Apples (Tasting, Growing, Studying)
Campbell Elementary School's EL (formerly expeditionary learning) model, our Outdoor Classroom, and our relationship with nearby apple orchards have allowed for a multi-year local sustainable apple exploration. Our students work with heirloom apple trees on our school grounds, studying the life cycle of the trees and their inhabitants, taste a variety of types of apples donated by local farms that use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and make their own apple cider vinegar using Virginia apples.
Students understand the life cycle of a fruit tree and appreciate what it takes to grow food in a sustainable way. Students learn healthy eating habits and understand that there are a wide variety of whole food choices available at a low cost.
Students gain awareness of sustainable growing practices by local farms that use Integrated Pest Management. Students develop an appreciation for frequenting local farms and purchasing food at farmer's markets.
After the apple tastings, students take a fact sheet home to their parents that includes information about the tasting and the donating orchard, including how to find the orchard at the local farmer's market. The handout also includes nutritional value data for apples vs. chips and the comparative prices, showing apples to be a cost-effective and healthy snack option.
Well Established, Gaining Participation, or Leading to New Initiatives
The Campbell EL model leads us to integrate this project across multiple disciplines. Students taste-test different types of apples donated by nearby orchards.
Students have the opportunity to learn about apple production, about local farms, and about the different types of apples.
Discussion about the tasting includes vocabulary development using descriptive words. At the end of the tasting, students get to vote on their favorite type of apple.
Third graders integrate the voting results into their study of graphing and create visual representations of the school-wide votes. Their findings are shared with the whole Campbell community (students, teachers, staff, and parents) at the weekly Community Meeting.
To close the sustainable apple loop, the turtles in our courtyard pond enjoy the apple scraps. Fourth grade students also used some scraps to produce apple cider vinegar as part of a science learning expedition.
Students also use the on-site apple trees for life cycle study, conduct experiments to determine oxidation rates, and even learn to bake apple pies with a literary tie-in.
Future food tastings aim to use some produce grown in Campbell gardens.
Supporting Data for Quantitative Impact
Student presentations at community meeting demonstrate an understanding of agricultural basics in addition to a real-world application of math and graphing.
Additional class displays show students even at the preschool level have an awareness of plant colors, shapes, parts and of the taste differences between apple types.
Documenting Campbell's Apple Tasting, Growing, Studying (2015-2016 School Year, ongoing)
Campbell students taste testing apples and voting on their favorite today! 🍎 https://t.co/wHOZ0LNJpw
Sorting & making groups of 10 to count votes. See results of Apple Tasting vote tmrw at community mtg @CampbellAPS
Sorting & making groups of 10 to count votes. See results of Apple Tasting vote tmrw at community mtg @CampbellAPS https://t.co/fgOX0TwnPp
A self-lead experiment by 5th grade science Ss. Measuring rates of oxidation in apples. @CampbellAPS
A self-lead experiment by 5th grade science Ss. Measuring rates of oxidation in apples. @CampbellAPS https://t.co/97hU3g4kqz
Second grade Ss discover this caterpillar on one of our heirloom apple trees @CampbellAPS #outdoorlearning
Second grade Ss discover this caterpillar on one of our heirloom apple trees @CampbellAPS #outdoorlearning https://t.co/o6pyNGd511
Close up investigation of an apple tree! @msdrabyk @CampbellAPS #outdoorclassroom https://t.co/4HoI07awN7
Using our senses to investigate apples @CampbellAPS https://t.co/9n0NHxI7tW
Students in all grades tasted 3 kinds of apples today. https://t.co/LtXbEdBdRX
Our Latino moms group helping with the apple tasting today! https://t.co/cdF3Xd80u0
Everyone enjoys apple tastings @CampbellAPS 🍎 #compost #zerowaste #boxturtles https://t.co/5hMciNEEmn
Collecting data to investigate what is going on in our apple orchard. @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS https://t.co/5ySSaW6EUu
3rd grade hard at work w apple tasting data @MsBergsClass @CampbellAPS Can’t wait to see the results at comm mtg
3rd grade hard at work w apple tasting data @MsBergsClass @CampbellAPS Can’t wait to see the results at comm mtg https://t.co/MJ5OBOTrJV
How To Make an Apple Pie & See the World-Apple pie from scratch &literary connections! @CampbellAPS @peaceteachhill
How To Make an Apple Pie & See the World-Apple pie from scratch &literary connections! @CampbellAPS @peaceteachhill https://t.co/X0qxqyDb90