Welcome to Paula's Primary Classroom! This blog is where I share ideas for teaching and learning with families, friends and other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Learning with apples

I like to focus on a letter each week with the preschool kiddos, so we started the year off with the letter Aa, and of course, apples.  I invited each family to send an apple to school.  The kiddos were very proud to bring in their apples, and to show which color their apple was on our graph.  As you can see, almost everyone brought in red-yellow apples, gala and fuji types. 

Early in the week we did a blind taste test of red, yellow and green apples.  First each child told me which kind they thought they liked the best, and I graphed it.  (I forgot to take photos!)   I had pieces of peeled apple ready on tooth picks for us to try, and we tasted all 3 kinds.  The kiddos had to decide which of the three they liked the best, without knowing which kind of apple it really was.  As usual, the results weren't what the kiddos expected.  Half of them actually preferred a different kind of apple than they thought!  Cool!

On Friday morning we made applesauce with all those apples.  I called 2 kiddos at a time to wash hands, and come to cook.  We looked at all the different sizes of apples we had, and they put 3 in order by size.

Next came the hard part: peeling!  I peeled a ring around the stem of each apple, then taught the kiddos how to hold the peeler.  They learned to put it on the edge of the peeled part, and to push the peeler away from themselves and into the apple skin.  They were so pleased when pieces of apple peel came away!  With a little help, every child managed to peel and entire apple!

 Once our apples were peeled, I cored, quartered and sliced the apples - we talked about why using the sharp knife was a grown-up job while I did.  Then I gave the children butter knives, and taught them how to cut the slices into pieces.  Many of them had never held a knife before, although one of them told me she had - last year, when we made applesauce!  :-)
We filled a large pot with our apple pieces, then, satisfied, the kiddos went outside to play while I cleaned up and started prepping our lunch while the apples cooked.

 As I prepped lunch, which included mashed potatoes, I realized that the cooking method was exactly the same: peel, cut, boil.  I had to take the potatoes outside to share my realization with the kiddos! 
 Once our apples were cooled, we had to turn cooked apples into applesauce.  We started with a potato masher, each child having a turn to press the apples.  It was hard work!  I suggested I could use the blender to finish it, and everyone agreed that was a good idea.
 The result?  Tasty applesauce!  Many kiddos had 3 servings of it, either plain or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  We still have just a little left... that will be for breakfast!  Yum!