A Tangerine Webquest

Tangerine combines science and language arts as it teaches lots of science lessons while it intrigues us with its literary finesse: spellbinding writing, mysterious plot, complex characters, and important theme.   Groups of students at Tangerine Middle School worked on cross-curricular science/language arts projects about Florida agriculture.  

Gregg Maxcy, Inc's Red-Glo brand citrus label

Credit this photo: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/17333
Gregg Maxcy, Inc., Image number PR75937

Paul’s group researches the Golden Dawn tangerine.  In addition to researching the citrus industry online via his computer, Paul and his group visit the Cruz family orange grove.     Conduct research as Paul and his friends did.

  • Luis explains “grafting” to Paul and his friends.  What is another word for “grafting”?   Read “The Rise and Fall of the Citrus Industry” to find out.
  • Paul and his friends fight a citrus frost in the novel.  Using the tabs in the article, read about the devastating frosts that hit Florida groves causing severe damage to citrus crops.  What were the years of “The Great Frost”?
  • The Cruz Grove used smudge pots and ice to save the trees.  Looking through the old photographs, what are some other methods citrus farmers employed to combat the frost?
  • On various occasions, Paul laments the way things used to be in Tangerine County.  The old packing houses are empty; the groves have been demolished and left to rot underground in order to make way for housing developments.  What county produced 95% less citrus in 1990 than in 1970?  Read about the decline of the citrus industry to find out.
  • Luis plans to revive his family’s grove with the introduction of a new tangerine, The Golden Dawn.  Take a look a the folk art of citrus groves.  Which marketing labels are your favorite?    On a separate sheet of paper, design a label for the Golden Dawn tangerine.  Write a bit about why you chose this design.

In addition to the citrus industry, we learn about lignite and muck fires, solar eclipses, sink holes, lightning, termites and mosquitoes.  Tomorrow, Mr. David Brown, a native Floridian and geologist, will visit our class to share some information about our unique Florida environment.  In class, we have already watched a few videos and looked up some websites on these topics.  Think about what you have already learned.

What are some questions you might have for Mr. Brown that will expand your knowledge?



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33 thoughts on “A Tangerine Webquest

  1. Hello Mrs. Donofrio,
    You really have made me think about your questions, and I have come up with some answers.
    Answer 1. Topworking
    Answer 2. The great Freeze was in 1894 and 1895
    Answer 3. People sprayed their trees, even though they died.
    Answer 4. The country was America ( to be more specific, Florida)
    Answer 5. My favorite label was Sunshine Fruits from Burdine’s Citrus Label: Miami, Florida

    I hope that these answers prove satisfactory for you. Answering these questions made me feel so smart. I felt like a baby tiger catching its first prey, it must have felt proud, just like I did. This might be a little off topic, but don’t you think that baby tigers are cute? Do they have a name when they are babies? I really don’t know.


  2. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I liked your post a lot! Here are my answers to those questions
    1. Topworking
    2. 1894-1895, wooden shelters and canvas covers
    3. Orange County, Florida
    4. W.H. McBride’s Sammy Jay Brand citrus label (UNDERLINED)

    Thanks for giving us these questions. I learn a bunch of new things! See you soon!


  3. Hey Mrs.Donofrio! I have some answers to your questions, and here they are listed below.
    Answer #1. Topworking
    Answer #2. 1894-1895
    Answer #3. People sprayed the trees to protect them from the freeze.
    Answer #4. The country was America, and the state was FL.
    Answer #5. Sammy Jay was the most eye catching label in my opinion.

    Thank you for the wonderful posts and questions. I also think that “Tangerine” is both language arts and science. I have learned a lot about citrus trees and tangerines. I just learned even more from your questions. I hope I found the right answers!

    I am extremely excited for Mr. Brown’s presentation. I hope ( and know) that I will learn even more. Sometimes learning can be fun, and to me this qualifies! My question for Mr. Brown will be, How do sinkholes form? I’ve always wondered and can’t wait to find out!

    Do you have anything to ask Mr.Brown?

    – Cooper

  4. Hi Mrs. Donofrio This is Daniel. These are my answers for the Tangerine Web Quest.
    1. Top Working
    2. Farmers would put large mats and dirt over small plants
    3. 1894 and 1895
    4. Orange County, Florida
    I am going to ask Mr. Brown about how you can detect a sinkhole in your area.

  5. Hi Mrs. D
    James here just answering your qustian
    1 Another word for grafting is TopWorking . 2 The years of The Great Frost is 1894-1895 they put canvas covers over citrus trees from the freeze 3 Orange County produced 95% less citrus. 4 One of my most favorite marketing label would be the Manatee Fruit Company’s Moccasin Brand citrus label. Why do sinkholes happen.

    — James

  6. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    Tangerine ended up to be a really great book! In fact it’s actually one of my new favorites! Anyways, here is the answers to your questions.
    1. Topworking
    2. 1894 and 1895
    3. People built wooden shelters over the trees, and they put on canvas covers.
    4. Orange County, Florida
    5. Roper Growers Cooperative’s Roper Brand citrus label: Winter Garden, Florida

    Here is one question that I will ask Mr. Brown tomorrow, “Have you ever seen a sinkhole in action?”

    Mrs. Donofrio, are you excited that Mr. Brown is coming tomorrow?
    What do you want to learn tomorrow?


  7. Mrs. Donofrio,
    Thank you for the very nice comment on my blog! I have not seen the Mother Teresa exhibit in Ave Maria but I would love to go one day! I’m glad you liked the pictures. I know that the 6th and 7th grade went to that exhibit when the 8th grade went on a NET life retreat. What was your favorite part? Hope to blog you later!!!

  8. 1.Another word for grafting is topworking.
    2.The years were 1894 and 1895.
    3.Some of the methods included wooden shelters which protected them, canvas covers, and slat shacks.
    4.Orange county produced 95% less in year 1990 than in 1970.

  9. Reading these questions, I found out that grafting is also called topworking, the Great Freeze took place in 1894 and 1895, and wooden shelter, canvas covers, and shacks helped protect the trees from the freeze. I also learned that the county that produced 95% less citrus in 1990 than in 1970 was Orange County, Florida. One question that I would like to ask Mr. Brown is out of muck fires, lightning, and sink holes, which one occurs the most and which one causes more deaths?

  10. A question I might ask Mr.Brown is how far apart are solar eclipses. I also went to the link called the folk art of citrus groves and to answer your question abut my favorite citrus label I like the Red-Glo brand because I like the picture and the name of it. What is your favorite type of citrus marketing label?

  11. I accidently left out #5 in the questions.

    5. I chose Sunshine fruits from Burdine’s citrus label and Holy Hills Fruit Products.

  12. Hi Mrs.Donofrio,
    3.Wooden shelters and slat shacks
    4.Orange County
    5.Golden Galleon
    My question for Mr. Brown that would be… what is your favorite part of your job? Have you ever seen a muck fire?-Sydney

  13. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,

    1) Topworking
    2) 1894-1895
    3) They would put ice on the trees
    4) Winter Haven
    5) I don’t know what my favorites are

    I think one question I would have for Mr. Brown would be,

    1) Why are there more lighting strikes in Florida than in other states?
    2) What is the biggest recorded sinkhole in Florida?
    3) What is your favorite part of your job?

    What would your favorite part of being a geologist be?


  14. Hello Mrs. Donofrio.

    1. Topworking
    2. 1994 to 1995
    3. They would put an ice coatimg or slush o the trees.
    4. Haines County
    5. My favorite is the pirate ship.

    A few questions I would ask are:

    1. Say someone was to acquire lignite could they use it as a sort of fire starter.
    2. How long is a muck fire able to burn for.

  15. Hiya, Mrs. Donofrio!
    Here are my answers to your questions:
    1 Another name for grafting is top-working.
    2 The years of the Great Frost are 1894-1895.
    3 People protected their trees using wooden shelters, canvas covers and slat shacks.
    4 Orange County
    5 Dixie Delight, Red Glo, and Golden Galleon were my favorite designs.
    Mrs. Donofrio, if you could name your own orange or tangerine, what would you call it?

  16. Hi Mrs. Donofrio!
    The answers to your questions are below:
    1. Topworking is another name for grafting.
    2. “The Great Frost” occurred in 1894 and 1895.
    3. Farmers used wooden shelters, slat shacks, and canvas covers to protect the trees during the frost.
    4. Orange County, FL produced 95% less citrus in1990 than in 1970.
    5. My favorite design folk art is the Sunshine Fruits from Burdine’s citrus. The forest scene is very pretty and has a lot of colors.
    Which folk art is your favorite?

  17. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    Here are the answers that I found to your scavenger hunt:
    1) Another word for grafting is top working.
    2) 1894 and 1895 were the years of the Great Frost.
    3) Spraying the trees was a combat for the frost, but it never really worked.
    4) Orange County produced 95% less citrus in 1990 than in 1970.
    5) Romance Blue is my favorite marketing label. I chose this one because it shows a lot about Florida and the citrus picture on the corner makes you want to try some citrus.

    My Questions for Mr. Brown
    My questions for Mr. Brown are why is Florida the number one place for sinkholes and what city in Florida has the most sinkholes.
    ~ Blythe / BB 🙂

  18. HI Mrs. Donofrio,
    A webquest is a very innovative idea, how did you come up with it? I would ask Mr. Brown about how lignite forms.
    My answers to the webquest
    1. Another word for grafting is topworking.
    2. The Great Frost happened in 1894 and 1895.
    3. Some other ways to protect the trees were to cover them with wood shelters, covering them in canvas, and, building slat shacks.
    4. The county that produced 95% less citrus in 1990 than in 1970 is Orange County.
    5. My favorite marketing label is the Red-Glo.

    What is your favorite thing you have learned about citrus?

  19. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,

    Top working is also known as grafting.

    The great freeze was from 1894-1895.

    By adding mounds of dirt to the roots of the tree.

    The county is Orange County.

    My favorite is “Sammy Jay”

    Why does lignite burn?

    How did you find the book Tangerine?


  20. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I’m here for your wonderful webquest!
    1. Another word for “grafting” is called Topworking.
    2. “The Great Frost” was when the climate dropped to freezing temperatures and the cold destroyed most of the citrus farmer’s crops.
    3. Some of the farmers would bury the tree in dirt all the way up to the leaves to keep the tree warm.
    4. Orange County, Florida
    5. For the labels, my favorite has to be the “Sammy Jay” label. It looks like a cute little tangerine bird.
    Last but not least…..the end question.
    The question I would probably ask Mr. Brown about is: “Is there any chance the fruit on a “Frankenstein tree” would mutate together being on the same tree?
    Thanks for the awesome quest!

  21. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    1) Topworking is another word for grafting.
    2)1894-1895 were the years of “The Great Frost.”
    3) One of the other methods was to cover the citrus trees with a canvas.
    4) The USA produced 95% less citrus in 1990-1970.
    5)My favorite marketing label was the Sunshine Fruits from Burdine’s .
    Which is your favorite citrus label? Why?


    Visit my blog at http://www.abbylsblog.edublogs.org

  22. Dear Mrs.Donofrio,
    Hi Mrs. Donofrio! I loved reading the book Tangerine and learning new facts about citrus fruit . The book also kept me wanting to read more to figure the different mysteries about the family and mostly Erik.Here are the answers to the scavenger hunt.
    1. Topworking
    2. 1894,1895
    4.Orange County,Florida
    5. My favorites were Pioneer, Good Will,and Romance Blue.
    I would like to ask him questions about the muck fires, sinkholes, and all of the bugs.
    All in all, I think that Tangerine was a fabulous book and had many different facts to learn. I can’t wait until Mr. Brown comes in tomorrow. Have a good day.

  23. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I thought “Tangerine” was a great book. Also, you made a wonderful post (as always).

    Another word for “grafting” is topworking.
    The years of “The Great Frost” were 1894 and 1895.
    Another method citrus farmers employed to combat the frost was that they sprayed some of the trees.
    The county that produced 95% less citrus in 1990 than 1970 was Orange County.
    The marketing labels that were my favorite were “Sunshine Fruits from Burdine’s” and ” Red- Glo Brand”

    ~ Julia

  24. Hello Mrs. Donofrio,
    I like your idea of putting a scavenger hunt on your blog. It makes it a lot of fun. I enjoyed going to different websites to learn new things. My answers to your scavenger hunt are listed below.
    1. Topworking
    2. 1894-1895
    3. There is no given link for this question
    4. Orange-county Florida
    5. Dixie-Bell and Pioneer
    A question that I have for Mr. Brown is where is lignite originally from?
    If you were a farmer would you rather grow lemons, tangerines, or both?

    • Hi Brianne,
      The answer to question #3 is found in the same link to #2; this whole section is about the Great Freeze.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  25. Hey Mrs. Donofrio,
    Here are my answers to the webquest.

    1. Top working
    2. 1882-1890
    3. Europe

    To answer your other question, I would ask Mr. Brown how long it takes to grow a citrus tree.

  26. Hi Mrs. Donofrio
    Just wanted to give you what I thought the answers might be
    1 top working
    2 1894-1895
    3 orange county,Florida
    4 the Golden Galleon Brand citrus label
    I chose this label because I like boats and oranges plus the fact that all of the oranges that must be exported usually go by sea

  27. Dear Mrs.Donofrio

    Another word for grafting is stock. The years of the Great Frost were the 1894 to the 1895. The country that produced 95% less in 1990 than in the 1970 was Orlando. My favorite marketing labels is W.H. McBride’s Sammy Jay Brand citrus label: Seville, Florid.

  28. Hello Mrs. Donofrio!
    I loved the way you made a little search for us, the quest for answers was fantastic! I read through the articles and found some interesting things about oranges. What was the most interesting fact you found on the list? Here are the answers to the questions:

    1) Q: What is another name for grafting?
    A: Topworking.

    2) Q: What were the years of “The Great Frost?”
    A: 1894-95

    3) Q: What are some of the other methods (besides smudge pots and ice) that farmers used to fight the frost?
    A: Canvas over the trees, Shacks with the trees inside of them, Shelters built over the trees.

    4) Q: What country produced 95% less citrus in 1990 than in 1970?
    A: Orange country.

    5) Q: Which folk country label was your favorite?
    A: Golden Galleon, it had the most detail put into the artwork.


  29. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,


    1.) Top working
    3.) Trying to beat the freeze with frost
    4.) Orange County, Florida
    5.) and the Dixie Delite
    Matthew D.

  30. Dear Mrs. Donofrio,
    I have loved exploring on your blog. I have learned a lot, and I am very interested to see what your next post will be about.
    Rachel P

    • Thank you, Rachel! I need to write a new post, and I am also interested to see what it will be about!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

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