As a former Pre-Kindergarten teacher and now stay-at-home mommy of 2 boys and a sweet baby girl, many people ask me how they can be implementing educational concepts in the lives of their young children at home before they enter school. Instead of trying to come up with a quick list of ideas off the top of my head to answer these questions, I have decided to put all of my lessons into this blog. I, along with so many other parents, want to be purposeful at home with my children and make the most of the time I have with them.
I hope that this blog can help, encourage, and inspire you to work with your kiddos and
get involved in the learning process! The benefits will be endless,
and the moments you share together will be priceless! As Dr. Seuss once said,
"The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go!"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thinking Theme: An Apple A Day

Letter of the Week: Aa

Number of the Week: 7

Bible Verse of the Week: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15


Lesson 1: Apple Tree Picture
* I found this fun craft here at Handprint and Footprint Art

* To understand that apples grow on trees
* To recognize the parts of an apple tree (leaves, trunk, branches, apples)
* To create an apple tree using fingerprints
* To use the fine motor skills involved with tracing, cutting, gluing, and fingerprint painting

* white and brown construction paper
* red and green stamp pads
* scissors
* pencil or pen
* red marker

1. Have your child place their hand on the brown construction paper and trace around it.  Be sure to include some of the forearm, too.  This will represent the trunk of the tree.

2. Cut out the hand/arm print and glue it to the white construction paper.

3. Have your child place one finger onto the green stamp pad and then onto the white construction paper multiple times.  These prints will represent the leaves.

4. Do the same with the red stamp pad to represent apples.  Sawyer even put some red fingerprints on the bottom of the page as if the apples had fallen out of the tree!

* Create pictures of the apple tree for each season.  Here is an example from

Lesson 2: Apple File Folder Game
(File folder games are great ways to work on counting, letter matching, patterning, etc. I created this apple counting game to go along with the theme.  You can create lots of different games just using some clip art and your imagination!)

* To use one-to-one correspondence to match apples together
* To count seeds and match them with the correct written number
* To count from 1-10

* printables of game

* file folder
* scissors
* glue or tape

1.  Print out the pieces for the game, cut them out, and put them together like this:

2. Have your child count the seeds on each apple and match them to the corresponding apples on the folder.

3. Sawyer loved this game and played it all week.  If you can, get the folder and the seeded apples laminated.  It will help the game last longer!

* There are some other apple file folder games found here at File Folder Fun.

Lesson 3: Apple Investigation
* To learn the properties and characteristics of an apple and describe them
* To use specific senses and measurement to discover these characteristics
* To use the fine motor skills involved with feeling, measuring, cutting, drawing, and writing

* any kind of apple
* knife
* think tank (pencils and crayons, specifically)
* measuring tape
* investigation printout

1.  Allow your child to explore the outside of an apple by looking, smelling, and touching.  Have them answer the different questions on the worksheet.  Guide their hand or have them write the answers themselves.

2. Let your child draw a picture of what the apple looks like on the outside.

3. Then cut the apple in half.  Talk about the change in colors on the inside, as well as the seeds.

4. Draw a picture of the inside of the apple.

5. Finally, have your child taste the apple and describe what it tastes like!

Lesson 4: What kind of apple is your favorite?/Apple Stamping
* To understand that there are multiple types of apples and each one tastes differently
* To recognize the different colors of the apples
* To taste each type and decide on a favorite
* To create apple prints with paint
* To use the fine motor skills involved with stamping and painting

* 3-4 different types of apples (We used red delicious, granny smith, and golden delicious.)
* knife
* red, yellow, and green paint
* white construction paper
* paper plates
* drop cloth
* something to cover your child's clothes

1. Explain to your child that their are many different types of apples.  Ask the child if they think all of the apples taste the same.  Then explain they are going to taste different kinds of apples to see if they are correct.

2. Cut one of the apples in half.  Save one half off to the side, and let your child taste a piece of the other half.

3. Do this same procedure for each type of apple.

4. After all of the apples have been tasted, ask your child to choose their favorite kind!

Red Delicious was Sawyer's favorite!

5. Place a little bit of each color paint on a paper plate.  Since the apples we used were red, green, and yellow, those were the paint colors we used, as well.

6. Dip one half of an apple into the paint and then press it onto the white paper.  Have your child hold it down for a few seconds to make sure you get a good print of the inside of the apple.

7. Continue with each type of apple.  Here is Sawyer's completed product:

* Ask family members or friends to also taste the apples and tell your child what their favorite is.  You can then create a graph, and see which apple people like the most/least.

Lesson 5: Apple Muffins (My Meemaw's Recipe)
* To bake apple muffins by following a specific recipe
* To understand the order and procedure to making the muffins
* To measure out certain ingredients
* To use the motor skills involved with pouring, stirring, cutting, and scooping

(This recipe makes 12 muffins.  I doubled it to make 24.)
* 1 and 1/2 cups of flour
* 3/4 tsp. salt
* 1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 1 cup of sugar
* 2 eggs, well beaten
* 1/2 cup of oil
* 1/2 tsp. of vanilla
* 1/8 tsp. of almond extract (if you have it)
* 1 and 1/4 cups of chopped apples
* mixing bowl
* measuring cups and spoons
* knife
* mixing spoon
* muffin tin and liners

1. Chop up 2-3 apples (depending on their size) in order to get to 1 and 1/4 cups. Set them aside.

2. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups of flour into a mixing bowl.

3. Add 3/4 tsp. of salt to the flour.

4. Add 1/2 tsp. of baking powder to the bowl.

5. Add 1 cup of sugar to the mixture.  This is all of the dry ingredients.

6. Beat 2 eggs and add them to the bowl, as well as 1/2 cup of oil.

7. Fold in 1/2 tsp. of vanilla and 1/8 tsp. of almond extract.  (We did not have the extract, so I just omitted it.)

8. Lastly, fold in the chopped apples.  It will be a very chunky mixture.

9.  Scoop the mixture into the muffin tin (or tins if you double it), and bake them for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

10. Taste and enjoy!

Extra Thinking
* Letter Aa - cute crafts from Totally Tots

* Make Applesauce, Apple Cider, or Apple Pie

* There are so many fun ideas on each of the websites listed on the right!

No comments:

Post a Comment