Carolyn Webb – Back to Work with the Ontario Edible Education Network

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Author: Carolyn Webb

Posted: November 10, 2015

Categories: Edible Education Network

Thankful ApplesAs those of you who have been involved with Sustain Ontario’s Edible Education Network know, I’ve been away for a year of maternity leave. I’m now back in my role and look forward to continuing to support all of you who are connecting children and youth with healthy food systems.

As a fun type of orientation back to work, I helped out in my 4-year old’s JK class for apple sauce day and got to experience first-hand the kind of work that so many of you do every day.  Below you’ll find my story – as a testament to school food champions, inspiring educators, and apples.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch at or 613-852-7709!

Carolyn Webb, Coordinator, Ontario Edible Education Network


It was the week before Thanksgiving in my 4-year old’s JK class (at Churchill Alternative School in Ottawa) and the class calendars said “Bring an Apple to School”.  When the teachers asked for volunteers to help the class make apple sauce, I jumped at the chance to see how Kindergarten kids were going to get cooking.

When I walked into the class, activity centres were set up around the room. I could see what the class had been up to that week from the signs and artwork on display.

The “What Is Your Favourite Apple” sign showed me the results of an apple taste test where the kids had tried different types of apples, described the different flavours that they tasted, and then voted on their preferred type of apple. Most kids preferred the apples that they had described as “I am juicy, sweet, and a little bit crunchy” (red), rather than the “I am kinda sour, crunchy and juicy” (yellow) or the “I am very sour and juicy” (green) apples.

I saw that the kids had been taking turns on Apple Patrol – counting the number of apples in each others’ lunches.

And I got to see a lovely apple tree that displayed what the kids were thankful for (see pictures at the end of this post).

I sat down just as everyone came in for the day and was amazed as the 3, 4, and 5-year olds got their outdoor clothes off, put their indoor shoes on, brought their note totes to a bin, and made their way to the circle to get started on Apple Day (all with a lot of caring support from the teachers).

Over the next couple of hours I got to witness the class:Weighing Apples

  • Become an apple tree (one Kinder was the tree and 5 others were the apples) and, to the tune of “I’m an apple tree”, we sang rounds and counted the ‘apples’ fall off the tree.
  • Weigh apples against cars.
  • Sort apples from largest to smallest.
  • Make designs using apples, paint, paper and a cardboard box (with another parent’s help!).
  • Make letters for each other or draw at the writing centre.

Sort the Apples

At my centre we cored (using a coring machine) and cut the apples (using plastic knives). We then put the apple pieces into a slow cooker to make apple sauce.

The kids loved selecting and coring the apples, making and eating “apple snakes” (the long strings of apple peels), and cutting up rings into smaller pieces.  Some peeled and cored their apple and then left for another activity, while others hung out for awhile cutting the apple rings.

Coring ApplesI wasn’t there long enough to taste the apple sauce but I hear it was yummy!

I’ve always wondered what happens in a Kindergarten class and how teachers support learning for 25 or more little people. Now I have some insight. It involves songs, creativity, a lot of planning, caring and compassion, and bringing investigation into everything with questions like “How many seeds do you think are in each apple core? Let’s count them”.

Oh, and mess and yummy apple snakes!

Coring Apples 2Over the time I was there, I witnessed singing, dancing, tasting, imagining, painting, cutting, coring, measuring, counting, and weighing – all with and about apples. It brought home what I’ve heard and advocated for in my role with the Network:

That Good Food is fun, it supports our health, and it makes a great catalyst – for learning, sharing, and celebrating!

And what am I thankful for?:  A chance to go into the classroom, inspiring educators, good food, and the mom who took all these pictures while I was coring apples!

Making Apple SauceYou can find the recipe for Slow Cooker Applesauce (No Added Sugar) at





Thankful Apples:

Thankful Apple 6Thankful Apple 3





Thankful Apple 5Thankful Apple 2






Thankful Apple 1Thankful Apple 4








Painting with Apples:

Apples and PaintApple and Paint 2