We began in the barn learning about the roll bees play in an apple orchard. One of our parent volunteers donned a bee suit so the children could see the various parts of a bee. With a bee puppet Steve began to show the children how they communicate through dancing . . . alas they already knew all about that from our Gail Gibbons book and our favorite bee dance video. The children pretended they were apple trees covered with blossoms as the puppet went from blossom to blossom collecting nectar. The children pretended to be bees and Steve used the "smoker" to put them in a sleep state so he could collect the honey.
After a fun jaunt to the orchard (great game of "red apple / green apple" along the way) the children learned about the dangers of mice and moth larva. Again, Steve effectively used puppets to engage the children and gave them plenty of "think" time which kept them involved. They eagerly listened to the directions for picking apples and followed Steve to an area where they could pick and eat a juicy and delicious apple!
From the orchard we walked and ate our way back up to the barn where a basket of drops were waiting for us to press into cider. With the help of some more parent volunteers the children counted 50 apples that were pressed into cider. Everyone agreed that there is nothing like fresh apple cider.
We brought 2 large bags of apples back to school with us and will be using them throughout the next week for cooking projects, art projects, and some science investigations.