Which Is Our Favorite Apple And Why?

Fall is the season of apples. Seasonal fruits bring the highest values of nutrition, so we provided our children with many different types of apples in our daily snack. We also took this opportunity to explore various types of apples.

6 Different Apples

There are more than 6 different type of apples but we chose 6 apples that are commonly found in our local grocery store; Fuji, Red Delicious, Honey Crisp, Gala, Macintosh, and Granny Smith. At first, children were introduced to one apple at a time. They were asked to examine it carefully and identify its character, appearance and taste.




Mystery Apple

A local farm raised apple was introduced to children for them to identify the name of apple. Based on their keen observation, taste and study of apple, children were challenged to make an educated guess on what type of apple it was. Since the apple was from a local farm, it was not as straight forward as the ones that you can find at the grocery store.



Taste Test And Voting

Children tasted 6 different apples and voted on which was their favorite apple. The highest point 6 was given to their most favorite apple and 1 was given to the least. The data was collected in 2 different sets, older group (3rd to 5th grade) and younger group (Kindergarten to 2nd grade). Scoring their favorite apple was not easy for the younger group because putting a numerical value to their liking was foreign to them. They frequently asked “what if I like all of them?” “Can I put 1 for my favorite one?”.



3 Different Data Collections And Analysis

We discussed the purpose of collecting data. One of the children mentioned by identifying the center’s favorite apple, teachers will know which one to buy for the snack so that we’ll have more of the apple. It was very insightful to have children understand that collecting information can actually help us make better choices or decisions.
Once the data was collected, we examined the result. The older group identified the favorite apple right away even before tallying the score. They mentioned that Red Delicious got 6 for the majority of the vote except by one person while Macintosh got 1 for the majority therefore it must be our least favorite. Sure enough once the scores were totaled, Red Delicious got the highest score and Macintosh got the lowest score. It was wonderful to see the older group identifying patterns and sharing their logical observation with the younger group.

We took the data collection to the next level and tried to understand what about Red Delicious and Fuji our favorite? We identified 2 major important characteristics of apple, sweet and sour and “retasted” apples for each of their different characters. Which is the sweetest apple? and which is the sourest apple? The scoring system was the same as the previous one whether children put the highest scores for the most sweet and most sour apple.




Children concluded from the data collection that our favorite apple for the older group was Red Delicious while the favorite apple for the younger group was Fuji. Both groups chose their favorite apple based on its sweetness. Furthermore, the older group liked the Red Delicious because it was the least sour and sweetest while the younger group liked the Fuji because it had a good balance of sweet and sour.






  1. Apples by Elaine Landau
  2. Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum
  3. Growing With Me: Apple by Valerie

Egg Drop Challenge Result

After weeks of planning, building and modifying containers, children came up with their own unqiue design to test their egg drop challenge. Some of the children focused on slowing down the gravity using a parachute while others tried to minimize the impact by providing a lot of cushion, and some did both.

Here are contestants and their desgins for the Egg Drop Challenge












Each contestant’s egg was placed inside their individually designed container. Then they dropped them from the first floor plat form of the church playground.


Who’s egg survived and who’s egg didn’t?


Here are the winners of the Egg Drop Challenge: One kindergartener, one first grader, one third grader and two forth graders succeeded.


Congratulations to all children who participated in the challenge. Even though not all of the children’s eggs survived, all of their containers did provide some form of protection. Comparing with the egg that was dropped without any protection, there was a huge part of egg that were saved.


What did we learn from this experiment?



Children observed 2 major differences in design between people who have succeeded vs. not succeeded.

  1. Egg was securely positioned inside the container.
  2. Egg was well padded or cushioned to minimize impact.



Another Challenge: Making A Prediction On Teacher’s Design

Based on their own experience and learning from the previous experiment, children had to make a prediction on one of teacher’s design, whether or not the egg will survive.

After carefully examining the container, all children agreed that the egg will survive. They noted that egg is securely positioned inside the container and there is a sufficient amount of padding where there won’t be any direct contact with the ground.

The result came out as the children predicted. Thus we conclude our Egg Drop Challenge. Many Children have commented that it was one of hardest projects that they had to work on and they are happy that they were able to figure out various parts of challenge.



  1. Queen Of The Falls by Chris Van Allsburg
  2. Where’s Niagra Falls? by Megan Shine
  3. Egg Drop by Mini Grey
  4. Gravity by Jason Chin
  5. What does gravity do? by Alix Wood
  6. Air outside, inside, all around by Dorlene Stille
  7. I Fall Down by Viki Cobb
  8. How Do Parachutes Work? Jennifer Boothroyd
  9. Force Make things Move by Brusker Bradely
  10. Energy Makes things Happen by Kimberly Brubaker
  11. World Book Encyclopedia on Flight

Egg Drop Challenge

After reading the fantastic adventure of Annie Edson Taylor, Barreling Over Niagara Falls by Nancy Kelly Allen, children were inspired by the true story of Annie Taylor who was the first daredevil to barrel down the Niagara Falls and survive in 1901. To further explore this event and expand the children’s knowledge of different materials from the previous project, we decided to do an egg drop challenge where children had to design a container using open ended materials to prevent their egg from cracking after dropped from the first floor of a building.

What made Annie Edson Taylor successful? Children pointed out that the key reason for her survival was a well planned design of her barrel. We also examined 4 other daredevils who attempted the fall and made predictions whether or not they would be successful. These daredevils used a kayak, a tin barrel, water scooter and an air filled container. Many of the children agreed that the open structures like kayak and water scooter are not good choices for the task. Sure enough those 2 daredevils didn’t make it.





Another key element of success is the science concept that the children have to understand. To help the children understand, we simply started by asking what happens when objects are dropped from the ceiling height?

Children observed that all objects fall to the ground. However depends on the type of material, it can either break, dent or maintain it’s original shape. Unlike fragile or hard materials, children noted that materials that are felxible tend to keep it’s original form after collision with the ground.


Effect Of Gravity

Now that the children understand that all objects fall to the ground, does different types of materials make a difference? 10 objects with various sizes and weights were chosen for children to think about; when they all get dropped from the same height. Most of the children hypothesized that heavier objects will be dropped faster than lighter objects.

What was the result of the experiement? The result was broken down into 2 groups, one group took less than 1 second and the other group took longer than 2 second. Thus it’s not always true that lighter the object, slower the fall. Almost all objects fall to the ground with same speed.



Then how about the same object dropped in the air with a different positioning or shape, i.e. paper horizontally vs. vertically and paper crumbled up vs. straighten?


Air Resistance/ Friction

Children experimented air resistance and friction through running across the room with:

Paper Bag Open vs. Closed


2 Different Paper Bags: big and wide vs. narrow and small


Different Type Of Kites: with cell vs. with skeletal structure


Get To Work

After learning all these scientific concepts and studying Annie and other daredevils’ designs, students were busy getting to work to create their own container design. It took many days for them to try their ideas by playing around with many different materials and also testing them out. None of them succeeded at first but learn to be happy with a small success and hope to make it even more succesful for the following day. Somedays, children got tried of trying and had to take a break by doing something else, like simply playing with toys.



To be continued on the next blog.


  1. Queen Of The Falls by Chris Van Allsburg
  2. Where’s Niagra Falls? by Megan Shine
  3. Egg Drop by Mini Grey
  4. Gravity by Jason Chin
  5. What does gravity do? by Alix Wood
  6. Air outside, inside, all around by Dorlene Stille
  7. I Fall Down by Viki Cobb
  8. How Do Parachutes Work? Jennifer Boothroyd
  9. Force Make things Move by Brusker Bradely
  10. Energy Makes things Happen by Kimberly Brubaker
  11. World Book Encyclopedia on Flight

Freedom To Create: Open Ended Material

Knowing your materials is the absolute basis for both science and art. You have to use your hands and your eyes and your whole body to make judgements and see potential.” The Having of Wonderful Ideas: And Other Essays on Teaching and Learning by Eleanor Duckworth.

Children were presented with many different natural or manufactured material found in the home or outside, such as sea shells, pine cones, bubble wrap, pipe cleaners, and toilet paper rolls. Uncertainty of these materials provide children with freedom or unlimited possibility of building things. And because of these uncertainty, children really have to play with materials and understand what each materials can be used. Playing around with these materials, children becomes like scientists who are constantly conducting experiments, testing ideas, and building their understanding of the world according to National Creative Center for Aging.


Children develop power when they build individual relationships with materials. When children have the chance to notice, collect, and sort materials, and when teachers respond to their ideas, the children become artists, designers, and engineers.” Weismann Topal, coauthor with Lella Gandini of Beautiful Staff.


Many of the children came up with various creations of their own. Often these creations inspired each other and they would copy or come up with something that worked even better. There were collaboration among students where they worked together on create somthing or help each other to provide feedback or physical help.


Musical Instruments:

  1. Drums: Students discovered that different materials resonate different sound when you hit them.


2.  String instrument: Students discovered that different rubber bands have different tension which creates different sound.


Colorful Panels



Ribbons: A Beautiful Head Piece or Handsome Bow Tie


Meet Robots


Stylish Handbags


Working Together to Create A Marble Run



Providing Tips On How To Make A Platform More Stable



Providing Feedback On How To Create An Opening


Unique Individual Creations



  1. Beautiful Stuff by Weismann Topal and Lella Gandini
  2. Ashley Bryan’s Puppets: Making Something from Everything
  3. The having of Wonderful Ideas: And Other Essays on Teaching and Learning by Eleanor Duckworth


Paper Engineering: Pop Up Card Creation

Inspired by Lovepop Cards, an intricate 3D paper sculptures designed by 2 naval engineers right here in Boston on cutting-edge software and then handcrafted in the Asian art form of sliceform kirigami, Lin Learning Center took on the challenge of creating a pop up card of our own.

Paper is a wonderful material to work with. It is flexible and versatile. It is easy to cut, bend and glue together and at the same time, it can be strong when it is folded. Understanding this characteristic of paper and the mechanism of how to fold, cut and make crease, children were able to create a simple to sophisticated paper invention.

Every week, children explored and learned 6 different mechanisms that we called them patterns:
1. Conversing crease
2. Parellel crease
3. Right angle V fold
4. Acute angle V fold
5. Symmetrical parallelogram
6. Asymmetrical parallelogram

Making patterns require a strategical cut, fold and shaping of paper. Without a precise finger fine motor and understanding of angles and lines, paper would not work in 3D. After learning how to create mechanism that works, children used their creativity  to come up with their own 3D designs. Some of them were able to combine 2 or more patterns and some of them even came up with their own pattern.


Collaboration during the project:



Challenge Of The Project

Children were asked to submit their final pop up designs for competition. Voting was open to parents, teachers and other care givers. They were asked to vote on 2 categories, best design and best mechanism from 2 groups, older and younger children.


Here is a closer look on the older children’s  group:


Here’s a closer look on the younger children’s group:


Challenge Winners 

Huisung was voted for both mechanism and design on the older children’s group. Nathaniel was voted for best mechanism while Lena was voted for the best design on the  younger children’s group. They were awarded with Lovepop card of their choice.

We’d like to congratulate on all children who have participated in this challenge. Many of them have gone through trial and error and invested time and effort to create their own unique pop up card.

1. https://www.lovepopcards.com/pages/press-kit1
2. Paper Engineering & Pop-ups For Dummies
3. Pop-up Design and Paper Mechanics: How to Make Folding Paper Sculpture by Duncan Birmingham

Sink Versus Float (Part II)

Using all the knowledge that children experimented and learned, they engaged in a challenge to make a boat that can carry 300 pennies, which was about 4 pounds weight. Some of children wanted to challenge themselves more and wanted to create a boat that can carry a double amount of weight: 600 pennies, which was about 8 pounds.


Grand Prize Winners



Sink Versus Float (Part I)

Children have been exploring many different materials and creating various structures. They showed a great interest in making boats. We decided to take on the challenge of making a boat that actually works, meaning it can float on the water.


We discussed what make things sink vs. float. Many children mentioned that objects that are heavy will sink and objects that are light will float. However, is it that simple? We had 2 sets of 10 items as indicated on the pictures below for children to think and record their hypothesis: which items will sink or float. Then we let the children experiment by having them place all the items on the water.
Through the experiment, children realized that concept of sink vs. float is not that simple.






To better understand our result, we graph the result and identified characteristics of different objects.


Sink and float has a lot to do with the relationship between what object goes into the water and how water reacts to that object. In order to understand the relationship, we explored various concepts mentioned below with the children.


What happens if 2 objects that are in equal size has different weights when they get dropped into water?


We dissected a squash to see why the elongated part sinks more than rounded part?


We also experimented how a dough of clay can sink when it is in a ball shape while it can float when it is flattened out.


Water Displacement

We shared a famous story by Aesop, The Crow And The Pitcher. Children were able to observe the water displacement as marble goes into the bottle. Max says “water is going up because the marble is taking up a space”.




We also put water into the syringe and ask children to block the opening and push down on the plunger. Armand said “I can’t push down the water”.



Surface Tension

What happens to a ball when it gets pushed into the water and let it go?
We also asked children what they feel when they move objects around in the water. When you move water using a wide black plastic piece vs. narrow plastic ruler, does it feel the same?
Ilan said “it’s harder to push down water when I push with a huge pot than tin container.”



What Is Mass? by Don L. Curry
Will It Sink or Float? by Melissa Stewart
Floating or Sinking by Charlotte Gillian
Ships: World Encyclopedia
Things That Float And Things That Don’t by Davis Adler

Create Your Own Game (continuation of “What is Game?”)

Snow Person Created By All Of Us At The Church Playground



Playing and thinking about many different games, children took on the challenge of creating their own game. Together, we identify the basic elements of game which are:

  1. Name
  2. Objective/Goal
  3. Rules
  4. Outcome

In addition to these 4 basic elements, we also talked about adding challenge as one additional of the element which will help to make game more interesting and fun.

Based on four or five elements mentioned above, children play out their ideas and able to create games of their own using open ended materials.


Created by Jacob

Name: Tic Tac Four for 2 players.

Objective/ Goal: To create 4 in the row in straight or diagonal line or square using 4 foam pieces.


  1.  Roll the dice and whoever has the biggest number goes first.
  2. Take turns.
  3.  Move only one foam piece at a time.
  4.  You may block the other player from making 4 in the row or square using your foam pieces.

Challenge: Unlike other conventional Tic Tac Toe games,  you have to think beyond linear configuartion of making 4 in the row.

Outcome: Whoever creates either 4 in the row or square the first wins the game.

Created by Pierre

Name: Cross the Ocean for maximum of 3 players.

Objective/ Goal: Go around the board and come back to home.


  1. You can choose to be either the person or the shark.
  2. Roll the dice and move the space as it is indicated through the sum of dices.
  3. When the person lands on the same space as the shark then the person have to start from the beginning.

Outcome: Whoever comes back to the starting point, home is the winner of the game.


Created by Arive

Name: Candy Land for 4 players.

Objective/ Goal: Go from start to finish line.


  1. Choose the color of the person.
  2. Take turns to flip cards that indicate the color and number of steps that you can take.
  3. You may only move as the card indicates.

Outcome: Whoever reaches the finish line the fastest is the winner.


Created by Max

Name: Catch Money for 2 players

Objectives/ Goals: Collect money as you move through the board from start to finish.


  1. Take turns to roll the dice and move your peg according to the sum of numbers indicated on the dice.
  2. Collect money as it is indicated on the landing spot.


Whoever finishes with the most amount of money is the winner.


Created by Hannah

Name: Race To The Dice for maximum of 4 players

Objectives/ Goals: Get all the cards


  1. Divide cards equally among players and put them face down.
  2. Roll the dice and whoever has the highest number goes first.
  3. The first player roll the dice and after counting 1,2,3, everyone put down the card from their file of cards.
  4. Whoever has the closest number to the number that dice rolled get to keep all the cards.
  5. Play until you run out of cards.

Challenge: Wild cards with various instructions.

Outcomes: Whoever has the most number of cards wins.


Created by JingMeng

Name: Race to the Goal, for 2 players

Objectives/ Goal: Go to the finish line, the goal.


  1. Do rock, paper, scissors, shoot and decide who gets to go.
  2. Player who wins will pick the card.
  3. Cards will indicated where to move your person

Outcome: Whoever make it to the finish line is the winner.


Created by Ashika

Name: No name for 2 players

Objectives: Go from the start to the finish line.


  1. Roll the dice and whoever wins go first.
  2. Take turns moving your animal pieces by rolling the dice. Whoever has the biggest number goes.

Outcome: Whoever gets to the finish line the first is the winner.


Created by Ilan

Name: Race to Win for 2 to 4 players

Objectives/ Goal: Go to the finish Line


  1. Roll the dice and whoever has the biggest number goes first.
  2. Take turns to flip the cards for instruction on where to go.

Outcomes: Whoever arrives at the finish line the first wins the game.



  1. Designing Board Games by Kristin Fontichiaro
  2. Games Design by Greg Austic
  3. Cool Board Games Crafting Creative Toys & Amazing Games by Rebecca Felix
  4. Everyone Play Games by Aimee Popalis
  5. Board Games Builder by Lee Slater



Mystery Apple

“What are we having for snack today?”

Children are very excited about our daily snack making. Snack making is one of the activities that provides multiple sensory, bilateral hand coordination and hand dexterity. Through this experience, children explore science and math concepts like measurement, use of food ingredients as materials and the sequential step to step thought process.

Apple is a seasonal fruit that we had many chances to eat this Fall. We made various apple dips and tried a fresh vs. cooked apple. To explore the apples, we looked at 8 different types commonly found in the Brookline grocery stores and perform taste test on which apple is our favorite. This information will help us to pick which apple to buy for our snack. To test their learning of the various kinds of apple, children were asked to participate in challenge called Mystery Apple.

First, children made observation drawing of apples.



Second, children learned the name of apples and their physical characteristics.



Third, children tasted apples and picked their 3 best tasting apples. For the result, there was a tide between Red Delicious and Gala.


Forth, children solved what is the name of mystery apple based on their learning. Majority of children named the apple right. They were very excited about their result. Good job children!



More Pictures of children preparing snack:

1. Slicing cheese.


 2. Scooping caramel sauce.


3. Stuffing rice into tofu skin pockets.


4. Making chocolate pudding parfait.


What Is Game?

At the beginning of the fall semester, we explored the idea of: what is game? Many children already know one or more games to play. They mentioned that there are many different types of games like board games, card games, or games made with things you find at home or outside. Most importantly, games are fun when you play with others or on your own. Through playing games, they learn to make friends and develop a sense of community.

Games played inside:

Weiam, Vera, Louis, Max, Anna, Ellie, Illan, Hannah, Jacob, Ivan and Ryoji

Games played outside:

Chi Ling

Ivan shared “Chi Ling”, Chinese yoyo from Taiwan. Many children were fascinated by how it works and the many tricks you can do with it.

Louis, Jacob and Max

American Hop Scotch Vs. Korean Hop Scotch

Children shared hop scotch game from 2 different countries. Similar idea and yet it can add different flavor by having different rules and objectives.

Hannah, Juila, Jacob, Ashika, Max, Anna, JingMong and Sandy

Around the world: basket ball

Jacob, Max, Ivan, Hannah, Weiam, Anna, Vera and Sandy

Who can score the most goals?: Soccer

Sandy, Max, Weiam, Hannah, Ariv, Ivan, Vera and Anna

Tic Tac Toe

Ashika and Ellie

 Unstructured Free Play:

Unstructured free play is an essential part of healthy children. Activities are children driven. Through their play, they demonstrate creativity, flexibility, team work, planning and decision making.

Creating a tree house: Illan, Piere, Ellie, JingMong, and Ashika got together to gather many branches on one day in October after a very windy night.

 Sorting acorns: Piere and Illan started to gather acorns to start a “war”. As Ryoji joined, it turned into a sorting and organizing activity. They estimated they have gather about 1000 acorns.

Building blocks

Ariv, Illan and Ryoji

Flying kites

Julia, Louis, Illan and Ryoji

Tracing bodies with chalk

Ryoji, Illan and Ellie