Garden Humanities: Apple Cider

Apple Cider


In this 6th grade seasonal lesson, students use teamwork to collectively press cider and learn about apples.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Recognize seasonality in apples.
  • Formulate an observation of the cider


During this lesson, students will:

  • Name the season apples are ripe in
  • Describe the finished apple cider using one of their five senses


For the Opening Circle

  • Visual aid

For the Cider Station

Apple press and bucket with liter measurements to catch cider

  • 21 lbs of apples
  • 35 cups
  • 2 pitchers
  • Trays for serving

Before You Begin

  • Create the visual aid with apple facts
  • Collect all the materials
  • Create the apple cider station by setting up the press and bucket to catch cider


At the Opening Circle

  1. Welcome students and introduce the day’s activity.   
  2. Explain that in celebration of fall, students will learn about apples in opening circle, press cider, and enjoy cider in closing circle.
  3. Review visual aid
  4. Review garden jobs and explain that students will rotate through the cider station in their working groups. 
  5. Divide the class into groups for garden jobs. Rotate each group through the apple cider station during garden work time.

At the Apple Cider Station

  1. Describe how the apple press operates, emphasizing safety, and move students through each job (holding the press, putting apples in, cranking the gears, and catching the cider).
  2. After everyone in the first group has had a chance to do each job, return students to their garden job and bring in the next group. Once all the groups have taken a turn grinding apples, invite students from the final group to press the apples to collect the remaining juice. Pour cider into small cups to be served during closing circle.

At the Closing Circle

  1. Welcome students back to the closing circle
  2. Introduce the components of the tasting ritual to students
  3. Wait until everyone is served
  4. Once everyone is served, taste
  5. Make an observation of the tasting based on the five senses.
  6. Differentiate an opinion from an observation
  7. Have student volunteers serve cider from trays to classmates
  8. Once everyone has been served and has tasted the cider, ask each student to share his/her name and an observation.



Download: Apples Visual Aid (183.6 MB)

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