Friday, September 25, 2015

An Apple a Day

It's here! Today is apple day! Teaching all about apples and Johnny Appleseeds is one of my favorite themes all year. Since Johnny's Birthday is on a Saturday this year, we had an apple extravaganza the Friday before. {Today!}

When I started planning apple day, I had this great idea that I was going to have parent volunteers come in and we would do several activities as small group rotations. Well, you know what they say, even the best laid plans....

I was only able to get one parent volunteer, so I had her pull kids one at a time for our messiest activity. We did all the other activities whole group. I was determined that we weren't going to miss out on any fun due to a lack of volunteers. 

I sent home a note prior stating that I was looking for volunteers, as well as asking for apple donations in the three colors. As my kids came in Friday morning they sorted their apple by color. 

We started our day with a short video about Johnny Appleseed (thanks Disney!) followed by a short read aloud. Since we had not previously talked about Johnny this was when I introduced him, as well as the concept of a tall tale. 

Then we spent our morning doing Apple centric things. I had my parent volunteer pull the kids over one at a time for apple stamping. I've learned this works best if the kids use a paint brush to lightly brush on the paint. Dipping the apple in the paint usually results in too much paint and then they can't see the star on their stamps. You have to cut the apple evenly in half horizontally to see the stars, in case you haven't done this before! 

While the kids were doing their stamping with our volunteer we did several things whole group. First, we tasted a slice each of red, green, and yellow. Then we decided our favorite and colored an apple to add to our graph. I forgot of course, to take a picture of our finished graph, but I'll grab one on Monday and edit this post. 

Then we made Johnny Appleseed hats. The kids printed their names and then glued them on along with die cut apples. 

Last, we made Johnny Appleseed sight word books. On each page the kids had to cut out the letters and glue them in the correct order to form the word "has." Then we practiced one to one correspondence and reading each page. This is one of the awesome cut and paste sight word books from KinderCraze. 

Now, had I had more volunteers, all three of these activities would have been done in small group rotations along with the painting. But it worked out just fine whole group! 

After lunch we had a labeling lesson in which we labelled an apple whole group, and then each student labelled an apple of their own. Then we turned the labeling sheets into an adorable Johnny Appleseed craft I got from Kindergarten Smiles apple pack. 

Both our crafts and our whole group labelled apple look great hanging in our windows, along with the stained glass apples we made earlier in the year! 

After recess and snack we spent math analyzing our graph. We looked at how many kids preferred each kind of apple and then made tallies to represent each group before making our own graphs. This too I'll try to grab a picture of on Monday. 

The kids absolutely loved apple day, and I absolutely love to see them excited about learning! 

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