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Volume 3, Issue 17
September 13, 2005



WELCOME! to Education World's Early Childhood Newsletter. Every other week, I'll share some ideas on a familiar teaching theme. Hopefully you will find a new activity idea or two -- or a new twist on one of your old favorites! Since I know you are very busy, I'll be short and sweet -- like most of activities I suggest.

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It’s that time of year -- the time when apples appear. That sweet, crunchy fruit will soon be making its yearly debut. Apples are a natural fit for almost any area of your curriculum. Use apples for counting and graphing, for word recognition and stories, or even for an art project or two. You might even want to bake a batch of mini apple pies! It’s up to you… Take your “pick!”

Susan LaBella
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter


Read to children The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree, by Gail Gibbons (Voyager Books). Talk about the four seasons, and write their names on a chart. Help children remember how the tree looked during each season. Give each child four pieces of drawing paper. Invite children to draw a tree trunk and some branches using brown crayon on each page. Have children label the first page “winter.” Encourage them to use white tempera paint for snow on the ground and branches. On the page labeled “spring,” children can use pink paint a sponge pieces to make blossoms on their tree. Have children do the same for “summer” using green paint. Then they can use a cotton swab to dab on light green apples. Label the last page “fall,” and ask children to again use sponge pieces with yellow, orange, and brown paint. Children can add ripe apples by dabbing cotton swabs in red paint. Let each child write his or her name in the title on a front page “The Seasons of _____________’s Apple Tree.” Staple each child’s booklet together.

Bring to school several varieties of apples. Cut then into small pieces. At circle time, invite children to taste each kind and decide which their favorite is. Create a simple graph on a large piece of chart paper. Down the left side draw and label each type of apple being tasted. Record each child’s choice by drawing a happy face in the row across from the appropriate apple. Guide children in using the graph. Help them count and ask: How many children chose Macintosh? Granny Smith?… Which apple did more children choose?

Provide samples of apple products such as apple cider, apple juice, applesauce, and so on. Invite children to taste each and to choose their favorite. Give each child a small piece of apple-shaped paper and have him or her draw the favorite food choice on it. Use the apple cut-outs to create a graph, and then encourage counting and more-or-less questions.

--- Provide canned biscuits and apple pie filling. Flatten biscuits and add a bit of filling on half of each one. Fold the other half of the biscuit over the filling and press the edges closed. Bake according to biscuit directions for mini apple pies.
--- Wash and cut 6 apples into bite-sized pieces. Combine 1 cup of raisins, ½-cup yogurt, and ½-cup whipped salad dressing. Add apples and mix well for apple-raisin salad.

--- Cut out apple shapes from red, green, and yellow construction paper. Place them at various spots in your classroom. Gather the children and let one or two at a time search for an apple. Give clues such as, “It is near our sink, but not in it.” Or “Look high, look low, look near the science center when you go.” Continue until everyone has had a turn to find an apple.
--- Use the same cut out apple shapes to help children practice listening skills and using location words. Give each child an apple shape and a set of oral directions: “Place your apple over something, under something, next to something,” and so on. Continue until everyone has had a turn.

Read a simple biography about Johnny Appleseed. Give each child a piece of red, green, or yellow construction paper. Have each child use half of an apple to make an apple print on his or her paper. Tell students that apple print will be Johnny Appleseed’s face. Invite students to add eyes and a mouth to the face. Then encourage students to complete the picture by adding a pot for Johnny’s hat, a body, and a seed bag. Display students’ pictures by hanging them in alternating colors red, yellow, green, red, yellow, green, and so on.


Check out the following Web sites for more background and activities.

Washington Apples
A beautiful chart filled with information about many kinds of apples.

How Do Apples Grow?
See photos of apples trees through each season of growth. Some great info too.

New York Apple Country
¿Cómo prefiere sus Manzanas??
Find information on apple varieties and recipes -- provided in Spanish.

Vermont Apples
Try cooking up some of these yummy treats.

The Little Red House With No Doors and No Windows and a Star Inside
This read-aloud story will warm your children’s hearts. Be sure your class sees the star.