Ohio Cider-a Taste of Tradition

Student activity based on the article “Ohio Cider-a Taste of Tradition” from the Sept/Oct 2007 Our Ohio magazine.

Watch an Our Ohio television series video about Ohio cider on YouTube.

Academic Content Standard
(Mathematics Grades: 5 to 7): Measurement Standard: Students estimate and measure to a required degree of accuracy and precision by selecting and using appropriate units, tools and technologies.

(Note: Key terms used from Ohio’s Academic Content Standards are in bold below). 

Discussion points

  • Explore the article, “Ohio Cider” in Our Ohio magazine.
  • As you read, circle all of the numbers in the article. Write a list of the numbers and the amount or measurement the numbers represent.
  • Define the measurement units of bushels in pounds and acres in yards.
    • How much does a bushel of apples weigh? (A bushel of apples weighs about 42 pounds and will yield 20-24 quarts of applesauce.)
    • What is a peck of apples? Explain.

Hands on at Home or at School

  • Collect three apples and a few cups of cider to use as objects to measure. You may want to collect differently sized apples.
  • Select appropriate tools to measure the circumference of three apples.
  • Record your results.
  • Record your results in two different units of metric measurement.
  • Are you able to calculate the surface areaof the apple? Explain.
    • Select the appropriate tool to measure the mass of the apples.
    • Record the weight of the apples in grams and pound units.
    • Compare the mass of the three apples with their circumference.
    • Are you able to calculate the volume of the apples? Explain.
    • Cut the apples in half. What tool should you use to measure the angles of the apple slices?
    • What measurement of angles have you produced with the apple slices? Record your answers.
    • Continue cutting the slices of apples into smaller slices. What happens to the measurement of the angles?
    • What tools should you use to measure the mass and volume of one cup of cider?
    • Compare the weight of 1 cup of cider to the weight of 1 cup of chopped apples. How do they differ?
    • After all of your hard measurement work, enjoy eating your apple treats!


  • Geography/Measurement: Locate Laurelville Fruit Farm in Laurelville, Ohio on a map. Estimate the length of a car drive in miles and time for you to take a field trip to the fruit farm from your school or home.
  • Geography/Economics: Identify the distance involved for Robert Bowers to import apples to his farm in Laurelville. Why might he have to import apples this year? Where do the apples in your local grocery store originate? How can you find out from where your apples come?
  • Economics: Why did Robert Bowers start making cider from his apples? What other products does he make today for consumers? Explain why he does this.
  • Economics: Consumer taste testing. At your local apple producer or at the grocery store, purchase many varieties of apples and make sure to identify what apples are what varieties. Have a taste test. Test for sweetness, tartness and crunch. Decide what color appeals to you. Is there a difference in the cost of the apples? Finally, decide which variety of apples you will buy in the future.
  • As a consumer, which do you like more, apple juice or cider? According to the article, what is the difference between the two? Perform another taste test with apple juice and cider. Use descriptive words to explain what you taste and your preferences.
  • Career: If you wanted to own and operate an apple farm, what would you need to get your business started?
  • More information? Read “Just the Juice” at the Our Ohio Web site: http://www.ourohio.org/neigh/htmlne/laf3_cider.php
  • Check out “All About Apples” and Ohio Orchard Listings at http://www.allaboutapples.com/index.htm
  • Fun Apple Facts:http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/apples/facts.html
  • Do a web search for Ohio Apples for more great Internet information


This student activity was prepared by Camille Kopczewski, who is coordinator of religious education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City. She is a former sixth grade social studies teacher for South-Western City Schools. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.