About the Book
The children in this story watch their apple tree during the different seasons of the year. When autumn comes, they pick the apples and with their parents make apple pie. The final page of the book includes information about how bees help pollinate the apple blossoms as well as a recipe for making apple pie.
Introducing the Book
Here are a few strategies for introducing the book to the class.
- What Is an Apple? Bring some apples to class and invite children to talk about them. Establish that an apple is a kind of fruit. Ask: What color is this apple? What shape is it? How do apples taste? Where do they grow? Have you ever picked an apple? where do you usually get the apples you eat? What are some things you can make with apples? Pass out apple slices as a treat and tell children you will be reading a story about apples.
- Cover Story Display the book cover and ask children to comment on the picture. Ask: Does the picture show the whole apple tree? What else do you see in the tree besides apples? Read aloud the book title. Ask: How can a tree grow apple pie?
- From Blossoms to Apples Before reading the story, draw children's attention to the first and last pages of the book which show respectively, apple blossoms and apples. Mention that without the flowers, there would be no apples.
Reading the Book
Read the book to the class at least once for pleasure and enjoyment. Then try using these ideas.
- Talk About the Story To increase comprehension, pose questions such as these while rereading the story: Why do you think the robins guard their eggs? What do the baby robins eat? Who feeds them? How is the apple tree a home? What is another word for “autumn”?
- Look at the Art Point out that the pictures in this story may look different because they are made in another way. Explain that while most artists use paints, this artist used paints and paper that she cut out in different shapes to make apples, tree branches, children, and other things in the illustrations. Tell children that this is called collage.
After Reading the Book
Try these ideas to extend children's understanding and appreciation of the story.
- Seasons of the Year This book offers an excellent opportunity to discuss the changes the different seasons bring. Begin by identifying the seasons and writing their names on a chart. Ask children to describe what happens in each season. What are some of the things they do in each season? What changes take place in the weather? Add the story of the apple tree to your chart. Keep the chart on display throughout the year and continue to add details to it as the seasons pass.
|It's cold.||It's windy.||It's hot.||The leaves fall.|
|We get snow.||Things grow.||No school.||School starts.|
|The tree is bare.||Blossoms.||Apples grow.||Pick apples.|
- Make a Pie If you have cooking facilities available, you might use the recipe in the book to make apple pies. Enlist the help of parent volunteers to donate ingredients, loan cooking utensils, and assist in working with the children. As an alternative, you might send home copies of the recipe explaining that the class has just read a book called The Apple Pie Tree.
- Make an Apple Web To help children understand the many ways people use apples, make a web on poster paper with a large apple picture in the center. Add other pictures around the web to show that apples are used in applesauce, as candy apples on a stick, in apple tarts, apple pies, apple brown betty, apple jelly, apple dumplings. You'll find pictures of these apple treats in ads and in food magazine articles.
- Other Books You might relate the concepts in this book to others in your library. Each Peach Pear Plum also ends with a pie while In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming follows life changes during the seasons.