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Apples - Johnny Appleseed Theme - /ă/

Mommy Nature's Preschool Blog

September is...
National Apple Month Celebrations - Apples / Johnny Appleseed Theme - Preschool Activities

materials list/Resources:

Unit Books Johnny Appleseed (a poem), Johnny Appleseed (a tall tale), Folks Call Me Appleseed John, Apples to Oregon, Rain Makes Applesauce, How a Seed Grows, How Do Apples Grow?, Ten Red Apples, Ten Apples Up on Top!, Autumn Is for Apples, Applesauce, Apple Picking Time, Strawberry Shortcake's Field Trip, "Sing and Read" Alphabet Little Books

Social/Emotional Development:
Show & Tell: 
bring your favorite type of apple for the day's apple activities
Morning Meeting/Circle Time (daily skill work including:  weather, calendar, counting, ABCs, patterning, colors, shapes, songs, music, finger plays, rhymes, creative Movement) (outside links) Apples and Oranges

Creative Activities/Art/Music/Drama/Aesthetic Learning (including Fine / Large Motor Activities):  
I've been creating playlists on my iPod with my thousands of songs.  I'm not affiliated in any way with iPod, Apple, etc.  I'm just a happy customer that highly advises creating a playlist for each theme you use! 


Apples / Johnny Appleseed Theme Preschool Playlist

Fruit Salad Salsa

Laurie Berkner
(I'm Gonna Eat) On Thanksgiving Day Laurie Berkner
The Wonderful Apple Tree Judy Pancoast
Johnny Johnny Appleseed Paul Lippert

This playlist ready to download on iTunes, including these additional songs:

Johnny Appleseed David Grover and the Big Bear Band
Apple Tree Sue Schnitzer
Apple Tree My Sister's Moon


Center Activities: 
The Worm is Eating my Apple! - Set out cut outs of apples in several colors along with hole punchers.  Children can use hole punchers to make holes in the apples where the worms ate.  Great for fine motor strength building!  Kids can even use a pipe cleaner as a worm.

 Highlights Catalog

Apples / Johnny Appleseed Preschool Theme

Motivation/Introduction ~ First Day of Theme: 

- Hide an apple in a brown bag.  Tell the children that you have something special to share with them.  Allow them, one at a time, to reach in, feel the object without peeking and answer, "How many things can you tell me about this?"  Write the descriptive words they use (hard, cold, smooth, etc.).  Then, have them all guess the object (and even the color?) and reveal the apple.  Review the descriptive words used and how they apply to the apple.  Ask if they would have been able to guess the color through feel.
Introduce Johnny Appleseed as a man who loved the world and wanted to plant lots of apple trees for people.  Read Johnny Appleseed, a poem by Reeve Lindbergh.

Lessons (one main lesson a day which can be broken into parts as needed throughout the day):

1. Story:  I like/use Apple Annie song / book in "Sing and Read" Alphabet Little Books by Frog Street Press (or any /a/ word books).
Find all of the /ă/ (short a sound) words in the book.  Show how to make the Aa sign. 
Apples / Johnny Appleseed Theme / Letter Aa - Preschool Activities - Aa sign
Optional story:  Apple Picking Time by Michele B. Slawson

Aa coloring sheet:  Have children color the Aa in an apple color (red, yellow, green).  Read the names of the pictures together, putting emphasis on the /ă/ sound at the beginning of each word.

Apple Picking Field Trip:  Check out this site to find and visit an apple orchard.  Gather enough apples to complete the activities all week.

Apples / Johnny Appleseed Preschool Theme

2. Story:  Rain Makes Applesauce by Julian Scheer
Optional story:  Applesauce by Shirley Kurtz

Make Applesauce:  Allow each child to do some part of this recipe (wash apples, pour in an ingredient, etc. and ensure that adequate supervision is given during cooking with young children). 
In a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, combine 6 cups of apples - about 4 to 5 medium apples (washed, peeled, cored and chopped), 3/4 cup water or apple juice/cider, 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional), and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, and simmer 5 more minutes.  Makes about 8 child-size servings.

Read story, Rain Makes Applesauce (a very imaginative, poetic story) and lead into cooking applesauce by asking how rain would help in making applesauce.  (The rain provides the watery apple juice inside the apples.)  Then sing We're Makin' Apple, Applesauce song while waiting for applesauce to cook.  Serve warm with graham crackers. MMMMM!  Send the rest home in individual containers with the recipe on index cards.

Make A's and a's with index finger in the applesauce.

Apples / Johnny Appleseed Preschool Theme

3.  Story:  The Little House with No Doors and No Windows and a Star Inside author unknown
Give each child a copy of the story to take home.
Optional story:  Autumn is for Apples

Favorite Apple Graph:  Ask what other colors apples come in.  Set out at least one of each color.  Allow children to examine each whole apple.  Slice into wedges and examine some more.  Give each child one wedge of each color.  Together, taste each color and have each child choose a favorite.  Have them color an apple cut-out to represent the color apple they like best.  Create a graph with the apples.  Read the graph with the children asking questions like, "What does our chart/graph tell us?  Which color apple is the favorite?  Which color is the least favorite?  How many children like (red, yellow, green)?  Is there a color that nobody likes?", etc.  Leave graph posted throughout theme.

Apple Painting:  Provide several apples sliced in half to show the star and bowls of red, yellow, and green paint.  (Make a "stamp pad":  Lay a damp, quarter-folded paper towel on small plates - one for each paint color.  Pour a small amount of paint on the paper towel.  Children "stamp" apple halves onto "stamp pad" to paint.)  Allow small groups of children to stamp apple pictures onto large sheets of paper.  After a short time exploring, offer fresh paper and encourage the children to create patterns (red, red, green or yellow, green or red, yellow, green, etc.).  Paint can be messy, so make sure the children have additional clothing, if needed.

Apples / Johnny Appleseed Preschool Theme

4.  Show & Tell Thursday:   Bring in your favorite kind of apple, washed and ready to eat! 

Story:  Strawberry Shortcake Takes a Field Trip or How Do Apples Grow?

How Many Seeds After Show & Tell, cut each child's apple in quarters and allow them to dig out and count the seeds.  Rinse them in a small colander and allow them to dry on individual napkins.  Let the children write the number of seeds found in the apple on his/her apple page.  (If your child has trouble writing the number, use a yellow marker to write it and have him/her trace the number.) Glue the seeds in the middle of the apple.  Have the children help put the papers in order from least amount of seeds found to most.  Hang them up in order for the length of the theme.

Apples / Johnny Appleseed Preschool Theme

5Closure ~ Last Day of Theme:  Story:  Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss
Optional story:  Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins

I See Apples Counting Booklet:  Print, cut out pages.  Compile into book form.  Let child use stickers, apple pictures, &/or draw apples to illustrate number of apples on each page.  If developmentally-appropriate for child, encourage child to trace number word &/or number on each page.  Consider doing a couple of pages a day to avoid overwhelming child.  Enjoy reading together while counting apples.

Apple Dips (check for allergies)Set out several dips (yogurt dip, caramel-apple dip, chocolate dip, peanut butter dip, etc.) and allow the children to taste test with their quartered apples.  Draw them into a discussion about which ones they like best and worst, the differences in flavor and texture, etc.)  Praise them for simply trying something new.

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