When I think of September, I think of all things apples. My family loves to go to the local apple orchard and pick apples. We use it as an opportunity to take pictures and make apple pie and applesauce. In my classroom, I love to embrace this time of year. I have some old tried and true ideas and some fresh new ones to share with you this year! Here are my top 10 apple activities for the classroom.
This Apple Reading Comprehension Unit is week 6 of my Guided Reading with a Purpose curriculum. We read all my favorite apple stories and do lots of apple activities and crafts. Our purpose for the week is to be able to identify if a story is fiction or nonfiction. So, we get to enjoy a variety of both types of stories.
During this week we learn about the apple lifecycle, Johnny Appleseed, apple parts, and more. It is a lot of learning and a lot of fun. We even learn two new comprehension songs – fiction and nonfiction. We glue those songs in our marble book and sing all week. By the end of the week, we are apple experts, and we can tell you if a book is fiction or nonfiction by its features. I have some of my favorite apple books here!
Bringing food into the classroom is so much fun. We do this all together in class and work on graphing, “how to” writing, and comprehension. This new apple pie in a cup activity is delicious and so easy to make. It is a no-bake recipe, so you can make it and eat it on the same day. We have done many similar baking cup activities and this new one is going to be so much fun. It would be perfect for Johnny Appleseed’s birthday or as a fun cumulative treat at the end of the week. You can read about a similar activity pumpkin pie in a cup here.
When Covid hit, digital resources were much needed for teachers but I’m here to tell you that I’ve been using these Google activities for years. This set of digital apple activities includes practice for both math and literacy. I use them as digital assignments, but my favorite way to use them is altogether on the Smartboard. We do them as warm-ups before phonics, math, or grammar instruction. I also have them prepped and ready to go as open tabs on my computer each morning. They are perfect as a transition for fast finishers up front. Just send them up to the interactive board, pick someone to start, and then let them call on the next friend. Try out my Short E Google Slides activity for FREE right here.
If you surveyed my students and asked them what their favorite days are at school, they would likely tell you about our Solve the Mystery days. I began making them in October, so I never had any for August or September. I finally was able to do that this year, and I added a Back-to-School Missing Pencils Mystery and a September Solve the Mystery of the Missing Apples for 1st Grade and one for 2nd Grade.
My students love watching the introduction video to hear the mystery. After they have heard the problem, they are so excited to work together to do task cards and crack the case. This fun activity concludes with a wrap-up story of what happened and a fun apple graphing craft activity. You can read about other Solve the Mysteries here.
Do you love caramel apples? I love them so much that I buy the suckers and keep them in my cookie jar all year long. This caramel apple craft could be done all on its own with the cute letters that spell out “DIP INTO FALL”, or you could do it as a glyph. I love doing glyphs with my students because they follow specific directions, and we all get to know one another better. It also makes each craft special and unique when it’s about them.
We all know how important play is for children to learn. I love this apple dramatic play center that I created. Even though I teach first grade, I would put this out for my students to use. I have added more than just play, there are many center extensions and apple activities that students can learn from in this play center.
Digital Escape Rooms are the perfect morning warm-up to complete together at the interactive board. They are based in Google Forms, so they need to get the answer correct to move ahead and escape the room. I started using these during online learning but quickly realized my students loved them. So, we did these weekly in my classroom after that. This apple orchard escape room will certainly be a favorite in your classroom, too!
My kids love playing card games. This “Bad Apple” card deck comes with two different decks of CVC words, real and nonsense. There 5 different games your students can play with each deck of cards. They are familiar games so there is no big learning curve. They can simply play the games and work on decoding CVC short vowel words. They are perfect for centers, morning tubs, or phonics practice and instruction.
In first grade, it sure is hard to fit science into the day. We try to sneak it when we can. Grab this free apple sink and float activity to complete with your students. It is simple, but they sure do enjoy it. They can test 4 different apple parts. It’s free so make sure to grab it!
We all know kids need to get up and move. These fun trips to the apple orchard get out those wiggles and work on math and phonics skills at the same time. Students will solve the problems, read the words, or do the movement card when it shows up on the projectable board. They stand right by their seats, and everyone gets to participate. It is so much fun! I love movement breaks that are educational. I have 10 different apple orchard movement breaks that you can check out here.
I hope your apple season is as festive as you want it to be! Click here to read about more fall activities for first grade in my blog post, “A Week of Apple Activities for First Grade.”