Happy Fall! In Texas it definitely does NOT feel like the season has changed but I have high hopes that sweatshirt and boot weather is fast approaching. While it might not feel like fall outside, we have had a blast celebrating apples and apple orchards inside the classroom this past week.
To begin our week, I rearranged a bit of our classroom to turn it into an apple orchard. To do this, I moved our dramatic play market place (from Bella Luna Toys) close to our sensory table and a few tables and shelves. I had found a really cool video that showed students behind the scene images of an orchard and I knew the apple washer and conveyor belt would capture the hearts of this group of students. Therefore, the sensory table became our apple washing station.
Our shelves were set up as an apple store complete with baskets for my students to use as shopping baskets.
I also set up a shop shelf with a cash register, money, a scale, baking tools, and apple pie play dough.
When my students arrived Monday morning, they were so very excited! We began our week reading Steven Kellogg’s Johnny Appleseed book. We also practiced labeling the parts of an apple. During our morning meeting we used my apple peeler to take off the skin of the apple and examined (and tasted) the flesh of an apple. This was a great way to start learning these new vocabulary words.
After the activity, we practiced labeling a large apple that I drew.
During guided reading we completed a quick craft that helped my students work on labeling and using “lips the fish” to read our new apple words.
During Exploration Centers, my students were so excited to play in our apple orchard and shop! They washed and dried apples.
Other students began painting our apple trees.
They went shopping for apples.
And many friends enjoyed “baking apple pies” to sell at our store.
The next day, my students dissected apples. To do this, I set up a science station. It included scales, science trays, petri dishes, tweezers, my apple peeler (with a cloth to catch the apple juice), apples, and our microscope.
My students peeled their apples,
examined each apple part,
and then used their tweezers to pick out all of the seeds in their apple.
After they found all of their seeds, they looked at each part of their apple under the microscope.
Boy did they LOVE this activity!
That same day, other students painted apples to add to our apple trees.
We also made apple juice using my juicer. Once again, it was a HUGE hit!! If you would like to see how we did that, you can read this blog post from a few years ago. (click here!)
Next week we will make applesauce, celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday, and complete a few other fun apple activities! I hope that you had a great week!