Thursday, May 11, 2017


In Lesson 5 of Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany text, we learned all about "Fruits."  This was a great lesson!  I'm starting to wonder if I can even pick a favorite.
As with every lesson in this curriculum, we use the Junior Botany Notebooking Journal to keep all of our notes and record our projects.  I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it before on the blog, but it also gives an outline for lesson planning in the front which has been more than helpful!
To start our study of fruits, we read in the text about what fruits are and how the seeds of fruits get dispersed.  First, we read about human dispersal and water dispersal.

Here is my favorite, little human, posing in front of her new fruit plant, a tomato plant!
The fruit on it is so pretty!
And since we finished our study of flowers (Lesson 3), she can now tell me what their role is for the plant!
*Update: Our fruits have done beautifully!
 Maggie is delighted!
How can you tell a fruit from a vegetable?  Fruits have seeds!  To explore this concept, we completed the "Fruit or Vegetable?" activity out of our 501 Science Experiments book (#94) using some different samples of produce.
We picked a tomato, a carrot, an orange, a strawberry, an avocado, and a potato!
We cut into each to see if we could find seeds.  (Since the strawberry's seeds are on the outside, we didn't bother cutting it.)
From our investigation, we were able to determine that we had four fruits: the strawberry, tomato, avocado, and orange!  (After completing this activity, I wish I had thought to purchase a cucumber, too.)
While we were at it, we decided to try to sprout our avocado seed!  It will sit like this in our glass for at least a month before it sprouts roots and shoots and is ready to plant.
From there, we read more from our text about wind dispersal, mechanical dispersal, and animal dispersal.  We learned that Velcro was designed after burrs and that many fruits of grasses are equipped with latches for dispersal.  We also learned about the many fruit types, both fleshy (berries, pepos, hesperidiums, pomes, and drupes) and dry (grains, pods or legumes, capsules, follicles, achenes, samaras, and nuts).  Who knew?!  God is an amazingly creative Designer!  We recorded all that we were learning in our notebooking journal. 
(We love to add fun, applicable stickers to our pages to make it more personal!)
Next, we referred back to our 501 Science Experiments book to complete another activity, "When Is a Fruit a Berry?" (#95).  With this project, we took different fruits (an orange, a grape, an apple, a plum, and a pear) and investigated their seeds to group them.
First, we cut all of our fruits to see their seeds.
We noted the plum had one, large seed in the middle, so we decided it must be a drupe.  The berries in the group had seeds throughout the fruit.  These were the orange and the grape.  Finally, our last group had seeds surrounded by a core.  These were our pomes, our apple and pear.  It was a lot of fun learning about all the different types of fruit!
We sure couldn't let our project materials go to waste!  We made a large fruit salad ...
... and dug right in!
We also thought it would be fun to put together a lemon clock.  When I started talking to Maggie about this project, she immediately decided, "We'll call it a hesperidium clock!"  Clever girl!  I got this inexpensive kit on clearance last year at Michael's.
Here is our power source!  One lemon hesperidium!
We cut our fruit in half and got to work setting it up.
Immediately, the digital face came to life!
So neat!
We set the appropriate time and Maggie referred to it often to check the time!  It stayed lit for about four days until the lemon hesperidium started to dry out.  We just adjusted the rods to a more moist part of the fruit and it continued working for another day or so!
I never did this in public school!
After our lemon hesperidium clock project, Mags and I looked at a prepared slide of "orange pollen under the microscope.  She put together a "Magnification Observation" sheet of what she observed ...
... which we added to our notebooking journal.
We continued working in our journal, making note of all the fun things we were learning.
We worked out of this Seeds & Plants workbook, too (by School Zone, page 26).
We decided before we wrapped up this lesson that it would be fun to investigate a pepo.  We picked a spaghetti squash!
Once open, the smell reminded her of a pumpkin (another pepo).  We pulled out the seeds and got to work!
 First, we counted them.  154!  Doing the math, we figured that if every single seed made a new plant, 154 plants could be sprouted!  If each of those plants produced 20 fruits, that would mean 3,080 squash could be yielded!  If each of those had 154 seeds, there would be the potential for 474,320 new plants!  Amazing!  We talked then about how this could compare to us telling people about Jesus.  How many people could hear about Him if we told 154 people in our lifetime?
 Some of the seeds we set out to dry for replanting.
 The rest we roasted for a snack!
And we roasted the fruit!
 Spaghetti squash!
 Eating a roasted pepo on a pepo tablecloth!
What pepo will you dissect?
We finished up our study of fruits with the cute, spinning minibooks from the notebooking journal.  Each represents a different kind of fruit and Maggie wrote characteristics of each in the spaces provided.
Next up?  We'll study "Leaves" with Lesson 6!  Check back with us!


  1. My son Loved the lemon clock. He wants one.

    1. I'm glad, Elizabeth! I guess you'll have one soon! LOL!