I mentioned in my Halloween post that our kindergarten classes enjoyed a fun apple-and-pumpkin field trip to Jaemor Farms. They had such a great time meeting the farmers and taste-testing some delicious apple goodies!

In the weeks before their field trip, we read a ton of great picture books about apples, and kindergarten students also participated in many different apple-themed learning activities in the library. By the time they visited Jaemor Farms, they knew all about apples!

First, to explore the life cycle of an apple tree through the seasons, we read The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall:

Apple Pie Tree
image from indiebound.org

This book is told in first-person from the perspective of a little girl who has an apple tree in her yard. She watches the tree change through the seasons–from bare branches in winter to leaves and blossoms in spring, from green and hard baby apples in summer to ripe, red apples in the fall.

Kindergarten had been working on using the 5Ws (who, what, where, when, and why) to identify key details in a story, so when we read The Apple Pie Tree, we kept our ears peeled for the answers to these questions:

Questions we answered: Who were the people in the story? What different things did we see on the tree?
Where did the story take place? When were the apples ready to pick? Why did we have to wait until fall to pick them?

Then, we practiced counting and sorting apples by size and color with this SMARTBoard activity, in which students dragged the red, ripe apples to the basket and left the green ones on the tree to ripen:

Students dragged the red apples to the basket and left the green ones on the tree to ripen.
As we gathered the apples, we also counted how many apples we picked!

Students enjoyed learning about the life cycle of the apple tree, sharing what they had learned, and (best of all) getting to pick and count all those (virtual) apples at the end of our lesson!

The following week, we practiced sequencing the events in a story using Marjorie Priceman’s How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World:

image from indiebound.org

After we read, students took turns coming to the SMARTBoard to put the events of the story in the correct order:

Students dragged each stage of the journey onto the blanks on the right side of the screen so that we could retell our story in order from beginning, to the middle, to the end.

(First grade also read this book and created maps using Google Forms, Spreadsheets and gadgets. Curious? Read about it here!)

For our third apple-themed week, kindergarten classes enjoyed a very special visit from Tobie Trudeau, one of our kindergarten moms who is also a fantastic teacher and bilingual storyteller.

Ms. Tobie’s visit involved lots of learning and lots of fun!

Once I introduced her to the kids (many of whom already knew her from summer Spanish camps), Ms. Tobie and I did a shared read-aloud of the book Ana cultiva manzanas by Monica Wellington, translated into Spanish by Eida del Risco:

image from indiebound.org

This fantastic book describes the life of Apple Farmer Annie, who grows apples, cooks with them, and then sells apples and other apple goodies at the farmer’s market. Tobie and I took turns reading each page: she read the Spanish text, and then I read the English.

As we read, Tobie also taught the students how to count to 10 in Spanish, how to say red (rojo), yellow (amarillo), and green (verde), and the words for Annie’s pet cat (gato), dog (perro), and rat (raton). She made this part super fun and interactive, with apples in each color for students to count and talking stuffed toys for each animal in the book.

After the story, students moved to the tables for a bilingual counting and sorting activity in which they were the apple farmers. Each student decided how many of each color apple they wanted, filled their color-coded baskets accordingly, and then counted how many apples they had at the end.

Students loved learning and using so many new Spanish words, and the character of Annie in the book connected perfectly to the apple farmers they met at Jaemor Farms the following week!

We finished our apple unit with Anne Rockwell’s Apples and Pumpkins:

image from indiebound.org

This book, about a little girl who visits an apple and pumpkin farm with her family, was the perfect way to finish our apple unit together and get kids ready for their own trip to the farm.

(You can read more about this last apple and pumpkin lesson together in the Halloween post.)

In the end, it was so fun experiencing so many different stories and activities related to apples with our kindergarten classes, and they were thrilled to show off their bags of apple and pumpkin treats after the field trip. 🙂