Making a renewed effort toward diligence in documenting what we do and the lessons plans I create, as well as the materials and resources I’ve found to be helpful.
My middle daughter is now three and so I’ll begin creating lesson plans for her using the same unit-based learning that has worked so well for us in the past. As my oldest now has a slightly more rigid routine she must follow for Kindergarten, my preschooler is left eager to learn as her big sister does. So, September is for apples!
Main title: 10 Apples Up on Top by Dr Seuss (writing as Theo LeSieg)
- Secrets of the Apple Tree, Carron Brown
- Apple Picking Day, Candice F. Ransom
- The Apple Pie Tree, Zoe Hall
- How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, Marjorie Priceman
- A Seed is Sleepy, Dianna Aston
This was an easy-flow day of lessons as everyone was enthusiastic and each little lesson was different and involved lots of movement. We started by reading our main title, followed by utilizing a simple paint stirrer and clothespins and the kids had way more fun with it than I anticipated. With our group of kids, I didn’t have a picture on the bottom, I simply drew a face.
Next, we had lots of fun with some stress-ball like “apples” I made with dollar store balloons and cornstarch. A tedious process with really fun results. The kids stacked them on their heads using an easy rhyme inspired by our book: “One apple up on top, one apple- we will not stop! Two apples up on top, two apples- don’t let them drop! Three apples, look at me! Three apples, one-two-three!” We balanced on other body parts, too: “one apple on my nose- one apple, here I go!” and on with toes, elbow, shoulder etc. We practiced tossing and toppling and passing like a hot potato. We probably could’ve played with these for another 20 minutes easily.
It was at this point we moved to the big table and broke out the apple-pie-scented playdoh I had made the day before. I followed a basic recipe, but doubled it and added almost a whole little jar of apple pie spice and more oil to make it smoother. I put out Measuring Worms and Attribute Apples to use as stamps in the dough and a few basic rollers and cutters. While the kids played, I brought out a real apple and we talked about our five senses. Using the apple as a prompt, we completed a Five Senses description sheet similar to this one from TeachersPayTeachers. I began to slice the apple as we all chatted and made sure to cut through to the core so the kids could see the seeds. We talked about the life cycle of an apple and I was pleased to discover everyone knew that apples grew on trees! Smart kids. As we chatted, I got the apple slicer set up and brought the apples we needed for our apple pie bites. We counted backward from ten, up to three, down from three and sliced each apple in turn.
After we cleaned up the playdoh and wiped the table in turns, I demonstrated how to spread cinnamon onto a crescent roll triangle and roll the apple slice within. They did great and needed minimal help, happily plopping their rolled bites onto the waiting cookie sheet. It took 4-ish rounds of rolling for my group of 5 to roll two canisters of apple pie bites (recipe here) and then we popped them in the oven and worked on name practice apple puzzles while we waited (I used craft sticks glued to apple slices, each slice bearing a letter, which lain side-by-side spelled the child’s name).
Snack was pretty awesome, but our science experiment was by far the most popular part of the day. Apple-canos were a huge hit! I cut the tops out of the apples and spooned a little baking soda into the core. We counted to ten, backwards and forwards, and then poured in vinegar and watched them erupt. It was SO FUN.
Since we were already outside, we moved to apple print painting- a classic apple art activity that-as expected- turned into finger painting. I simply cut apples in half, put daubs of primary-colored paint along the edges of a length of butcher paper I taped to the pavement and let them at it. It was the perfect way to wrap up our day!