Fourth Grade Students Explore The Power Of Words Through Apple Experiment
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Fourth Grade Students Explore The Power Of Words Through Apple Experiment

Lausanne fourth-graders are discovering just how powerful words can be with a unique experiment that uses apples to explore the impact positive and negative speech have on the world around us.


Led by Lower School Learning Specialist Angie Valadie, the fourth-graders placed two apples in separate jars and wrote down something pleasant to say to one apple and something harsh to say to the other each day for the next few weeks. 


"Each week, we will record the changes in the apples to note the effects," said Valadie. "When we conducted this experiment last year, the negative apples really did turn brown sooner, so we'll see what happens this year." 

Inspiration for the exercise came from students reading Lora Rozler's book Words and watching a video the author created documenting how an apple that received only harsh words bruised more than the one supported by kind words when she conducted the same test.

In a similar study administered by IKEA, the furniture company set up two identical plants in a school and invited students to bully one and compliment the other. After 30 days, the complimented plant stood strong while its ridiculed opponent had wilted. 


While the fourth-grade students examine their apples over the next few weeks, they'll also have meaningful discussions that cover topics such as friendship, leadership, expressing gratitude, gossip and bullying. 

Additionally, students will discuss how the words we use about ourselves can also impact us through conversations about negative self-talk, over-confidence and dealing with anxiety.  

"Exercises like this help our students gain a deeper understanding of how what we say to or about others can affect whether we build someone up or tear them down, and that's important," Valadie said. 

Posted by Shayne Dotson at 08:28