Last week, we learned all about apples. We managed to work in lessons that met standards in all our domains.
I told the story of "Little Bear's Star", and cut the apple to demonstrate the "star" inside. (See pics of the flannelboard pieces here.) We let the cut apples dry out a bit, then used them in our art center for apple printing.
We used watercolors to paint apple outlines and used collage materials to decorate apple shapes.
On another day, cookie cutters and paint were laid out to make treetops for apple trees in art center.
Our life cycle booklet helped us understand the stages in the apple life cycle. We glued an apple seed to a little dirt for the first square. The next two life cycle squares gave us lots of fine motor practice, by cutting tree shapes from green and brown construction paper. We added crumpled pink tissue for apple blossoms and and finally, for the last square, an apple die cut shape for the "apple".
We wondered if apples would sink or float, then tested to see if apples of different colors had the same floating properties. For a little added fun, each student picked a small classroom item to test to see if it, too, "floated like an apple".
There were several fun games available in our math center. In one game, children rolled the dice or drew cards (depending on the focus skill needed) to place the correct number of red pom pom apples on the apple tree.
In another game, they placed the correct number of chenille stem worms on the apple.
For this version of the game, they matched the worms to the number on the apple. Also, instead of chenille stem worms, these little lure worms from the bait & tackle section of our local store provided extra sensory sensations. They are wiggly and fun!
I found these little apple wreath decorations that were perfect for sorting and one-to-one correspondence in our ice trays.
We measured ourselves and our friends in apple units to see "how many apples tall" we were.
After reading "10 Apples Up on Top", we made our own version of the book for counting practice and then practiced balancing apples on our heads.
We taste tested a variety of apples, had apple slices with caramel for snack and made applesauce in the crockpot.
In our language and literacy, we talked about our apple observations and mad a Venn diagram of our findings. We also made several chart stories, including writing a recipe about how we made our applesauce.
On Friday, Johnny Appleseed visited our class to read to us at circle. I can't believe the kids weren't fooled--they knew it was me the entire time, but they played along anyway! (And I thought I was so convincing!)
The Fruit Stand we set up dramatic play was a big hit. The kids loved playing there and pretending to sell fruit!
AN APPLE A DAY KEEPS THE TEACHER AT PLAY!