Apples Unit with Math, Science, Language Arts, & Art Lessons for Pre-K-5
* With allergies and other issues, any time you have students eating ANYTHING make sure the parents are aware ahead of time. You might even have them sign a paper saying that they have read and understand what is going on. I had my Kindergarteners’ sample different apples, so I wrote a newsletter about it well ahead of time. I had a parent come forward and say that her child got e-coli from an apple. So, we brainstormed and decided that her child would just mention her favorite apple without sampling any.
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I Am an Apple (Hello Science Reader Level 1)
Written by: Jean Marzollo
Illustrated by: Judith Moffatt
US Grades: Preschool- Grade 1
Lexile Measure: 120L
Nonfiction, Apples, Apple Tree, Apple Blossom, Apple Life Cycle
I Am an Apple is a fabulous introduction to facts about apples for young children. The collages of vibrant colored pictures give the images a real-life effect. On the first page, there are some language arts activities for the children to engage with the book.
Simple large words allow younger children to interact with this book. The book explores the basic life cycle of apples with a graphic depicting the life cycle on the last page.
During the book, it asks the question “What is made from apples?” (Answers might include: apple cider, apple juice, apple pie, bird feeder with hollowed out ½ an apple with bird seed inside…)
Awards/ Recognitions: Jean Marzollo has won many awards for her books .
Science& Literacy Lesson: This is a good opportunity to create a K (what the child knows) W (want to learn) L (Learned) chart.
Chart Paper with K/W/ L at the top. This can also be done on a white board/Smart Board… (Make sure you record the answers somewhere else if they can be erased.
Before reading the book, ask the students what they already know about apples, and fill in the K section. Next, ask the children what they want to learn about apples.
Finally, after reading the book ask the students what they learned about apples. Discuss and see if anything matches up, is different, and/or if the answers can be found later in another book
Ten Apples on Top
Written by: Dr. Seuss* (Writing as Theo LeSieg(Geisel spelled backwards) – Real name Theodor Geisel)
Illustrated by: Roy McKie
US Grades: Preschool- Grade 1
Lexile Measure: 200
Fiction, Lion, Tiger, Dog, Apples
Ten Apples on Top is a classic written by beloved author Dr. Suess. A tiger, lion, and dog try to balance multiple apples on their heads in this humorous story. With the rhyming rhythm, this book moves right along.
There are wonderful opportunities to do addition problems while the story goes on, and there are situations where students can engage in simple addition using 3 single digit numbers. (The cover is 4 + 5 + 1=10.) Let the students make the observations
Math& Literacy Lesson: Make a class book. Each child will contribute a page.
Student’s name has _______ apples on top. They will draw pictures of themselves. For young preschoolers, they can use apple stickers to put on top of their heads.
For Younger students, please try and work together with at least 1 other adult that helps the students. This can be a parent volunteer. Alternatively, this can be a small group activity center.
On the last page, the teacher and the students can count all the apples. The teacher will have drawn a picture of herself with all the apples counted up, and write Ms./Mr. _____’s children have __________apples. The cover and back cover will be laminated. All the pages will be bond together, and children will take turns taking the class book home to read and discuss with their families. Homework for younger students can be the family member signs off that they read the book together.
For older students, you can provide a blank line for them to fill in and draw a picture of themselves. They can be creative, and draw other fruit on top. Example, Christina has eleven watermelons on top. I would draw myself, and add eleven watermelons on top of my head. On the final page, The teacher will have drawn a picture of herself with all the fruit added together, and write Ms./Mr. _____’s students have __________pieces of different fruit on top. Homework can be creating 3 different addition word problems using different pages. For example, Ryan’s page has 15 blueberries + Eric’s page has 18 strawberries= Both boys have 33 pieces of fruit altogether. (1 word problem)
Big Red Apple (Hello Reader Level 1)
Written by: Tony Johnston
Illustrated by: Judith Hoffman Corwin
US Grades: Preschool-Grade 1
Lexile Measure: 110L
Fiction, Apple Tree, Apple, Worm, Bird
Big Red Apple is an adorable peek into the way animals and a child interact with an apple. Vivid pictures that look as though they were created with fabric and embroidery. Large and simple text provide a captivating reinforcement to an apple unit.
Awards/ Recognitions: Tony Johnston has won many awards for her books.
Literacy Activity: Make a Class book
Use process for the class book in the Ten Apples on Top example.
Have the children create pages where their favorite animals interact with an apple. The children will draw the pictures, and the adults will write down what the students explain what is on their pages. For example, Child’s name sees a dog playing fetch with an apple
Apples, Apples, Apples
Written & Art by: Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
US Grades: Preschool- Second Grade
Lexile Measure: AD 260L
Fiction, Apples, Types of Apples, Chart, Song, Recipe, Apple Printing Craft
Wallace created an adorable book through a collage technique with facts about apples. A rabbit family goes on an outing Long Hill Orchard farm to go apple picking. Later, they return home to continue the day filled with apple fun.
There they learn some educational facts about apples. The farmer shows a graph depicting the different types of apples and their characteristics. Apple, Apples, Apples also offers several bonuses. Children can delight by singing a song, engage in an apple printing craft, and work together with a trusted adult to create applesauce using the step by step recipe in the book.
Language Arts/Music: Song
Science: Make Apple Sauce
Art: Apple Printing
Written & Illustrated by: Gail Gibbons
US Grades: Kindergarten- Grade 3
Lexile Measure: 650
Nonfiction, Apples, History of Apples, Johnny Appleseed, Life Cycle of Apples, Parts of an Apple, Types of Apples, Food and drink from Apples, Recipes, Facts about Apples
Apples was masterfully written and illustrated by Gail Gibbons. I love this as a read-aloud because the physical size of the book is slightly larger than an average book. Gibbons weaves the history of apples with the science of the parts of the apple, and the life cycle of an apple. She also discussed the different types of apples with descriptions of how they look and taste.
Math Lesson: Graphing Favorite Apples
Chart paper divided into the different types of apples offered- with a picture of each different type of apple at the top (You choose the types of apples.)
Offer the students different types of apples to eat.
Maybe, 3 or 4 Make sure they are different (such as colors/tastes).
Label the different apples, and mention if they are sweet or tart on the labels.
Make sure the apples are cut into slices prior to the lesson.
Make sure each student has a plate, and there are extras.
Explain that each child will write her/his initials on a piece of paper (shaped like an apple-optional)
Each child will put hers/his initialed paper under the corresponding picture of his/her favorite apple.
Which column had the most/favorite? Least/Least favorite? Are there any ties/Same/equal?
Make observations together as a group.
Science: Using 5 senses
What do the apples look like?
Science: Can do the same activity of tasting the apples as mentioned above, but the teacher will not write sweet or tart.
Students can predict what the apples taste like.
Students can predict what the apples will taste like.
How many seeds they think the apple has.
Explain the life cycle of an apple.
Create a bird feeder by sticking bird seed to a semi hollowed out apple. (Pinterest with have picture on this Science Pre-K-5 Board.)
Observe birds eating the bird seed.
Predict how many days the feeder will last.
Why did some feeders last longer?
Create a daily journal with observations of their feeders.
Math: Create factions and word problems with the slices of apples.
Same with apple seeds
The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree
Written & Illustrated by: Gail Gibbons
US Grades: Preschool- Grade 3
Lexile Measure: 580
The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree is another inspiring nonfiction book about the life cycle of apples. This book also does a phenomenal job of describing the different seasons through illustrations and descriptions.
Younger children can predict what season it is based on the pictures. Allow them to explain why they think it is x season. Another wonderful addition to an apple unit!
Create an apple pie together using the recipe form the book. (Try this out at home first.) It is important to secure a kitchen area where this can be done. It is extremely helpful to have at least 1 extra adult to help-even with older students.
Go to a location that uses an apple press to watch cider being made. Talk about solids turning into liquids. If there is no location in your area, show a video of apple cider being made.
Sample apple cider
Sample apple sauce
Sample different apple juices, and discuss the different tastes.
Have older students journal different seasons by what they observe in nature
How Do Apples Grow? (Let’s Read and Find Out Science ® Level 2)
Written by: Betsy Maestro
Illustrated by: Giulio Maestro
US Grades: Grade 2- Grade 4
Lexile Measure: 550L
Nonfiction, Life Cycle of Apples, Stages of Apples, Pollination, Types of Apples
How Do Apples Grow? is a more in depth view of the life cycle of an apple including the process of pollination. This book focuses on the bloom part of the life cycle, and the specific parts of the pollination process. Soft, gentle illustrations compliment the message. I would recommend this for older students.
Science: Same activities can be used from above, but this lends itself to more detailed descriptions about life cycles and scientific observations.
Written & Illustrated by: Steven Kellogg
US Grades: Kindergarten-Grade 3
Lexile Measure: 920
Tall Tale, Folktale, Johnny Appleseed, Apples
Steven Kellogg does justice to John Chapman also known as Johnny Appleseed. He captures the essence of the Johnny Appleseed folk lore/tall tale. Kellogg’s entertaining illustrations depict Johnny as a benevolent man who walks across part of the United States spreading the word and seeds of apples everywhere.
This is a great book to read on Johnny Appleseed’s birthday on September 26th!
*Side note: this book does mention the death of his mother and brother. However, Kellogg explains on the next page that his father remarries, and John gets more siblings.
What Books and/or Activities do you do with Apples?