|James picking apples off our tree. (2008)|
-Handbook of Nature Study, page 669
We are fortunate enough to have an apple tree in our backyard, so our study of the apple and its tree began in 2008 with picking the apples off the tree. We looked at the apple's shape and determined that it was neither round, nor egg-shaped, but something in between; a little heart-shaped, but not exactly. Then we looked at it's color. We talked about how some apples are red, some yellow and some are green. Our apples are an interesting blend of all three colors with lots of streaks and freckles, and we talked about how that probably meant that the tree had been a graft of more than one tree to create this blend. The stem is long and woody. and the depression when the stem grow is deep.
|We took our cut apples and dipped them in white paint and printed them on various apple-colored papers.|
|It is amazing that you can see something like an apple a million times in your life and never notice these details until you really look at them.|
Going to the orchard to pick apples has been a bit of a traditon in our house even though we have an apple tree in the backyard. There is something very festive about it. I remember the first time we went. It was one of Katie's first activities when we started homeschooling. Alex was still a baby in the stroller. The orchard had just gotten in Fuji apples and we tried them for the first time. Oh, they were so good! This year we went to an orchard very close to home.
We decided this year to revisit the apple for nature study and that we would compare and contrast different types of apples this time.
I cut a Golden Delicious, Gala, Honeycrisp and Winesap apple in half, left half on the plate so they could compare the outside look of the apple, and cut the other apple into quarters so they each could try a piece of each apple.
We compared them inside and out, their scent, their shape, their color, and of course, their taste. I tried to get them to use as descriptive words as possible and I asked them to rank them according to how much they liked them
We discussed how color, texture and taste could affect their desireability.
And then, I invited them to make pastel pictures of the apple of their choice.
We used this wonderful pastel tutorial to help guide us through it.
|Quentin's, age 6|
|James', age 9|
|Alex, age 16|
|Katie's, age 19|
These will be added to their nature journals.