Apples and Johnny Appleseed

by Hollie Griffith

on September 27, 2014
I was so excited to begin begin apple week… There is something about apples that scream “FALL!”. I was even more excited because this was a new unit for me.  I have always read some apple books and made apple sauce, but have never really learned about tall tales with Johnny Appleseed OR made apples the theme of our week!  And… it’s no secret that I love teaching with a theme.  My kiddos always have more fun… and so do I!!!
There are weeks in my classroom that I am very specific with the reading skill/strategy that I am teaching, and there are other weeks that I like to introduce/review a few skills at a time.  I really want my students to learn that as they read they have to apply a variety of reading strategies to make meaning.  I also want them to learn that they have to change their reading strategies as they read a variety of genres.  This was one of those weeks that I combined reading skills/strategies.  We learned the elements of a tall tale, explored some text features, and we even compared some fiction and nonfiction.  I will definitely go back and spend another entire week on tall tales and text features… but this week was a great introduction!
We began the week by learning the elements of a tall tale
I then read the book Johnny Appleseed by Stephen Kellog. My students got to make these cute Johhny Appleseed crafts.  On the craft they had to show me what they learned! They defined a tall tale, listed some character traits to describe John Chapman, they listed one fact, and then described two exaggerations. My bulletin board is now SUPER CUTE!
I had my kiddos complete this comprehension check for a quick assessment.
We’ve been reading a ton of apple books as well… Apples to Oregon was a super cute story! We also read From Seed to Apple and focused on some text features… (Of course, I forgot to take pictures)
This week we also learned about facts and opinions… We will definitely be focusing on this skill throughout the month of October.  I’m SO glad that my spider, bats, and pumpkin units all include fact/opinion sorts.  We definitely need practice.  I think some of my kiddos really believe that their opinions are FACTS.  That’s what is making it so hard! This week we made an anchor chart, wrote facts/opinions in our journals, and completed this sort.


In writing we went back to the basics with learning to write complete sentences.
I gave each student a red (naming part) or green (telling part) card. They then had to find a partner to make a silly sentence.
Then… I had them keep their card and match up with another person.  This time they had to use adjectives to EXPAND their sentence.
We completed this sheet for morning work the following day…
We also practiced writing complete sentences about Apples and Johnny Appleseed.  I had them use a marker to highlight the naming part of each sentence. They then use another marker to highlight the capital letters and the period. (Of course, I forgot to take pictures again!)


Oh yes, I can’t forget about this close read that I used with my high reading group.  It was perfect for teaching some of the nonfiction text features.




You can grab this close read for *FREE* HERE.
Because of a field trip and our Boosterthon Fun Run we ran out of time this week! Next week is a short week. We have two days off for FALL BREAK!  WooHoo!!  Anyhow, we will be extending our apple study!
We are going to be reading Apples by Gail Gibbons and Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie.  My goal is to review fiction and nonfiction reading strategies and compare the two genres. I’m also hoping to squeeze in a main idea/detail lesson. In writing we will be writing paragraphs about apples.  And… in math we will begin learning about patterns. I’m also hoping to squeeze in a few apple word problems. Of course, we will have an apple tasting and will graph our results!  And… we can’t wrap up apple week without making applesauce.  We will be writing about it too!
I got all of these activities from HERE. Take a look at the preview to see some of the printables that we will be using next week…



Have a great weekend!!!!

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