cooler nights and the telltale signs of the changing seasons. Pumpkins are ripening, leaves are falling and apples are ready for picking! Incorporate the theme of fall into your classroom through the exploration of apples.
Apple Taste Test
Now that schools are back in person, we can begin to implement food preparation into the curriculum. Food preparation is an important part of the practical life area of the Montessori classroom. Through focused lessons from teachers, children can learn important skills with toddler safe knives and create snacks for others within their classroom.
As children prepare snacks, they can practice their manners by offering samples to other children in the room. If sharing or offering food is still not an option in the classroom yet because of Covid-19 protocols, share the experience of food prep through an apple taste test.
Teachers can prepare the apples beforehand or have a few children help through the use of apple slicers. Start with a variety of apples that have contrasting tasting notes. For example, a “red delicious” apple will be sweeter while a “granny smith” apple will be sour. Give each child the first apple. Give them time to taste the apple on their own and attempt to describe the taste to the group.
This is a perfect opportunity to teach them vocabulary words such as: tangy, sweet, sour, juicy, crisp, soft, and crunchy. Children will love being able to describe what they taste as they try each apple. Make sure to include at least one apple that is sour and one that is sweet to give them a full variety of flavors to experience.
Once the apple taste test is over, give each child an outline drawing of an apple on white paper. Give the children time to color in the apple, write their name to the best of their ability and vote for the apple that they enjoyed the most today. By placing it into the associated column. This is a convenient and effective way to show graphing as the apples can be taped onto a large piece of paper. They will be able to see visually what the class decided was their favorite variety.
Continue the study of apples by talking about the apple lifecycle. Using the core of apples you have used in the taste test, show the class the inside of the core where seeds are stored. Explain the different parts of an apple and talk about the entire lifecycle from seed to fruit. Books about the apple’s lifecycle can be read at circle time or added to the classroom bookshelf.
This week’s worksheet will give children more ways to practice the lifecycle of an apple.
Extensions on this activity:
When doing activities with food preparation it is also the perfect time for children to pay attention to their senses. Using their eyes to observe apples, touching the apples, listening to the sound when the apple is cut, smelling the apple, and finally tasting the apple. The 5 Senses Object and Wood Sorting work is perfect follow up activity to have students recognize senses and how they are used to experience the world around them.
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