Happy birthday, Johnny Appleseed!
I know it’s not a day that most people observe, but for me, it falls at the perfect time for a “break” in normal curriculum. Every month or so we plan a themed week to give ourselves a breath from the normal routine. Since September doesn’t have a regularly-celebrated holiday like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, etc, we chose Apple Week in honor of Johnny Appleseed’s birthday. Plus, who doesn’t love the shocker of discovering the history of the real man behind this tall tale?
I hunted around TPT for some new inspiration. Below are some ways we celebrate this week, in addition to links to some great freebies I found on TPT.
Language Activities: I’m loving the activities in THIS free Johnny Appleseed mini unit. We used the reading passage and comprehension questions as a general introduction to Johnny Appleseed. Then we did a class brainstorm of all the facts we’ve learned about JA. Students then wrote about him. We made the below craft to display our final paragraphs. (Note, we just free-drew the face, hands, feet and saucer hat onto construction paper, cut it out and glued it all together.)
Small Group: I pulled all the Johnny Appleseed readers I could find, as well as books on plant lifecycles and seeds. I’m having my students read these during small group and partner reading this week.
Math Activities: We’re finishing up a unit on addition with regrouping. I found THIS apple QR code activity and THIS addition with regrouping activity to complete during math time. Both could be used as independent, partner or small group activities. They could also be used for early finishers or centers.
Science: One fun thing we’ve done in the past is an apple tasting day. We would get different “apple” foods and have a class taste test. Click HERE for a freebie of some apple recipes you can make in class. You can then record information about the tasting: what you enjoyed best and why; what different flavors you tasted in each item (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami); graph what each child liked best; how-to writing for apple recipes kids come up with on their own. Click HERE for a freebie that has a recording chart for an apple taste test. You can also bring sticks, apples, caramel and a variety of toppings (sprinkles, nuts, M&Ms, etc) to have kids make their own caramel apples.
It’s a really fun week, and these activities have helped us change things up a bit. Enjoy!