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An Inside Look at Apples
Tried and Trusted
Primary Biological Content Area Covered
-Students will learn about the different parts of an apple. -Students will learn the different varieties of apples. -Students will learn why apples are good for their health. -Students will learn how apples fit into the food pyramid, which will lead to further discussion on healthy eating.
- One apple per student (extras for error)
- Red, green and yellow paint
- Serrated knife
- Cutting Board
- Flip chart graph paper
- Paper towels
- Paper plates
- Construction paper
- Diagram of the apple parts
- How do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro
IMPORTANT: KNIVES SHOULD BE HANDLED BY ADULTS.
Handout 1. This handout maps out all the parts of the apple for the students to identify with.
- Individual sheets of paper for apple stamps.
- Class bar graph with columns drawn for each different apple color category. When students go to graph, they can place their apple stamp in the column of their choice.
- Diagram of the parts of an apple.
- Food pyramid sheet, found at: 
Description of Activity
Students will learn about the stem, skin, core, seeds, and flesh of the apple. Students will cut the apple in half in order to see the different parts and then make stamps out of their apple pieces.
- Read a book pertaining to apples (examples:Apples by Gail Gibbons or How Do Apples Grow by Betsy Maestro)
- Give each student an apple to cut in half by themselves or with the help of their teacher (Figure 1). Take the apple apart, examining the stem, skin, core, seeds, and flesh.
- Using the handout included as a reference, have the students locate the different parts they have found. (Figure 2)
- Have students dip half of their apple into an “apple colored paint” (red, yellow, green, light green, dark red) of their choice and stamp it onto one large apple or a tree that is outlined on poster paper (Figure 3-5).
- Make a bar graph of how many students preferred which colors over others and link it to what that shows about which apple types students prefer to eat.
- How do apples grow?
- “Apple a day…”
- In what ways can an apple a day be good for you?
- What are the different kinds of apples that you can have?
- "Genres”: Cortland, Macintosh, Red Delicious, Golden, etc.
- Food: apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce, apples with peanut butter, apples in a salad, apple pancakes, dried apples, apple cider...
- Importance of apples, evidenced by the amount of energy the tree exerts to produce apples.
- Importance of bees to apple production.
Learned From Experience: Positives and Pitfalls
- It may be difficult to keep an active group of first graders focused on the apple discussion when many other activities in the room may serve as easy distractions.
- It may take several tries to cut the apple directly in the center. Poorly split apples can be shaved to give a smooth surface.
- It is advised to try the strain of apple you intend to use in advance to make sure that the parts can be seen.
- Many students had prior knowledge of cutting apples and wanted to try cutting the apple not down the center, but on the horizontal. This creates a star, but does not provide a good visual to show the parts of the apple (often seeds are not visible).
- It may take a few tries to cut a flat surface in the apple so that all the paint will cover it.
- Depending on allotted time, reading the entire book may take too long. Also, this activity is very hands-on and energetic so it was difficult to settle the class down to read a book. It might be easier to read the book at another point in the day.
- The paint plates will need to either be replaced with a new plate of paint because of the mixing colors. Students tend to have one color on their apple and dip it into another color. Another way to avoid this is by placing a clean apple in each plate of paint and have them place the apple they're using into the correct color when done.
- Allow enough time for each student to clean up their area. The students will get paint all over their hands. Allow students time to clean up their hands/arms.
- The size of the graph can become very large. Have extra graph paper available if more room is needed for the chart.
- Make a bar graph showing how many students preferred which colors over others, linking it to which apples students prefer to eat over others. Later discuss the implications of these apples (analyzing data).
- Fractions: Students are cutting an apple in half. The teacher could begin by discussing the apple as a whole, and then going on to talk about how cutting an apple is making two halves- a real life example of fractions.
- How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro
- Apples by Gail Gibbons
Connections to Educational Standards
7.1.a. Ask questions about objects, organisms, and events in the world around them;
7.1.b. Use reliable information obtained from scientific knowledge, observation, and exploration
- Discuss the similarities between apples and other living, growing organisms, allowing students to see the connections of this lesson to their everyday lives. As a group, make a chart of all the different ways that apples and other organisms help the environment, specifically, how they benefit humans.
- For an extended activity, a trip to a local apple orchard would be beneficial. The children will have more appreciation and knowledge about apples, after having studied them through this activity.
Citations and Links
- Vermont State Grade Expectations can be found at the State of Vermont Department of Education website.