We start our school year the first week of August, which is essentially the middle of our summer. Although most people think of apples with their back to school themes, we are well into our school term by the time we actually get to start talking about apples and fall. Apples are a great theme to build cross curricular lessons around. Almost every subject can be covered in a broad range from cooking, literacy, math and science.
One of the first days of the unit, Johnny Appleseed comes to share an apple and tell his story. (I gave up on wearing a real cooking pot/hat a few years ago when I wasn't able to keep it on and it almost clunked a student in the head. I guess my head is just not meant to wear a pot!)
Apple printing and painting with apples was a popular activity in our art center.
The plan was for the kids to trace an apple shape and decorate it using collage materials of their choice. The friends have recently discovered glitter and powdered tempra and that was the material that reigned supreme. They can't get enough of that glitter, although I can. They are still learning to use it appropriately so it still requires a fair amount of teacher guidance this point in the year. (I can hardly wait until they become "little pros" and can contain most of it to paper and trash can!)
One of the things I usually do with a big unit or season is to put die cuts in my math and literacy centers that are numbered and with upper/lowercase ABCs. This year, I've decided to also make die cuts that the children can use to spell their names. This was great for independent practice. I'll use these until pumpkin season , then replace with pumpkin die cuts for each student. (The only draw back is that I no longer have access to a die cut press, so these are all hand cut. I'm so lucky to have a fantastic assistant who doesn't mind helping with all this cutting!)
We made a version of a Venn diagram, although we did not include an area where each apple was the same. For now, we just sorted the information for our brainstorming session.
A little torn brown paper and some cookie cutter printing and.....
.... VOILÀ! You have an apple tree!!!
One of our math activities was placing the appropriate number of rubber fishing worms on the numbered apple. The worms provide a fantastic sensory experience and the friends just can't get enough of this game!
I laminate the apples and use a dry erase marker on the apples, so I can use lower numbers for some and larger numbers for the friends who need a little more of a challenge.
We had so many fun activities, there's just too much for one post. Look for "An Apple A Day.... (part two)" coming soon that includes some of our other apple activities!