It might have been the day after John Chapman's birthday but Mrs. Lawrence's third grade honored the folk hero on Monday, September 27, 2010. All students worked hard at creative writing, making a timeline of his life, and using a map to locate the states in which Johnny Appleseed spent most of his time. Even a homework assignment following directional clues had Johnny in its theme.
The morning began with apple peeling using an "apple-peeler-corer-slicing" gadget. It was a fascinating experience for all because the gadget does what its name suggests. Mrs. Lawrence's handy seasonal tool had everyone's attention as each student took his/her turn. Then the peeled and sliced apples were put into a slow-cooker.
Fuji, Gala, Mclntosh, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious were on the menu in third grade for the afternoon Johnny Appleseed apple tasting project. Appropriate vocabulary was developed and a numerical rating system was used to grade sweetness, tartness, and texture. Students observed, tasted, judged, and documented the five different apple types and noted their results on a data collection chart. It was definitely a yummy assignment.
Yet the perfect ending to their exciting day had to be when all the students tasted the apples that they had previously prepared. After cooking all day, the apples were now applesauce. It might be a simple thing, but the hands-on experience of preparing and eating food will be a memorable third grade moment.