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September 8, 2017

Let's Find Out About Apples

By Brian Smith
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    Apples are a staple of elementary school. Apple poetry, apple art, and apple graphs have been in my classroom forever. One year, I tried to switch it up and do a grape unit that would hit all of the standards that I introduce with my apple unit. I ended up struggling: finding books about grapes, creating grape activities, etc. was laborious and time-consuming. After several weeks, I decided it wasn't the fruit that needed to be changed, it was my approach.

    Now, I’m in a committed relationship with my apple unit. Each year I add a few new apple books to my shelf and create new activities to keep things fresh. When I saw that my September issue of Let's Find Out included a focus on apples in the REBUS Reader section, I did a happy dance knowing I didn’t have to invest much time updating my lesson plans. The great thing about my Let's Find Out subscription is that it not only comes with my students' magazines, but also includes a teacher pack with different activities that support the magazine content.

    The teacher plans for September featured a simple, fun apple activity. It required very few materials and my kids absolutely loved it.

     

    Apple Activity

    Before the activity begins, cut the apples into pieces. There should be one piece for each student.

     

    Pre-cut triangles out of cardstock and count out toothpicks, again, one per student.

    Now it’s time to start.

    • Step one: Pass out one piece of apple, one toothpick, and one cardstock triangle.
    • Step two: Fill a container with water for each group of students (typically four to five students in a group depending on the size of the water container).
    • Step three: Ask the students to use the three supplies they have to create a boat. To do this they will take the toothpick and poke it through the card stock twice so that it forms a sail.

    Some of my students found it difficult to get the toothpick through the card stock so be prepared to travel around the room and assist as needed.

    • Step four: Stick the sail into their piece of apple.

    Pro Tip: I had a sample completed before I gave the supplies to the students. I didn’t show my sample until I gave the directions. This was to scaffold the instruction so that I could see who responded to verbal and who needed a visual.

    • Step five: Have the students predict whether their boat will float or sink. You can make this portion of the activity as in-depth or quick as you desire. You can create a graph showing the students who think that the boats will float and those who think they won’t. You could also just as easily ask them to raise their hands and do a quick headcount. The main thing is to have them hypothesize the outcome.
    • Step six: Distribute the water containers to each group.
    • Step seven: Ask the students to place their boats in the water.

    Pro Tip: When cutting the apple (before you begin), go a little larger with your apple pieces. Smaller pieces turn to flip over from the weight of the toothpick and card stock. This confused several students who thought this meant that their apple boat had sunk, when it actually did float!

    • Step eight: Check back to your students’ hypotheses. Compare and talk about how the apple slice is made up of 25 percent air and therefore it is less dense than the water that it is displacing. Be as technical as you wish but I have found that talking about the air inside the apple makes the most sense to my young ones.
    • Step nine: Hold up a whole apple and ask students to hypothesize whether the apple will sink or float. Again, collect data in any manner that you find appropriate for the amount of time that you have for this activity.
    • Step ten: Place the apple in the water and then discuss how the apple floats for all the same reasons that their apple boats were able to float.

    You can try Let’s Find Out print and online magazine FREE for 30 days by clicking here.

    Apple Books

    The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas

    I always love to get out my copy of How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? during my pumpkin unit. Now I have another wonderful adventure with Mr. Tiffin to bring to the front of the class, which is where this book belongs. Make sure not to overlook that word riddle in the title because there is a fun riddle in the book.

    You can use your points to get this book at Scholastic Book Clubs

    Apple Trouble! by Ragnhild Scamell and Michael Terry

    Here is a fun little story about an apple falling on Hedgehog right after he finishes making his winter home. How is Hedgehog going to fit into his nest now with an apple stuck on his back? A book that kids love and can’t wait have read to them again and again.

    This book is also available at Scholastic Book Clubs.

    Barbie: Let’s Pick Apples!

    A basic story about Barbie, her sisters, and her dogs going to the apple orchard. It’s a simple story that kids especially will love revisiting even as you move on past your apple unit of study.

    This book is available at Scholastic Book Clubs.

    Peppa Goes Apple Picking by Meredith Rusu and Eone

    Peppa and her family head out to the orchard to pick apples that they then turn into an apple pie. This is a great introduction to all the ways that we use apples in the kitchen.

    You can also find this book at Scholastic Book Clubs.

    Apple Picking Day by Candice Ransom and illustrated by Erika Meza

    This beautifully illustrated tale is a simple story of two siblings who head out to pick apples in a gorgeously drawn apple orchard.

    Use your points to get this book at Scholastic Book Clubs.

    Find me, dad2ella, on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

    I can’t wait to see you next time.

    Apples are a staple of elementary school. Apple poetry, apple art, and apple graphs have been in my classroom forever. One year, I tried to switch it up and do a grape unit that would hit all of the standards that I introduce with my apple unit. I ended up struggling: finding books about grapes, creating grape activities, etc. was laborious and time-consuming. After several weeks, I decided it wasn't the fruit that needed to be changed, it was my approach.

    Now, I’m in a committed relationship with my apple unit. Each year I add a few new apple books to my shelf and create new activities to keep things fresh. When I saw that my September issue of Let's Find Out included a focus on apples in the REBUS Reader section, I did a happy dance knowing I didn’t have to invest much time updating my lesson plans. The great thing about my Let's Find Out subscription is that it not only comes with my students' magazines, but also includes a teacher pack with different activities that support the magazine content.

    The teacher plans for September featured a simple, fun apple activity. It required very few materials and my kids absolutely loved it.

     

    Apple Activity

    Before the activity begins, cut the apples into pieces. There should be one piece for each student.

     

    Pre-cut triangles out of cardstock and count out toothpicks, again, one per student.

    Now it’s time to start.

    • Step one: Pass out one piece of apple, one toothpick, and one cardstock triangle.
    • Step two: Fill a container with water for each group of students (typically four to five students in a group depending on the size of the water container).
    • Step three: Ask the students to use the three supplies they have to create a boat. To do this they will take the toothpick and poke it through the card stock twice so that it forms a sail.

    Some of my students found it difficult to get the toothpick through the card stock so be prepared to travel around the room and assist as needed.

    • Step four: Stick the sail into their piece of apple.

    Pro Tip: I had a sample completed before I gave the supplies to the students. I didn’t show my sample until I gave the directions. This was to scaffold the instruction so that I could see who responded to verbal and who needed a visual.

    • Step five: Have the students predict whether their boat will float or sink. You can make this portion of the activity as in-depth or quick as you desire. You can create a graph showing the students who think that the boats will float and those who think they won’t. You could also just as easily ask them to raise their hands and do a quick headcount. The main thing is to have them hypothesize the outcome.
    • Step six: Distribute the water containers to each group.
    • Step seven: Ask the students to place their boats in the water.

    Pro Tip: When cutting the apple (before you begin), go a little larger with your apple pieces. Smaller pieces turn to flip over from the weight of the toothpick and card stock. This confused several students who thought this meant that their apple boat had sunk, when it actually did float!

    • Step eight: Check back to your students’ hypotheses. Compare and talk about how the apple slice is made up of 25 percent air and therefore it is less dense than the water that it is displacing. Be as technical as you wish but I have found that talking about the air inside the apple makes the most sense to my young ones.
    • Step nine: Hold up a whole apple and ask students to hypothesize whether the apple will sink or float. Again, collect data in any manner that you find appropriate for the amount of time that you have for this activity.
    • Step ten: Place the apple in the water and then discuss how the apple floats for all the same reasons that their apple boats were able to float.

    You can try Let’s Find Out print and online magazine FREE for 30 days by clicking here.

    Apple Books

    The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas

    I always love to get out my copy of How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? during my pumpkin unit. Now I have another wonderful adventure with Mr. Tiffin to bring to the front of the class, which is where this book belongs. Make sure not to overlook that word riddle in the title because there is a fun riddle in the book.

    You can use your points to get this book at Scholastic Book Clubs

    Apple Trouble! by Ragnhild Scamell and Michael Terry

    Here is a fun little story about an apple falling on Hedgehog right after he finishes making his winter home. How is Hedgehog going to fit into his nest now with an apple stuck on his back? A book that kids love and can’t wait have read to them again and again.

    This book is also available at Scholastic Book Clubs.

    Barbie: Let’s Pick Apples!

    A basic story about Barbie, her sisters, and her dogs going to the apple orchard. It’s a simple story that kids especially will love revisiting even as you move on past your apple unit of study.

    This book is available at Scholastic Book Clubs.

    Peppa Goes Apple Picking by Meredith Rusu and Eone

    Peppa and her family head out to the orchard to pick apples that they then turn into an apple pie. This is a great introduction to all the ways that we use apples in the kitchen.

    You can also find this book at Scholastic Book Clubs.

    Apple Picking Day by Candice Ransom and illustrated by Erika Meza

    This beautifully illustrated tale is a simple story of two siblings who head out to pick apples in a gorgeously drawn apple orchard.

    Use your points to get this book at Scholastic Book Clubs.

    Find me, dad2ella, on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

    I can’t wait to see you next time.

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