Information provided on this page is for classroom use only; not for publication. 2001







Added 9.7.08


Johnny Appleseed:  Click on the apple to visit the Johnny Appleseed page 



The Apple Pie Tree ~ Zoe Hall

The Apple Pie Tree Big Book ~ Zoe Hall

Apples ~ Curriculum Associates

Big Red Apple ~ Tony Johnston

How Do Apples Grow? with cassette ~ Betsy Maestro

Johnny Appleseed ~ Steven Kellog

Johnny Appleseed ~ Tamar Mays

Johnny Appleseed Goes a Planting ~ Patsy Jensen

Let's Visit an Apple Orchard! ~ Melissa Daly

Picking Apples and Pumpkins ~ A. and R. Hutchings


KWL Chart:  Starting a KWL Chart is a good way to begin this unit/theme.  KWL stands for:

K: what we Know

W: what we Want To Know

L: what we Learned


I made a permanent KWL chart for use in my classroom by turning a sheet of posterboard horizontally and dividing it into 3 vertical columns.  I labeled each column appropriately (Know/Want To Know/Learned) and then had it laminated.  So when we get ready to start a new unit/theme and I want to do a KWL chart with the class, I just pull out my pre-made chart.  Use a Vis-a-Via pen to add facts and when you're finished with it, just clean with a wipe and store. 


Students of all ages will be able to provide information on what they Know (K) about apples.  Simply ask them and record their responses in the first column.  Even the youngest students can probably tell you some simple facts about apples. 



apples are red

apples are round

they taste good

they're good for you


When you have sufficient evidence of their prior knowledge about apples, then ask them what they'd like to learn about apples that they don't already know.  You might get answers like these:


Want To Know

where do they come from?

why are they red?

can they be yellow?

how do you grow them?


So when you get into your apple unit, you will need to make sure that you introduce and cover the answers to these questions, going in-depth as much as is appropriate for your students. 


At the end of the unit you will complete the Learned portion of the chart.   Hopefully your students were able to get answers to  their questions and will give you that information to record in this section, along with the other information they learned.  So this section might look like this:



Apples grow on trees.

Apples are good for you.

They turn red when they're ready to eat.

Apples can also be yellow and green.

Apples grow from seeds planted in the ground.

The seeds turn into trees.

Johnny Appleseed planted apple trees.

His real name was John Chapman.


Your completed chart might look like this:



Want To Know


apples are red

apples are round

they taste good

they're good for you

where do they come from?

why are they red?

can they be yellow?

how do you grow them?


Apples grow on trees.

Apples are good for you.

They turn red when they're ready to eat.

Apples can also be yellow and green.

Apples grow from seeds planted in the ground.

The seeds turn into trees.

Johnny Appleseed planted apple trees.

His real name was John Chapman.

Red and juicy, shiny, sweet,
apple you're so good to eat.
Crisp and crunchy, healthy, too.
This core is all that's left of you!
Author Unknown

With this apple poem, I typed it up and put it on the bottom of the page. At the top, I added a half-page sized outline of an apple. The students tore tiny pieces of red construction paper to fill in the apple. Later I decided that it would have been "cuter/more appropriate" to have an apple with "bites" taken out of it.  The page is then put into their Poetry Journal.  For more info on Poetry Journals, visit the Literacy Connections page.  I moved the info there when I updated this page. 

Click on the  to go to the Literacy Connections page for more info on Poetry Journals..

Today, my girls did a Math activity with apples that I'd totally forgotten about. 
I had a page with 5 trees on it and a number 1 - 5 written on each tree trunk. They were to color the trees, then add the correct number of apples to each tree. Originally I'd planned for my students to draw the correct number of apples on the trees, but the first time that I did this, I found out that many children lose count when having to draw the apples. So the next time I used it, I tried letting them put the "apples" on with their fingertips dipped in red ink. Again, they got carried away with the "fingerprinting". Today, I used tiny apples made from red construction paper and a craft punch. This was easier for my students. So depending on where your students are at developmentally, you can take your pick of the types of apples that you want to use.

Another Math activity is to have a Button Tree. Draw a tree shape on a piece of construction paper, color it, and add the numbers 1 - 5 to the tree top. When drawing the tree top, keep in mind that it should be made of 5 distinct areas. Laminate. The students will add the appropriate number of red buttons (apples) to each section of the tree top to match the number.

Apple Sauce Snack
This was the first year I'd ever made homemade apple sauce. It is definitely worth the effort. Yum!! Even the kids gobbled it up!

Peel and core about 8 apples. If you want to involve your students, slice the apples and allow them to cut them into chunks using plastic knives. Place the apples, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon into a crock pot or slow cooker. Cook for at least a couple of hours or until apples are mushy. Cool and serve.

Apple Muffin Snack
Make apple muffins using a prepackaged oatmeal muffin mix. Add a cup of peeled and chopped apples and bake as usual.

Apple Smiles Snack
Wash red apples will but do not peel. Slice the apples, spread with peanut butter, then top with marshmallows. Top with another apple slice to make the "smile". The red part should resemble lips and the marshmallows the teeth.

Apple Taste Test and Graphing
Provide the students with tastes of different kinds of apples (Macintosh, Granny Smith, Rome, etc.) Discuss how they are similar/different. Graph each student's favorite. You can graph using real apples, apple die-cuts, a bar graph, etc.

Before cutting open an apple, have the students estimate how many seeds they think will be inside. Make a chart of each student's estimate so that you can discuss who got the closest, who guessed the most, the least, etc. Cut the apple in half horizontally so that the students can observe the star inside. Count the seeds and compare it to the estimates on the chart. Cut open another apple of the same variety to see if it contains the same number of seeds, then cut open another apple of a different variety to see how many seeds it contains.

The story The Little Red House With No Doors and No Windows and a Star Inside

Collect the apple seeds from your different apple projects and you can use those for a math activity. Cut out apples using the Ellison die-cut. Using white paper, cut out an "inside" for the apples and glue it to the die-cuts. Program the apples with numbers 1 - 10; laminate. Have the students count out the correct number of apple seeds to match the number.

You can make another Math activity similar to the one above without the use of the apple seeds. Cut out red apples and white apple insides. Glue the "insides" to the red apples and program them with "seeds" using a black sharpie marker. Program more red apples with the numbers to match the seeds. Laminate all. The students will count the seeds on each apple and match it to the apple with the correct number. 

Program red apple die-cuts with capital letters and program yellow or green apple die-cuts with lowercase letters. The students will match the capital to lowercase letters. You can mount these onto a piece of posterboard for a gameboard, or leave them loose and store in a ziploc bag. If you leave them loose, the students can also use them to sequence the letters.

You can make lots of different kinds of matching games using two colors of apple die-cuts. Students can match rhyming words, make compound words, match addition/subtraction facts to the answers, match dots on the apples to the correct number, match beginning sounds with pictures, etc. And remember, if you don't have an Ellison machine to make the die-cuts, you can always use apple shaped notepad pages. If you want them a little stiffer, then you can mount the pages onto construction paper or cardstock and laminate.

Seasons of the Apple Tree
This activity is one of the cutest activities that I've done with my students, and also one of the most involved. It's also a wonderful non-paper/pencil activity to teach about the seasons. Be forewarned though, it was difficult for some of my students (SPED 1st/2nd) and is very time consuming. But, the finished product was worth all the time and effort.

Provide each student with a white/light blue sheet of construction paper with 4 bare tree trunks on it. (I also had each tree labeled Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall. We did this activity in conjunction with the book The Apple Pie Tree, therefore I had my page start with the summer tree.) Make sure to leave enough room between them to add the tree tops. Have the students color the tree trunks brown.

Then provide them with about 1 inch square pieces of tissue paper to form the tops of the trees. For the summer tree they should have green paper; for the fall tree they should have brown, orange, yellow, red, and green; for the winter only 5 or 6 pieces of brown or none at all; for spring green and pink. They should also be provided with tiny red apples for their summer tree. These can be made with a craft punch.

To form the tree tops, they will twist a piece of the tissue paper around the unsharpened end of a pencil, dip it into glue, and then stick it onto the tree. (Milk tops work well for holding the glue and are shallow enough for dipping.) Make sure that the tissue is close enough together that a full tree top is made. After finishing the summer tree, the students will add the apples to the tree, falling from the tree, and underneath the tree. The fall tree will also have some leaves falling from the tree and underneath it. The spring tree will have some pink tissue mixed in with the green for the apple blossoms (they're pink, not white as I thought:) )

See picture below ....


*this is Josh's apple trees (a second grader)

Organization Tip: Pre-cut the tissue and place in ziploc bags. Have students work on only one tree at a time and have them work in different areas to keep tissue paper separated.

Since this activity can be hard for younger students with less defined fine motor skills, instead of twisting the paper around the pencil, you might want them to just twist the paper up and glue it onto the tree.

Apple Math Activity: You can make a math activity by buying precut trees, cutting some with the Ellison die-cut, or buying a tree notepad. Program each tree with a number (0-10 or 0-20) and then laminate. Provide the students with mini apple erasers or mini apples cut using the Ellison die-cut and laminated. The students will put the correct number of apples on each tree to match the number.

Even More Apples Emergent Book
To make this book, use the same directions as given before for the book Lots of Apples. This book will focus on numbers or number words. For a book on numbers, the text will read:
I see 1 apple.
I see 7 apples.
etc. .....
You can have the pages in order beginning with one, or mix them up. The students will glue that many mini apples on the page. The same thing would be done for a number words book, except the text would read:
I see one apple.
I see seven apples.
etc. ....

Eat an apple,
Save the core.
Plant the seeds,
And grow some more.
Author Unknown

You could use this poem in a pocketchart and have students match picture cards to each sentence. You could also make two sets of sentence strips with this poem on them (each set on a different color sentence strip or written with a different color marker) and cut apart all the words in one set. The students will then match the word cards to the appropriate word on the sentence strips. This last activity would also be done in the pocketchart as well. The two sets of colors helps the students to see what words have/have not been covered. You can also use two alternating color sentence strips when writing the poem. That would make finding the words even easier for your students that needed that extra help. For instance, if you used yellow and green strips and wrote "Eat an apple." on yellow, the students would know that only words written on yellow would go on that line.

How many apples do you see?
Can you count them?
1, 2, 3.

How many green ones?
How many red?
Now eat an apple and go to bed!

*my first graders LOVED this poem! :)


10/07 Since my first graders loved this poem so much years ago, I decided it was perfect to use with my Ks this year!  And they loved it, too!  I created this activity to go with the poem.  The tree trunk is an Ellison cut-out.  I drew off a tree top for them to cut out and glue on top and then they counted out 3 apples to add to their tree.  Adding the question was an afterthought.  :)  Next time I'll preprint the page. 



click on image to enlarge

Lots of Apples Emergent Reader
Have each student make their own book for reading by providing them with half sheet pages (cut horizontally) on which you've photocopied:
pg. 1) a green apple
pg. 2) a red apple
etc., until you've covered all the colors. Each student should also be provided a front and back cover made from half sheets of construction paper. They read the sentence on the page (or this can done as a group) and glue the appropriate color mini apple Ellison die-cut on the page. This is an excellent book to use for practice reading of the color words.


Apple Annie: Visit the Literacy Connections page to see the picture for our Apple Annie Song Chart. Click on the  to go to the Literacy Connections page.


Apple Graphs:  Have each student bring in an apple, encouraging them to look for apples other than just red apples.  Graph the apples by color.  Then you can also graph the apples by type:  Granny Smith (green), Golden Delicious (yellow), Rome (small red), and then the large red one (Red Delicious).


Non-standard Measurement:  Use the apples from the graphing activity above to measure the length of objects in and out of your classroom.  For instance, how many apples wide is the table, a piece of paper, etc.?   How many apples long is a pencil, a ruler, etc. ?  Then use string to measure how big each apple is.  Chart the largest apple, smallest, tallest, etc. 


Standard Measurement and Estimation:  If appropriate, have students use standard measurement (a ruler) to measure the string that they used to measure their apple.  However, before having them do this, let them estimate how big/tall they think their apple is.   Chart and discuss the results of each activity.


Sequencing: Use apple die-cuts and program with numbers, ABCs, 2s, 5s, or 10s for students to sequence in a pocketchart or on a table or floor.


Alphabetizing: Program apple die-cuts with words for students to alphabetize in a pocketchart.  If you'd rather them alphabetize them on a magnetic surface, add a small piece of magnetic tape to the back of each apple.  If you use different colors of apples, you can include more than one group of words for them to alphabetize.  For instance, program red apples with one group of words, green apples with another group of words, etc.  Then the students will put the red apples in alphabetic order, then the green apples in alphabetic order, etc.


Add the Missing Answer:  In each row of a pocketchart place red apple die-cuts that have been programmed with a skill that needs to be practiced, for instance ABCs, numbers, skip counting, etc.  Leave spaces for students to add in missing information.  The student will be provided with green apples that have the missing information programmed on them.  They must decide where each apple belongs and correctly place it in the sequence.  For ex.  1 (red apple), 2 (red apple), ____, 4 (red apple)  The student must place the green apple with the 3 programmed on it to correctly complete the sequence.


Patterning:  Use colored apple die-cuts in the pocketchart for students to copy, extend, or create patterns.  Beginning students will need to correctly copy the pattern.  Place a pattern in the top row of the pocketchart.  Leave the next row for the student to copy the pattern using their own apple die-cuts.  Continue doing this down the pocketchart.  You'll be able to get 5 patterns on the chart for the students to copy.


Once the students are proficient in copying patterns, they can extend patterns.  Provide a pattern in each row of the pocketchart  for the students to complete using their own apple die-cuts.


Have students create their own patterns.  This can be either by having them simply create whatever pattern they wish, or you get give them cards programmed with AB, or ABC, etc. to tell them what type of pattern you'd like for them to create.  3x5 index cards cut in half work well for this.  Have the students insert the card into the row, then build the pattern using die-cut apples according to what's on the card. 


Apple Prints:  Cut several apples in half, some horizontally and some vertically.  Wipe excess moisture from cut sides of apple by pressing onto paper towels.  Provide students with a shallow pan of tempra paint and appropriate sized paper.  Have them dip the apple into the paint and press onto the paper to make apple prints. 


Note:  I've always found this activity frustrating.  There has to be some way to make it easier to pick up the apple halves that have been cut vertically.  Once you put them into the paint, they suction themselves there and are too slippery to grab.  I've even tried using corn on the cob "handles" with little difference.  Hmmm ... I've never tried stabbing them with a fork!  Wonder if that would work better?  Anyone with suggestions, please e-mail me and let me know! :)


7/20/03 ---> Katy to the rescue! :)  Katy emailed me with this suggestion for getting a grip on my frustrations AND holding on to the apple.  Thanks Katy for the solution.  I'm definitely going to give it a try.


<<I have done apple prints in the past and this works:  after cutting the apple in half vertically, I cut two little grooves (with a very small but sharp knife) into the side with the peel - one groove towards the top and another groove towards the bottom.  I hope I am explaining this clearly!  Their little fingers fit into the grooves perfectly and they are able to pick the apple up no problem!>>


Thematic Word Wall:  Turn an Apple Tree Pocketchart into a thematic Word Wall.  Program purchased apple cut-outs or die-cut apples with thematic vocabulary words.  Place these into your Apple Tree pocketchart and you have an instant thematic Word Wall.  If your apples are large enough, you can even add a picture to each apple to match the vocabulary word.  Make a second set of apples using a smaller apple pattern and leave off the picture.  Now the students can match the pictureless apple to the apple with the matching word. 


Students will be able to use these words in writing and the pocketchart makes the words portable enough that they can carry the word to their seat to copy it, then simply return it to the chart.


Addition & Subtraction:  Older students need to be able to copy problems from one place to their own paper to be able to work it.  (This has to be done when taking the 2nd grade MCT)  To provide practice in this, program die-cut apples with numbered two and three digit addition and subtraction problems.  Have students copy them onto their pre-numbered response sheets and work them.  You can provide a self-checking sheet for them if you'd like.  This same activity can be used with word problems as well.   The apples can be stored either in an empty video cassette case, a pencil box, or a basket.


Color Words printable:  Apple Sheet


Torn Paper Art: Fill in an apple shape with torn red paper. Or if you want to make it more difficult, have students do the outer rim red, the inside white, then add for 5 black seeds and a green stem.


Mary, at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, suggested using the backside of a small paper plate to give the apple a pre-cut shape and some 3D definition.  Thanks for sharing your idea, Mary. :)



The Mailbox Kindergarten Aug/Sept 2003

Fall Fantasies (Good Apple)



“I Couldn't Have Picked A Better Bunch!” Bulletin Board: This is my Back to School board for 2003/2004.  Bit and pieces of this bulletin board idea were shared on the web and I took the parts I liked and put them together.  I thought the bulletin board turned out very cute.  And if it hadn't for been having to weave the basket, this would have been a very simple bulletin board to do.  I didn't even draw off the tree, I just started cutting.  The apples were cut using the Ellison.  Each apple of the tree has one of the words for the title.  The students' names are on the apples in the basket.  I wrinkled the paper for a textured look, and loosely stapled all the tree parts.  I stuffed a little of the left over paper behind the top for more definition.  The "hay" in the basket is a little raffia that I had on top of extra paper for stuffing.


click on image to enlarge


Odd/Even: Sort apples labeled with two digit numbers onto EVEN & ODD apple trees.  Draw two trees on the board and label apple cut-outs with magnetic tape attached to the back.  You could also project the two apple trees on the board using the overhead and a transparency.  Round red magnets could be used as apples as well.  Given students an apple and let them add them to the correct tree.


Aaaaaaapple Sorting Mat: Download this /a/ sorting mat, print on cardstock and laminate.   Have students sort pictures that begin with the /a/ sound onto the mat.  If needed, beginning sounds cards can be found on the Literacy Connections page (they go with Mr. Munchy Mouth!).


/a/ Sorting Mat


Letter A Discrimination:  Give students a pile of magnetic letters and let them sort the Aa's onto the apple mat above.  The next time to change it up, give them a pile of those plastic letter tiles from WalMart.  (For young children, you might want to line up a few letters for them to choose from to help with letter discrimination and directionality.)  Then if appropriate, follow up with these paper/pencil activities that cover writing their name, /a/ sound, position word "below", letter discrimination of letter Aa, color identification, writing Aa, and following directions!


Letter A printable 1


Letter A printable 2


Letter A printable 3

(Because everyone uses different kinds of fonts in their classroom, I chose not to add Aa to the printing line on this page.  I would suggest that you add them by hand using a fine-tipped Sharpie marker before copying for your class.)


Awesome Apples! Bulletin Board:  This year due to a revamping of schedules, I also revamped my classroom.  One of the things I revamped was my Word Wall.  Because I no longer have a Resource class, I took down my huge Word Wall which was being used very little.  Now I have a much smaller Word Wall that I'll use for introducing sight words to my K students.  These words are the first 10 that are introduced ( I didn't have "a" and "of" already printed and I can't find my template for doing the words :( ).  Anyway, I needed something else to go on the bottom of the board, so I came up with the idea of the apple basket since I seem to have a apple theme going throughout the classroom.  I found a coloring sheet on the 'net of an apple basket, enlarged it on the copier, made a transparency, and then using the overhead projector traced it off on a sheet of posterboard and outlined it with a brown Sharpie.  Then I used brown and black tempra paint to paint it.  I filled in some of the details with a black crayon after it was dry.  Then I cut the top of the basket so that I could insert the apples with the children's names and added the sprigs of raffia .  I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  Any additions can be added around the basket!


If you wanted to extend this into a more traditional bulletin board, you could put the basket under an apple tree like the one in the photo above and even change the title to "The Apple of My Eye".


click on image to enlarge


Apple Calendar Numbers and Headers: I realized this year when putting up my pocketchart calendar that my apple numbers did not match my August header.  Gasp!!! :)  So I used the apple graphics that my sister just created in her Fun School Set to create August and September calendar pieces.  Print on cardstock and laminate and you will have some great calendar pieces.


 August Calendar Header


September Calendar Header


Calendar Numbers


Counting Apples book: My Ks this year do not have one-to-one correspondence for counting past about 1 or 2, so I created this apple counting book.  We'll do one page per day and they'll glue in the appropriate number and color of Ellison mini cut-out apples on each page.  Then on the last page they'll dictate their favorite color apple and color the apple that color.  We'll practice reading our book and counting the apples.  It will not only help them to learn one-to-one correspondence in counting, but in reading text as well and they might even pick up some of their color words to boot!  (The downloadable book prints out two books at once.  Staple on the left hand side, then cut across the middle and you'll have two books at once!)


Counting Apples book


Apple Numbers:  I made these numbers to use in my pocketchart as a number line for my Ks who are still struggling with numbers 1-5.  I'm only going to use 1-10, but I made 1-20 in case I wanted to use the cards later for sequencing. 


Apple Numbers


Letter A Counting:  Because I try and incorporate skills across the curriculum, I created these sheets that tie in both language arts and math.


Counting 0-5 pg 1


Counting 0-5 pg 2


Apple Windsock:  Incorporate lots of skills making these windsocks ... writing Letter Aa, practicing the /a/ sound, counting to 5, and ABC patterning!  Have students choose 5 apples from 3 different color apple cutouts (bright green, yellow, and red) and glue them onto a green sheet of construction paper.  (I modeled and put the model onto the board for my Ks)  Have them practice counting the apples, and then write a lowercase and capital A onto two of the apples with a pencil. (more modeling needed)  Then trace over it with a black crayon.  Or they can trace pre-written letters.  When all is dry, have them glue on matching ribbon or crepe paper streamers in an ABC pattern.  (They really do catch on quickly with some one-on-one assistance!)  *Note: The ribbon is a stinker to work with until it dries!  Once everything is dry, go back with glue or stapler (or both) and fix any "pop ups" and then staple the ends of the windsock together by creating a cylinder with the sheet of green paper.  Last, add a hanger with a loop of ribbon or yarn stapled to the cylinder.


click on image to enlarge


Aa Poem: This is another poem that I did with my kids and they loved it ... simply because of the way we read it.  When we got to the part about the pants, we pointed to the seat of our pants/hips.  They thought that was sooooo funny! :) 


click on image to enlarge


Aa is for Apple Literature Pocket:  Now that we're finished with our apple unit, I want to send home all our books, poems, etc. in a literature pocket.  So I created this printable to go on the front of the pocket that I'm going to make for each student out of large size construction paper.  You can see the lit pocket for Little Miss Muffet here.


Literature Pocket printable


Apple Song: This is not really that creative, but I like the Bingo song because it gives you a chance to work on letter identification with your students if you pair the song with a song chart.



(tune: Bingo)


There is a fruit that grows on a tree,

And apple is its name oh.

A-P-P-L-E, A-P-P-L-E, A-P-P-L-E

And apple is its name oh.

 ~ Cindy Montgomery


Apple Tree Pocketchart Word Cards: I have an apple tree pocketchart that in the past I've used for discipline.  But since I've started doing inclusion and don't really have "classes" in my room any more, I haven't used it for that in a couple of years.  This summer I came up with the idea of using it for Spelling Words, so I created these apple word cards.  I printed 20 cards on cardstock and I'm going to have them laminated.  I'll cut them apart and write a spelling word on each card and place it in my apple tree pocketchart.  This will be where the words will be displayed for the week for the children to use in their spelling assignments as well as for us to review daily.  Each week I can just erase the words and change them.  That will free up my whiteboard space as well as make use of the apple tree pocketchart.  I'll try to remember to post a picture of the pocketchart with the cards when I get them ready.  If you want to see the pocketchart, there's a photo of it here


Apple Tree Pocketchart Word Cards


**Of course the word cards above could be used for many other things as well ... nametags, sight word cards, Word Wall cards, etc.


Apples Yuck! and Apples Yum! emergent reader: Have students trace the color word using the appropriate color, or their pencil, which ever you choose ... then glue on the appropriate color die-cut apple to each page.  Or, they could draw their apples and color them.


Apples Yuck! and Apples Yum! emergent reader


Apple Seed Counting Pages:  Have students color the leaf and around the edges of the apple to depict the skin and leave the inside white.  Then they use a black crayon to add the appropriate number of seeds to match the number.


Apple Seed Counting page 1-4 sequential


Apple Seed Counting page 1-4


Apple Seed Counting page 5 - 10


Apple Seed Counting page 11- 15


Apple Seed Counting page 16 - 20







Apple Unit Study


Apple Links

A to Z Lesson Plans - Apple Exploration

A to Z Lesson Plans - Apples and Johnny Appleseed

Apples and Johnny Appleseed Crafts and Coloring 


Apples and Johnny Appleseed websites

Apple Exploration


Kid n' Kaboodle Daycare - Apple Theme










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