Sunday, September 27, 2015

Apple Fun!

The past two weeks we have been having all sorts of apple fun in my classroom!  Yay for apples!


If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I kinda sorta love this theme. I think it might have something to do with the fact that it's the first actual theme that we delve into in my classroom.  So, grab a cup of warm cider, sit back, relax, and hopefully take an idea or two with you.  :)


Our apple fun began last week with this nifty little thematic organizer chart that I made. I'd like to say that I drew the apple shapes myself, but I am no artist.  So, I projected some apple clip art onto my whiteboard and traced the outline of each apple onto some butcher paper. 


Later in the day, we had some explosive fun with the infamous apple-cano.  Oh boy, this was a BIG deal!  They loved it!  You can read all about it here.  I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot to take a picture of our erupting apple-cano!  But, here is the aftermath, alongside an adorable recording page from Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies.



From there, we spent the next several days focusing on apples and nonfiction.  Of course, some great read aloud books were involved! I read all of these books over the course of my unit.  Some were tied to a specific learning activity and some were used as a read aloud.




After I read aloud Amazing Apples, the students used the organizer on the left to write some facts about apples.  They also completed their own mini book about the seasons of an apple tree (on the right) after I read aloud The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons.


This adorable mini book from Sarah Cooley from First Grader...at Last was perfect for reviewing nonfiction text features.

We revisited one text feature in particular, the diagram.  To really hammer home this concept, we made these super adorable apple diagram hats.  I make these every year.  They make me smile.


The pattern for this diagram can be found in my Apple Fun! unit, but to turn it into a hat, I reduced the templates to 60% on the photocopier so that they were the perfect size for a hat. 

We also read a nonfiction passage about apples and wrote our first constructed response!  We did this as a shared writing, but I was really impressed with my new group of kiddos and their ability to go back to the text to show what they know.  They are super stars!



Tip: I always ask my students to send in two apples each so that we have plenty of apples for all of the activities that follow.  The cost of apples adds up very quickly, so I am grateful for anything the families can send in.
No apple unit would be complete without an apple investigation.  It's a great way to get the students to practice some of those inquiry skills.  Not only are they observing with a keen eye, but they are recording those observations with words (especially adjectives) and pictures, just like a real scientist.

I also set up an apple observation.  I placed some apple slices into various liquids and the students made a prediction as to which one would take the longest to turn brown.  We observed the apple slices for a few days and the students recorded their observations.


In case you were wondering, yes, we sampled some apples!  I asked the students to write about their favorite kind of apple.  However, that's a mighty task for a seven year old when there aren't any actual apples involved.  So, I sliced up some red, green, and yellow apples and had the students taste one slice of each variety.

After sampling the apples, they chose a favorite and wrote all about it!  I opted to write in some question prompts on this prewriting organizer to help guide my students' thinking since we are just learning how to write a paragraph.  (I forgot to take a picture of their paragraphs).



We didn't let that favorite apple activity fall by the wayside.  I had the students share their favorite apple with the class in the form of a class graph.  I gave each student an apple graphing piece. They colored their apple to match the color of their favorite apple from the writing activity mentioned above.  Then, they added their apple to the graph.


We talked about the graph and then the students completed this activity page to match the class graph.


You can grab the complete graphing activity here for FREE. 

And, finally, for fun, we colored these super fantastic apples from Art with Jenny K. I just love her resources!


We also made some applesauce.  I mean, an apple unit just wouldn't be complete without some homemade applesauce!  It was a tasty way to wrap up our unit.


You can find many of the activities featured in this post in my Apple Fun! unit on TPT.

Toodles!


Share It:

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE everything about this unit! I am going to add the Jenny K art to my file notes because I know I will forget to include it next year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Yes, add that Jenny K project idea to your file notes, her stuff is amazing! I want to include one in all of my themes. Seriously! :)

      Aimee

      Delete

I'd love to hear what you have to say!