September is one of my favorite months. Fall is approaching which means sweater weather! I love to bake, so all things apple and pumpkin are my favorites including this week of apple activities for first grade.
Every year my family goes to the apple orchard to pick apples so we can have yummy applesauce and pie. One year we went a little too early. I was so proud of myself for getting all the kids together with all our schedules aligned. When we arrived, the orchard wasn’t ready for pickers. We had to get a picture anyways!
The next year we made it up and have continued to make sure we check the calendar first!
In first grade, I also love to celebrate all things apples too. In fact, our 6th week of Guided Reading with a Purpose is based on an apple theme with a whole week of apple activities for first grade. We read a variety of fiction and nonfiction books throughout the week. Our goal is to learn the difference between the two types of books and of course learn all about apples and the apple lifecycle. We read lots of books during this week but here are a few that we focus on. The lifecycle book is one that I wrote and is included in color and black and white in this apple activities unit.
With any nonfiction unit, I always start by finding out their schema. We do a little worksheet to collect this information. Then, we begin an anchor chart. Sometimes I do a KWL chart and other times I do a Schema, New Learning, & Misconceptions chart as shown here. We visit this chart each day to add information that we have learned.
On the first day of our apple week, I love to read Gail Gibbon’s book Apples. After reading we go through a list of cards I made to decide if the book is fiction or nonfiction. We do a practice worksheet, and then we focus on the parts of the apple with a craft.
On day 2 we read one of my favorites, Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship. We review fiction or nonfiction characteristics and then decide which type of book this story is. We also review retelling which we learned in week 2 of GRP. Finally, we make the apple and worm craft.
On day 3 we read How Do Apples Grow? We repeat the focus and then look closely at what an apple tree looks like in the 4 different seasons.
On day 4 we read a Johnny Appleseed book. I left the printable templates blank without an author so you could choose which book you would like to share, there are so many. As you can see in the picture, I created a new anchor chart just for Johnny Appleseed in the shape of a hat. We write about him on a fill-in-the-blank template and then add a paper topper craft.
Finally, we end the unit by reviewing the lifecycle of an apple. I have both a color and black and white version of this book included. I like to project it on the smart board and read it together because the colorful version has real photographs. Then we go back to our seats and use the paper version to complete the activities and make our own lifecycle. I also have yellow colorful cards that you can display on a pocket chart to help review the lifecycle.
On my long day without specials, I like to sneak in a few extra activities. I adore the story, The Giving Tree. We read this and make our own giving trees. We also graph our favorite color apple, make applesauce, and enjoy some delicious apple treats donated by parents. This year, however, the first graders will be making apple pie in a cup, and I can’t wait!
Apple week is so fun! I love to do so many other additional activities throughout the month too!
Here is what a few buyers had to say about this Apple Unit:
“My students LOVED apple week thanks to this resource! They learned so much and were excited every day!”
“We love using this to describe characters and study fiction/nonfiction during Johnny Appleseed Week.”
“A ton of stuff to use in our Apple Unit. Students love it all. Thank you!”
Find out more about Guided Reading with a Purpose here!
You can find the apple books for this week and more in my Amazon store. (As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)