Apple Detectives Investigate

A student works on her apple project

A classroom full of desks with plates of apple slices in front of each student usually indicates snack time. However, in Victoria Shishkoff’s first-grade class at Bayville Primary School, this scene is part of a collaborative lesson that teaches math, science, writingand art. Ms. Shishkoff wanted to expand on the apple theme and 
provide an opportunity for the students to have a hands-on experience.

Students were given red, green and yellow apple slices and asked to predict if they would be sweet or sour, if they would sink in water and what color the fruit would turn when soaked in various liquids. They measured the apple slices using various manipulatives, such as cubes, and they stamped the fruits with paint to create pictures.

Ms. Shishkoff said the first-grade curriculum includes lessons on the life cycle of plants, the parts of an apple and how plants protect themselves, so incorporating apples into other lessons was a positive crossover that led to increased learning.  Drawing, graphing, predictions and descriptive writing were incorporated, keeping these young apple detectives engaged and interested.

“I was thrilled with the result of our investigation,” Ms. Shishkoff said. “Giving students the ability to be independent thinkers and make their own decisions based on their very own investigations created a high level of engagement in the activity, therefore increasing the learning.” 

Bayville Primary School Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus said the activity was not only creative, but also inclusive of many learning objectives, making it the perfect lesson. “The entire class was engaged in several interdisciplinary modalities, while feeling independent and having a great time,” she said.