One of the things that I love most about the fall is the apples! I tried my hand this week at teaching thematically with those yummy things. I am in my third year of teaching and I have a personal goal to try out new things and see what makes me the best teacher for my sweet students. Although I have a pretty rigid set of standards to be taught each week I tied in those lovely apples wherever I could. My kids absolutely loved it and I have to admit that I had more fun too! Here is a boatload of pictures of some of the things that we did this week!
We read a lot of good apple literature. I got all of these from Scholastic for cheap and my kids ate them up! I am always surprised by how much first graders love non-fiction texts.
We completed a KWL chart together. My kids were so excited to share what they already knew about apples and I was quite impressed with it! At the end of the week we filled in the “Learned” section.
I introduced the concept of an adjective and we wrote down all of the descriptive words that we could think of when it comes to apples!
We then began investigating apples. We chopped apples in half and observed and labeled the different parts of an apple.
This labeling page is from my All About Apples packet, here.
We made a class diagram (sorry, no picture!) of a labeled apple and I had my kids do this cute labeling activity from Jodi Southard’s A Bushel of Apples packet. They loved this!
On Thursday it was Johnny Appleseed’s birthday and we watched this adorable video from my childhood.
We then made applesauce! I confess I was extremely nervous about this because, well, I’ve never made applesauce in my life and something could go horribly wrong. Right? Well, it turns out it is super easy and super delicious and the kids were so excited I thought they would die!
All you need is some brown sugar, cinnamon, water, apples (I had each student bring one to school), and a crockpot! The applesauce tasted so good my kids wanted the recipe to take home. At the bottom of this post there is a freebie with my recipe included! For my amount of kids (27), I doubled the recipe and used a large crock pot.
While the applesauce was cooking away we did a little sequencing activity to reinforce the concepts of first, next, then, and last. I saw this idea on First Grade Fanatics and it was perfect! I really feel like they got it and I know this knowledge will be useful to them as we learn more about text features.
At the end of the day the applesauce looked (and smelled) delicious!
We mashed it up, dished it out, and I was pretty sure we all were in apple heaven. It was so delicious.
And as if we hadn’t had enough apples…we also did an apple taste test. In the morning we looked at all of the apples that were brought in and selected a few special green, red, and yellow ones for our taste test. The rest went into the applesauce!
We were amazed at how different and distinct the apples tasted!
I had each student take a die cut apple after they decided which was their favorite and they stuck it up on our whiteboard graph to see the results of our taste test. We were a little bit surprised!
We then charted the results on our own little graphs and answered a few questions. You can grab this page (and the recipe above) as a freebie right here.
All in all, it was a delicious week! I love teaching with a theme and can’t wait to try it out again soon! Pumpkins, anyone?