Whales became apple gourmands this week as they taste-tested different varieties and worked together to make a big batch of apple cider.
We gathered at carpet on Monday and tasted 4 different varieties of apples. Our conversation included descriptive words like "tart", "sweet", "crunchy", "juicy", "mushy", "tangy" and so on. We focused on our sense of taste and smell to help us come up with descriptive words that really matched the message our body was sending about the apples we were tasting. We were surprised to find that not everyone's body sent the same messages about the apples we tasted, but taking the time to hear our friends' opinions was interesting and fun! We ended our apple tasting with a vote on the SMARTboard, and we could see from the graph that we made together that the majority of Whales liked Jonagold apples the best!
On Tuesday we knew we had a big job ahead of us when Ms. Ellie brought in bushels of apples from her tree for us to chop in preparation for making apple cider. We worked together, and we did not stop until all the apples were chopped. We were amazed by what we could accomplish when we all worked together. We moved to the Outdoor Classroom and worked in teams first to grind the apples, and then to press them. It was so exciting to see all the juice come pouring out of the apple press! We went back into the classroom for our snack and enjoyed our fresh-pressed cider that we had made with our own hands. We decided that our cider didn't taste like apple juice - it tasted like apples!
We were so excited about the process of making cider that we decided to write about it during Whale Writing Club!
Whales continued to explore apples in numeracy and in engineering as they played an apple-picking game together, and built amazing apple and toothpick towers. Whales had also noticed that many of the apples we picked from our garden had other living things inside of them! Whales guessed that they were worms. After some exploration, we found out that the worm was actually the larvae of an Apple Codling Moth! After studying the life cycle of the moth, Whales noticed it was very similar to the life cycle of a butterfly. We acted out the life cycle, becoming Apple Codling Moths together. Then we came up with an extensive list of ideas for how we might encourage the moths to make their homes somewhere else. Whales came up with ideas like, "make a trail of apples that would lead them somewhere else", "put a cover around the apple tree so they couldn't lay their eggs on the leaves", "make a house with a roof that smelled like apples, and you could trap the moths inside and then carry them away", "pick up all the mushy apples and leaves on the ground so the larvae couldn't hide and make their cocoons." We decided the best thing to do for now was to clean up all the debris under our apple and pear trees, so Whales worked together and cleaned up under our fruit trees. We can do big things when we work together!
Even with all our important apple inquiry, Whales still had plenty of time to celebrate birthdays together, read together, jump together, run together, and become great Whale friends together!