September 26th, is the birthday of Johnny Appleseed. This is a great time of year to introduce the children to this folk hero and to have fun with apples.
- Apple for cutting or tracing the words
- Several varieties of apples for the children to try
- Small White paper plate per child.
- Shades of red, yellow, and green tissue paper.
- Apple tree growth cycle
- Apple trees for blocks
- Apple varieties of those being used in your taste testing
- Sapling (a seedling, in this case a tiny apple tree)
- Respectful (showing care and thoughtfulness)
- Boisterous (loud and noisy)
Before Reading the Story
Bring an apple to the rug and ask the children to guess what shape is inside the apple. After the children have guessed, cut the apple in half and show them the star shape that the seeds make. Tell them that there is a star inside every apple. Count the seeds. There are always 5 seeds inside an apple and they make the shape of a star. Ask the children to repeat back how many seeds are in an apple? What shape do the seeds make? Tell the children that today’s story is about an apple star named Johnny Appleseed. He is an apple star because he planted apples all over the United States for people to enjoy.
Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, ,materials, living things, and natural processes.
Reading the Story
After reading a page, stop and talk about it if you feel your children are getting lost. This story is more difficult for younger preschool children but is a good introduction into an American Historical figure (social studies) and fun to do in the fall when apples are always fresh and in season.
Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary. AND Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.
After Reading the Story
Talk about how Johnny was respectful of nature. Ask the children if they know what respectful means. Talk about ways that the children are respectful of nature. (I don’t step on the bugs when they are on the playground. I only smell the flowers and not pick them, I don’t take the leaves off the bushes cause the bush needs leaves). Talk about how the children show concern and thoughtfulness towards one another and the school environment. (I am nice to her when she plays with me, I throw the paper in the garbage and not the floor).
Social & Emotional Development/Self-Control; develops growing understanding of how their actions affect others and begins to accept the consequences for their actions.
Appleseed growth cycle cards. Can the children put them in 1-6 order?
Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.
Put out apples and plastic knives for the children to dissect and use their senses to discover apples. How does the apple feel, taste, smell, sound when you bite it?
Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.
Music and Movement
Teach the children the following poems,
Eat an apple
Save the Core
Plant the Seeds
And grow some more!
Science/Scientific Knowledge; shows increased awareness and beginning understanding of changes in materials and cause-effect relationships.
Way up high in the apple tree,
Two red apples smiled down on me.
I shook the tree as hard as I could,
Down fell the apples and they were good!
Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.
Sing, I like to eat apples and bananas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5WLXZspD1M
Literacy/Phonological Awareness; shows increasing ability to discriminate and identify sounds in spoken language.
Tape simple apple trees to rectangular blocks and encourage the children to make rows and patterns.
Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; enhances abilities to recognize, duplicate, and extend simple patterns using a variety of materials.
Give each child a white paper plate. Use small squares of tissue paper and glue to collage. When it is dry, add a stem and leaf to make an apple shape. Encourage the child completely fill in the paper plate with tissue paper squares?
Creative Arts/Art;progresses in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other creations that are detailed, creative, or realistic.
Library and Writing
Give each child an apple shape. Ask them to cut out the apple along the dark line and then use markers to go over the light lines to write, thank you Johnny Appleseed.
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. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; progresses in abilities to use writing, drawing, and art tools; including pencils, markers, chalk, paint brushes, and various types of technology.
Sand and Water
Put dirt in the table today along with unifix cubes. The children can pretend that the unifix cubes are apple seeds and plant them. Then they can dig for the seeds and collect them by color. How many red unifix cubes did you find? How many green?
Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.
Math and Manipulatives
Make s simple tree picture on a large sheet of construction paper for each child who will play the game. 3-4 children at a time is a good number. Give each child a pile of 15 red dots/ apples. The children take turns tossing a dice and then putting that number of apples/dots onto their tree. The first child to get 15 onto their tree is the winner.
Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, and quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.
Let the children dig small holes around the playground or in the sand box and pretend to plant seeds.
Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; progresses in physical growth, strength, stamina, and flexibility.
Look for seeds on the playground. If you find seeds, collect them and bring them in to the discovery center. Can the children identify what kinds of seeds they are?
Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; developers growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts.
Bring in several kinds of apples. Let the children each try a small piece of each and then graph the one that they liked best.
Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; developers growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means, including discussion, drawings, maps, and charts. AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concepts; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.