Apples, Apples, EVERYWHERE!

How many of y'all felt a little shift in the weather this past weekend?!  Us?!  Notsomuch.  My Facebook feed was full of friends in other cities and states talking about the gorgeous fall weather & pictures of pumpkin spice lattes, infinity scarves, boots, fires in the fireplace, and weather report screenshots reading temps between 50 & 70.  Lucky you.

I lie.  

While I'm looking forward to Fall and all the nostalgia and comfort it encompasses, I don't want the weather to change.  I'm a summer girl all the way.  Okay, okay.  I could do without the 90 degree temps.  But I'd love for it to stay above 75.  Please.  

With the change of seasons impending, I couldn't wait to recap some of my favorite apple themed activities for you today.  My kindergartner came home last week talking about the apple fun he had in class and couldn't wait to tell me how much he "kind of" loved his apple tart on Friday.  Bless.


One of my favorite things to do with ANY theme is to incorporate it wherever I can in the classroom.  The easiest places to incorporate a theme...IMO....are in literacy and math stations.  Here are a few little apple activities my kids engaged in during our apple themed fun.  We did these in both K & 1st.  You can grab them for FREE HERE.

 



I included this little packet of fun in the mix last year and my kids loved it.  I loved that I had so much to choose from, too!



Before beginning our apple themed fun, we always do our little KWL.  These are scary looking, but they get the job done :)


I also have my 1st graders complete this little response sheet and add it to their reading notebooks.  Click HERE or on the pic to download {free}.


We also love our labels.  It's about this time of the year when we've recently introduced the concept of labeling and we're trying to integrate this skill in as many areas as we can.  Labeling apples {or Johnny Appleseed} is always one of my favorite activities.  I don't know why.  I love the way they all turn out.  I cut out all the pieces of the apple and then show my kids how to assemble them on their own.  Then I leave the pieces in a station and have them assemble their own and then label.  



Making applesauce with my class is another seasonal favorite.  I love the way it makes my classroom smell and I absolutely LOVE the experience it gives my kids....many of whom never have or never will get to do this again.  They talk about this all year long!!!  Then I bring home the very few leftovers I have, heat it up, and serve it over ice cream....for myself.  Sorry boys, mommy can't stop eating!!!  No applesauce for you! {said in my best soup nazi voice}


I also give my kids the recipe to take home to their parents just in case they want to try and recreate the deliciousness at home.  A gesture I'm sure my parents are thanking me for {NOT} as they quietly usher it into the trash can ;)


An apple taste test is imperative!  Such a simple yet meaningful and fun activity to do with your kids!  I'm all about creating experiences for them that help them to make connections, compare & contrast, analyze, etc.  Anything involving some type of food will usually get the job done and this is usually the first of the year that we get to work with food in both math & literacy.

After our little taste test, we graph the results.  This is a great springboard for introducing pictographs and analyzing data....compare/contrast...more than/less than....how many more/fewer...you get the idea.

Those darn delicious yellow apples!  They "win" every time!!  My personal favorite?!  Honeycrisp!!!!!! {of course, it's also the most expensive....WHY?!?!?!?!}


When we graph, I'll give each of my kids a unifix cube that matches the color apple they liked best.  I have them help me create "graphing towers" with them for comparison purposes.    Since graphing can get a little messy, the towers help them to tell me how many more/fewer and we also use them to discuss various scenarios..."What if 3 more people liked green apples?!  How many people would like green apples then?!?", etc.


I like to display the class graph with their personal graphs {from Deanna Jump's Apple Unit} and a little apple craftivity.  



The craftivity, of course, matches the color apple they chose as their favorite.


Around this time of the year we're also learning about our 5 senses, so I take this opportunity to integrate that learning with apples.  I have my kids investigate apples using their 5 senses.  THey LOVE this!!!!  As they're investigating, I write their words on a big ol' anchor chart.  After we've gone through all 5 senses, we talk about how these words DESCRIBE apples.  This is a great springboard for introducing descriptive words {adjectives}.  



After creating our anchor chart, my kids draw their own apple, color it, and then write a little sentence using one of their descriptive words.  For first graders, you could have them write more than a sentence  ;)


          

The day after our descriptive writing activity, I like to follow up with a little five senses review.  I write all of the words we brainstormed on index cards and have the kids sort them into their matching categories.  They love this and it gives me the opportunity who's still riding the bus down struggle street with the concept of five senses.


Then we follow up with this little interactive printable...great for 1st graders to do independently and a good little activity to do with your Kindergartners in a whole/small group setting. I have them add these to their science notebooks.  You can download yours HERE {free} or click on the pic.


Speaking of science, check out these awesome apple experiments!!!!!



We also LOVE investigating apples in lots of different ways.  I give each of my kids an apple investigations booklet and we complete each page as a whole group.  This is one of their favorite activities through our unit of learning!  So engaging and fun!!!




You can grab your investigations booklets HERE.

Of course, anything art related is always fun and this has been a class favorite for the last 5 years.  Contact paper apple window clings!  Just cut out the apple shape and leave a cut out in the middle for your clear contact paper.  Place the apple cutout on top of the contact paper and then give your kids torn pieces of tissue paper {I use red, green, & yellow} and teach them how to fill the empty space in the middle of the apple by overlapping their tissue paper.  Once they're finished, cut around the outside of the apple {cutting off the excess contact paper} and then hang!  They turn out so pretty and the kids love it!  It's a great little fine motor activity and a good opportunity for building vocabulary and practicing listening :)


We always end our apple unit with a little culminating activity...another fun taste test. Can't you tell I love anything that involves food?!  This is what I brought in last year...


Sarah Cooley has the cutest little Apple Tasting Party packet that gave me the inspiration for this activity.



And then we graphed our favorite ways to eat/drink an apple...after tasting it all, of course.


You could get a lot more creative with that than I did.  I grabbed what was convenient for me. You could be way more ambitious and bake for your kids :)  Or you could just call it a day and treat yourself to Dairy Queen's new Apple Pie blizzard after it's all said and done.  Not that I've had that or anything...I'm just sayin' ;)

I display the graph with the their little ap'PALS' from my Apple Antics packet.



Is there anything I'm forgetting?!

I'd love to know what I'm missing and what I can add to my ever growing collection of apple themed fun!!!











Tutorial by Request

In yesterday's post, I added this little picture of an example of what my name cards look like that I add to my Word Wall and use for various name activities at the beginning of the year....

A few of you said you didn't know how to make that in Power Point and wanted to know how it was done, so I put together this little tutorial and I hope it helps you out!!!












I forgot to mention that I used KG PRIMARY PENMANSHIP as my font for these name cards.
I do hope this helps to clear up any questions you had about creating name cards in Power Point.  I've been using PP for the last 10 years because it's the easiest for me to use.  There are probably a million different ways to do this on a million different platforms, but this is what works for me :)