Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!
Saturday, August 8, 2015
You know it's almost back to school time when your pinterest feed starts showing apples, lots and lots of apples! Maybe it's because an apple for the teacher seems to represent school somehow, or that at the beginning of the year preschoolers are learning the beginning of the alphabet, and apples are a very real way to connect children with the short a sound. It's getting towards fall, of course, so apple picking time really is coming up. Whatever the reason, it seems to be apple time!
Today I want to review several apple themed books that I love.
The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall, illustrated by Shari Halpern
Sheri Halpern's illustrations are incredible, from the apple blossoms on the front endpapers, to the bitten apples on the final endpapers. Told from the point of view of a little girl, this book traces the life of an apple tree and the critters that live in it, from bare in winter, through blossoms, growth, and finally harvest of the apples. On the final page of the book there is an explanation of how bees pollinate apple tree, and a recipe for apple pie.
This book does a wonderful job of including seasons, nature and science in a story that will engage youngsters. If you can possibly visit an apple tree - or other fruit tree - throughout the year, this book will help guide you and your children in seeing the seasons of a fruit tree. I hope you can follow up by baking a pie!
Up, Up, Up! It's Apple-Picking Time by Jody Fickes Shapiro, illustrated by Kitty Harvill
Once again told from the point of view of a child, this book chronicles harvest time, and the work of picking and selling the apples the narrator's grandparents grow. The end papers show more than 20 kinds of apples - a fun starting point to talk about all the different varieties that are available.
The apple picking in this book is very much a family venture, with 3 generations coming together over a weekend to pick and then sell their apples. They eat and drink a variety of apple products during that time, which could easily prompt a discussion of all the ways we use apples, but my biggest take away from this book is the loving family atmosphere. Bonus points for including a microwave apple recipe!
Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson, illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray
This book tells the story of a town coming together to pick apples, again talking about the heavy but satisfying work of fruit picking, this time as a community. The narrator has grown since the last picking season, and is proud to fill a bin full of apples by herself for the first time. Young children will relate to this girl, and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with each "first". The muted fall tones of the illustrations are beautiful, matching the text.
Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington
Apple Farmer Annie is a one woman operation, unlike the other books I've mentioned so far. Annie not only grows a large apple orchard, she also makes it into cider, applesauce, muffins, cakes and pies to sell. This book is a great starting point to talk about apple products and farmers' markets, and would be lovely to inspire preschool pretend play. Three apple recipes are included, inviting readers to join Annie in making and enjoying tasty applesauce, muffins and cake.
Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins
Ideal for the 3 - 6 year old crowd, Ten Red Apples counts down the apples on a tree, as various farm animals come by and each them. Each page has a large numeral with the appropriate number of apples by it, as well as apples on the tree, and a refrain that children will quickly learn and join in on. The disappointment of finding zero apples on the tree for the farmer's wife, is solved when he leads her to another tree full of apples. A fun countdown book, this one was a fall favorite with my preschoolers.
Ten Apples Up On Top! by Dr. Seuss, illustrated by Roy McKie
I remember this one from my own childhood, as many of you probably do too, and it remains popular today. Students love the one-up-man-ship of the three characters as they try to out balance each other, and Dr. Seuss' simple text and rhyming structure appeal as much today as ever. I read this book for the fun of it, but there is definitely some counting fun to be had along the way. There are many many ways to follow up this story, and you can find some of them on my Pumpkins and Apples Pinterest board.
How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro, illustrated by Giulio Maestro
If you are looking to teach the science of apple growth, look no further than this book. Gorgeous illustrations are coupled with an easy to read text that explains everything from leaf buds in winter, to ripe apples in the fall. Illustrations include cut away views of a flower, and the progression from flower to tiny apple, along with orchard views, seamlessly blending facts into the story. This book is too long for most preschool & kindergarten aged kiddos to sit through, but the information in the book is invaluable. If you have access to an apple tree, you could definitely use this book for reference as you observe seasonal changes in the tree.
Next time I'll show you some of the fun apple activities I've enjoyed doing with my kiddos!