First graders wrap up science unit with field trip to Clendenen's

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Humboldt Beacon

Renee Hopper's South Fortuna Elementary first grade class has spent the past month learning about the science of apples, culminating in a field trip to Clendenen's in Fortuna.

Since the recent Fortuna Apple Harvest increased excitement and knowledge of the season it seemed the perfect place to wrap up the science lesson for the kids.

"This unit has included the study of trees, what plants need, the four seasons, as they relate to apple trees, the tasting of a variety of apples, and graphing their favorites," Hopper said. "My students also learned to generate a list of adjectives to describe apples, and use these adjectives in writing."

The students received a narrated tour of the orchard from Drew Clendenen, who was also joined by past employee and son of Renee Hopper, Ian Hopper. Ian Hopper is currently residing in France, where he works for a corporation.

As the students strolled through the orchard in their handmade, apple-stamped shirts made from real apples, they came across a Golden Delicious tree that had fallen due to a weakened trunk and recent rains. Golden Delicious is not a high demand apple so the tree will be harvested and then cut up for firewood.

Hopper's class treated the parents in attendance and Clendenen to a special apple song and poem they learned during this science unit, which they also performed for their school at Friday assembly.

Hopper made sure to tie in nutrition with her students' lesson, discussing the importance of healthy eating.

"We made homemade applesauce in our classroom, with a discussion of nutrition, and healthy snacks," she said. "We also viewed the processing of apples into apple cider, and enjoyed a taste of fresh cider."

Clendenen's offers tours for schools and other groups of their business and extensive orchard for a fee. For more information about the school's science unit, call 725-2519. For more information about tours of Clendenen's, call 725-2123.

Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Wearing their handmade apple printed shirts, Renee Hopper's South Fortuna Elementary first graders enjoyed a moment of posing during their tour of the orchard.