By Aimee Currier
Apple pie, applesauce, apple juice, apple cider, apple jelly… what’s your favorite way to eat an apple? With Fall upon us and the air crisp and cool, we begin to see apples everywhere. October 21st is National Apple Day, a great day to celebrate these healthy fruits with the children in your class. Before (or even while) digging into a few apple slices, try using apples to teach across the curriculum.
- Cut open the apple and take the seeds out. Ask the children to count the seeds. Does each apple have the same amount of seeds? If you cut the apple across the middle, you’ll be able to show the children that there is a star inside. Ask “What shape do you see?”
- Create a graph indicating apple preferences. Before eating, use their past experiences with apples to graph favorite apples by colors. After sampling a few different types and talking about what kinds of apples they are, create a new graph. Have their preferences changed?
- Graph the children’s favorite ways to eat apples.
- Sort apples by size or color, then create a pattern.
- Discuss how apples grow on trees, starting as flowers. Show the children the bottom of the apple, where the last bits of the flower remain.
- Ask the children if they think the apples will sink or float. Use the water table to check their predictions. (If they don’t float, they are likely rotten.)
- Plant the apple seeds and see if a tree sprouts (this will also teach a little patience)!
- Make homemade applesauce with the children. Discuss the change in texture as the apples cook. Encourage the children to describe the experience using their senses.
- Tell the story of “Johnny Appleseed.”
- Take a field trip to an apple orchard.
Music and movement:
- Sing some songs about apples. Click here for some songs for preschoolers.
Language and literacy:
- Similar to the graphing activities, create language charts asking questions such as “What is your favorite kind of apple?” or “What is your favorite way to eat an apple?”
- Read stories about apples. Check out this page for some ideas.
- While tasting different types of apples ask questions such as “What does it look like?” and “How does it feel?”