Apples are the perfect theme for fall lessons. Here’s an interactive, cross-curricular apple unit with crafts, recipes, science, art, creative writing, math, social studies, practical life, field trips and community-builders. I’ve added free printable apple-themed lesson plans and worksheets for activity extenders.
* Go to an apple orchard and let students pick apples. Or visit a grocery store and explore different apple varieties.
* Have children sort apples by color, variety.
* Ask them to explore with touch and smell and describe.
* Do a taste test of different apples. Make a graph of favorite kinds.
* Teach knife handling and safety. Show them how to slice apples width wise to find star-shaped seed pods in the center.
* Discuss plant parts: roots, stem (tree trunk in this case), flowers, fruit, and seeds. Explain that seeds grew from the center of the flower and the fruit grew around the seeds to protect them.
* Have students remove seeds and plant in recycled plastic containers (butter, cottage cheese, yogurt). Cut drainage holes in bottom. Place containers inside their lids to make watering trays. Track plant growth.
* Make prints with apple halves using food coloring or (preferably) fruit juice. Make stamp pads with paper towel soaked in liquid. Best juices are grape, beet, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, carrot. Using natural coloring, children can still eat the apples.
* When finished, rinse apples in lemon juice and water to sanitize. Cut apples in chunks or peel and core. Stew apples in water till tender to make applesauce.
* If you didn’t peel, strain cooked apples through mill (funnel with frame and wooden baton). Place in large bowl to catch sauce. Have children press apple mixture against sides to strain sauce through holes. Scrape sides with rubber spatula.
* Add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and raisins (optional) to applesauce. Serve with dippers if desired: carrots, pretzels, graham crackers.
* Save peels. Place an open bird feeder or old plastic dish outside classroom window. Note what critters visit. Be careful of bees.
* Make apple-shaped booklets. Students might write apple haikus (5-7-5 syllables), apple adjective lists or acrostic poems using the letters A-P-P-L-E. They might write apple personification stories or process write apple print instructions or recipes for applesauce. Assemble into a group cooperative book.
* Have children draw or paint still-life of apples or make funny apple people of clay.
* Make a map of apple growing areas in the U.S. and around the world. Discuss regional uses for apples.
* Read about Johnny Appleseed and other apple-themed children’s literature. Dl-TK has gobs of apple-themed crafts, books and games.
* Host an apple party: assign children to make or buy apple treats. Make some available for those whose families can’t participate. Food suggestions include: apple dumplings, fritters, pancakes, candy, cake, cupcakes, pie, cobbler, crisp, bread, strudel, donuts, fruit leather, juice, cider, dried apples, apple butter. Some might try apple soup, apple sausage, caramel apples.
* Display student art at the party and have students share writings. Make it a poetry slam.
* Use these free printable apple crafts and lesson plans from an article I wrote last year.
Help children celebrate the joy of autumn harvest with this apple unit.