“Fall”ing Apples

Fall has officially arrived, and now that we’re gearing up for cooler weather and a new crop of goodies, apples have become a hot topic. This compilation of apple activities and crafts comes direct from our T2T contributors.

Create an Apples of My Eye bulletin board. You will need: butcher paper, border, red and/or tagboard or butcher paper, letters, camera, and film. The title is “Apples of My Eye.” Find a pattern for apples. My apples were large enough so that one 4X6 photograph could fit inside. Attach these red and/or green apples to the bulletin board. Then on the first day of school take photographs of each student. Once these have been developed, place these pictures inside each apple. Also write their names on their apples. -Harriet S.

Take a small lunch bag and stuff it with newspaper. Tie a rubber band around the top of the bag leaving some bag at the top for a stem. Next, paint below the rubber band red for the apple and the top stem should be painted brown. After this dries, you can cut out and attach a green construction paper leaf. Looks great on a bulletin board or in a big basket for display! -Katrin N.

Fall into a Good Book bulletin board: have some construction paper leaves cut out, and parents and children could record the title of a book they’ve read which they thought was really great. Or you could have multitudes of titles available, and they could read the first chapter together for 15 minutes and them write a quick summary of what happened so far, and whether they would like to be able to finish the book. Sometimes to get parents reading with their kids, you just have to give them a little push in the right direction. Or do the same thing with some poetry – Fall into a Great Poem. Afterwards, parents could try to copy the style and write their own. A Taste of Fall – If you have apples nearby, you could do a fraction lesson, and then have some of that caramel dip which is for sale now in little containers. Heated up it is delicious. Your activity could finish with parents and kids dipping their apple slices. -Janice R.

We have a fall open house. On that night, I draw a big tree with colored chalk on my board and then cut out apples and tape them to the tree. On each apple I put supplies I would like for our classroom… reward stickers, jolly ranchers, zip lock bags, plastic spoons, cups, clothespins, post-its, etc…whatever I need/want… (Some things I write on three or four apples, like zip lock bags, because I use them frequently.) I then write next to the tree “Our Wishing Tree”. I then write something like “If you would like to donate any items for our classroom, please take an apple or two. You can send your donation to school with your child. THANK YOU!” I then make sure I keep a list of who donated what so I can write a thank you note. -Paula L.

Sort/classify apples: predict their taste, graph favorite tasting apple (I brought a juicer to school.) For science we observed the change in the juice as it went from green to brown. We wrote about our opinions (did we like it or not) and we’re making applesauce tomorrow. We’ll use measuring cups & spoons to add ingredients as we work in small groups. Students lie on the floor as we measure them using apples lined up next to them. I ask parents/students to brainstorm a list of the most unusual projects we could do with apples. From this we have had interesting projects- apple faces/apple dolls, making apple characters by sticking things into an apple, we’ve read Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg and talked about timelines. Each child dictated a sentence, my assisstant printed it , they handwrote and illustrated it. This became a timeline outside our room from 1774 on… We are also going to have a hall survey about their favorite apple food and use calculators to add the results. The children will work in groups to discover how to post the results. -Cris P.

The Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom has several excellent teaching units designed around an apple theme. These units teach across the curriculum:

Microwave Apple Butter
4 cooking apples, cored, & quartered
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves

Combine apples and cider in a 2-qt. glass bowl; cover. Microwave on high 6 minutes or until apples are soft, stirring twice during cooking. Place apples in blender and process until smotth; return apple mixture to glass bowl. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Microwave uncovered on high 10 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Keeps about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

Did you know?
All sorts of stories grew up around apples. For example, if a fellow tossed an apple to a girl, he was proposing to her. If she caught the apple, she accepted!

Pioneer children played apple games, such as “fortune telling,” with apple seeds. Every child in the game placed a single apple seed on each cheek. One seed was called home, the other travel. If the travel seed fell off first, the child would never travel anyplace. If the home seed fell off first, the child would get to go wandering around the world!

“When toys were scarce and apples were plentiful, children became quite imaginative. “Snap apple” was a game that the children played. A string was tied onto an apple stem, then attached to a doorway. The children would line up and try to bite into the swinging apple. This is a good game to try!!! It’s harder than it looks!” -Sandra R Kramer

For a great online apple resource, check out the Washington Apple Growers Association.