Ten Red Apples, by Pat Hutchins

Counting, rhyming, and animal voices make this a fun story for children to help tell as a farmer watches all the animals come eat from his apple tree.


  • Several apples of different colors for taste testing
  • 10 index cards each labeled with a number and corresponding dots/apples
  • Apple shape
  • Bingo dauber, stamp pad, or red marker per child


Before Reading the Story

Open the cover and show the children the pages with all the apple trees and numbers. Count with the children the numbers from the different apple trees.  Explain to the children that you want them to help read the story by repeating the Farmer’s line on each page.  Say the line, “Save some for me”! and have the children repeat.  Tell them that you will let them know when they are to say this line throughout the story.   Practice one more time with the children and then introduce the book.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest in reading related activities, such as asking to have a favorite book read; drawing pictures based on books; choosing books to look at; asking to take books home; going to the library; and engaging in pretend-reading with other children.

Reading the Story

Point to each number on the page so the children notice what the written number looks like as you say the number orally.  On page with number 8 after the farmer says, “Donkey, save some for me”!  Ask the children if they can guess what animal will come next?  If they cannot, tell them to look in the background (behind the farmer) for a clue.  On each page before making the animal voice, ask the children if they know what the animal voice sounds like?

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

After Reading the Story

On the page where it says, “More red apples hanging from the tree…”, point out that the story started with the biggest animal and ended up with the smallest one eating apples.  Point to the horse and say, “tallest”.  Point to the cow and say, “smaller”.  Continue pointing down the progression of animals saying smaller, smaller, smaller, until you get to the chicken and say smallest.    Now tell the children that you are going to try to line up all together from tallest to shortest.  Have two children stand up and ask, “who is taller”?  Have the taller child stand in the first position.  Have another child come up and ask them to stand beside the tallest child and ask, “Is ____ taller or shorter”?  Have the children get into position according to the tallest to the shortest.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures of length and area of objects.


Apple taste and graph favorite color  If you choose to do apple graphing today, teach the children the following verse; Eat an apple save the core.  Plant the seeds and grow some more.  Then give each child a copy of the apple page and ask them which color apple they liked best.  Have the children color their apple accordingly and staple all the pages together to make an apple book.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences. AND Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.

Show the children the pictures of the wooden animals.  Explain that Pat Hutchins drew wooden animals for her story illustrations.  Encourage the children to go about the room looking for other objects made out of wood.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; beins to make comparisons between several objects based on a single attribute.

Music and Movement

Pass an apple like hot potato when the music stops the child holding the apple is out.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.

Cut out as many apple shapes as there are children.  On the backside of each apple, make a movement direction (hop on one foot, jump forwards then backwards).  Put the apples on the wall and pretend it is a tree.  Each child gets to pick an apple and the whole group does the movement.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.

Teach the children The Apple Tree finger play.

Way up high in the apple tree                    (Make fists and hold overhead)

Two little apples smiled down on me.

I shook that tree as hard as I could            (Shake fists in air)

Down fell the apples                                     (Bring hands down to lap)

Mmmmm, were they good!                         (Pretend to eat an apple)

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

Sing The Farmer in the Dell but change the words to go with the story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m023UjciCpE

First comes the horse, first comes the horse, Hi ho the derry-o, first comes the horse. 

Second comes the cow, second comes the come, hi ho the derry-o, second comes the cow. 

Third comes the donkey

Fourth comes the goat

Fifth comes the pig

Sixth comes the sheep

Seventh comes the goose

Eighth comes the duck

Ninth comes the hen

Last comes the farmer, last comes the farmer, hi ho the derry-o last comes the farmer.

Hold up the corresponding number of fingers as you sing each verse. After singing the farmer verse and you are holding up 10 fingers, ask the children if they know how many fingers this is. Then count backward from 10 to 1.

Mathematics/Number & Operations;begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.


If you have wooden people and farm animals, add them to the block center today. 

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.


Make red play dough and add cinnamon for scent. (Uncooked Playdough 1 cup plain flour. 1/4 cup salt. 1 tablespoon cooking oil. A few drops of food colouring. 1/2 cup water. Mix dry ingredients, make a mound and then scoop a hole in the center of the mound. Slowly add the oil and water. This will be sticky at first but as you need it it will become pliable. Work until playdough consistency).

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Give each child a copy of one of the wooden animals.  Have them draw an apple tree and then glue their animal underneath.

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.

Sand and Water

Put out many puffballs into the table today along with tongs. On index cards, write the numbers 1-10 and also represent with dots/apples. Add several bowls.  Show the child how to pick up a number card and then use the tongs to collect that many puffballs to put into their bowl.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Library and Writing

Make a second set of animal cards and write the name of each animal underneath in a print form that you are teaching the children (capital w/ lower, all capitals, all lower).  Put out paper and writing tools and encourage  the children to practice writing the various animal names.  Encourage the children to make illustrations as they write their words.

Literacy?Early Writing; progresses from using scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name.

Dramatic Play

If you have any plastic apples, add them to the center today along with a basket.

Math and Manipulatives

Give each child an apple shape and a bingo dauber, stamp pad, or colored marker. Have the children take turns rolling the dice and then adding that many “apples” to their tree. Continue letting the children take turns until they grow tired.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Use the apple pattern page to cut out and color the apples 3 different colors that you are working on as a class.  Make simple patterns for the children to copy (red, blue, blue, red, blue, blue/yellow, green, red, yellow, green, red).

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.

Outdoor Play

Put 3 hoola hoops in a row on the ground, or draw 3 circles on the pavement in a row.  The teacher names a category and the child must jump into each circle and name something that belongs in that category.  The child will name three things, one in each circle.  Categories can include such things as; farm animals, fruits, things you can make from apples, colors you are wearing, three friends, things we eat for lunch, letters of the alphabet.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem SOlving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.


The teacher holds her hands over her head and says’ “One to three, count for me” and unfolds one or both hands revealing a number of fingers to be counted by the child.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to make use of one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.


About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.