NEW YORK STATE APPLE COUNTRY®
Teacher Kit Activities/Lesson Plan

KEY

A = Art
L = Language Arts
M = Math
N = Health & Nutrition
Sc = Science
SS= Social Studies


Apple Prints (A)

Cut several apples at different angles (including horizontally through the middle to expose the star). Provide a variety of colors of poster paints in shallow containers. Children dip the flat, cut side of the apple in the paints and print on a sheet construction paper. These can be pictures in themselves, a border around other pictures, folded into stationery, incorporated into fanciful drawings. This may also be a good time to discuss and make symmetrical and asymmetrical designs. Other fruits and vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, potatoes) may be used to make a harvest print design.

Apple Frieze (A, L)

Assign each child a letter of the alphabet. Have them consult the Apple Vocabulary Notebook they’ve compiled and draw an illustration of one of the words starting with their letter on uniform squares of construction paper or tag-board. Mount the apple alphabet frieze around the room or in the hallway.

Apple Mural (A)

Make a mural illustrating the changes in the apple orchard during the year. Or make a mural starting with an apple on a tree and showing how it gets to your table.

Mr.(s) Apple (A)

Make and apple person. Use the apple for the head and, with toothpicks, attach other foods (marshmallows, raisins, cauliflower, grapes.....) to complete your own unique apple head.

Flannel Board Story (L)
"The Little Red House With No Windows and No Doors, But With A Star Inside"

Prepare the flannel board characters. Tell the story of the little house and have a real apple ready to cut in half at the end. This is a good introduction to other apple related activities such as counting seeds, apple anatomy, apple prints and writing apple stories.

Apple Snacks (L, N)

Have volunteers provide simple apple snacks and a copy of the recipe. Place them at tables around the room. In small groups, children can visit the tables and taste the treats. Each group’s children should write comments on strips of paper describing the snack’s taste, scent, appearance and/or texture and leave them in an envelope at each table.

Once the groups have sampled each item, ask them to read the comments about the snack they just tried. As a group, they should write a description of the snack based on the comment cards. Then they should make drawings of the snack. This information, along with the recipe, should be compiled into a booklet of apple snacks to be distributed to the class, other interested classes, given as gift to a special person, handed out at a harvest festival, etc.

Apple Taste Test (L, N, Sc)

Set up a number of tasting stations around the room. Each one should offer a sample of a different variety of apple. Have children visit each station and fill out the taste test chart with the name of the variety and descriptive adjectives of its taste, texture, and scent.

You may want to brainstorm a list of possible adjectives before starting the activity or refer to your Apple Vocabulary Notebook. (sweet, sour, tart, bland, crisp, crunchy, soft, hard...)

Apple Varieties (L, Sc)

On a scroll of paper hanging on the wall, collect names of apple varieties. Students should glean names from grocery store ads, the apple display in their local produce departments, their parents, grandparents, farmers. Be creative in finding sources. Perhaps several classes would like to compete/collaborate on the project.

Apple Chronology (L, Sc, SS)


Provide students with strips of paper or cards describing the events of an apple story (the development of the apple on the tree, how the apple gets from the tree to your table, the steps in making apple sauce.) and have them put the events in chronological order.

Apple Consumption (M)


Tally the number of apples eaten by your family in a week (or a month). What is your total? What is the class total? Make a bar graph of the family totals in the class. What influences the numbers of apples families consume? Based on the number of apples eaten by the families in one class, how many apples would the families of two classes eat? ...all the families of children in your grade? ....all the families of children in the school?

Apple Fractions (M)


Find three apples of approximately the same size. Cut one in half, the second in quarters and the third in eighths. In groups of 3, ask the children to examine the apples and write equivalent fractions based on comparing the pieces of apples.

Apple Farm Interviews (L, Sc, SS)

New York is the country’s second largest apple producer. There is a good chance there is an apple grower near you. Take a field trip to a farm and interview the grower. Children should think of several questions related to apple growing. In small groups they can compare and discuss their questions, possibly generating further questions or eliminating duplicates. During a field trip to an apple farm each child should have several questions to ask the apple grower and be prepared to write down the answers. (If there is not an opportunity to visit a farm, contact the NYAA).

Apple Prices (M)

While on a trip to the supermarket have students record the prices per pound of apples. If there are many varieties of apples, they can make a pictograph or a bar graph comparing their prices. Or they can gather data on the prices of other fruit and make a graph comparing the cost of their favorite fruit snacks.

Apple Surveys (M)

1. After tasting the varieties of apples in the Apple Properties or the Apple Taste Test activity, ask the children to choose their favorite. A tally can be kept as they read off their choice or a small group can be assigned to record the results of written responses.
Make a pictograph using apple cutouts (perhaps in red, green or yellow if those were the choices of apple available) or a bar graph to illustrate the results of the survey.
If more than one class takes a survey the results may be combined or the class graphs may be compared.

2. As a class, formulate an apple survey questionnaire. Some possible topics are: favorite apple varieties (give respondents a choice of several well known varieties or just have them name their favorite type without choosing from a list), favorite ways to eat apples (fresh, dry, baked, in sauce, pie...), favorite taste or texture characteristics.

Children should gather data from a number of people and tabulate the responses. In small groups the students can compile individual data and the small group data may then be combined to give the whole class results. Make a bar graph illustrating the results of the survey.

Apple Under the Microscope (Sc)

Examine a very thin slice of apple under the microscope. Draw what you see. Make very thin slices of other fruits and vegetables to observe too. Draw them and describe how they are similar to and different from the apple.

Flower Anatomy (Sc)

In the spring, when the apple trees are blossoming, provide pairs of students with apple flowers to dissect. They should have several blossoms to examine. One of them should be sliced vertically and the students should draw an enlargement of what they see.

Litmus Test (Sc)

Discuss acids and bases and how litmus paper is used to determine which a material is. Working in pairs, students should press a piece of litmus paper against the flesh of an apple and record the change they observe in the paper. What does this tell you about apples? Do different varieties give different reactions? Using litmus paper with other fruits or vegetables how does the apple’s acidity compare with them?

Measuring Amounts of Apples (M)

Apples are sometimes sold by the piece, pound, tote bag, peck, or bushel. What does this mean?

At stations around the room, provide a scale to weigh a pound of apples and a tote bag, a peck and a bushel of apples. If you don’t have the larger amounts of apples, ask the children to extrapolate an approximate number based on the standard equivalents (a peck = 2 tote bags, a bushel = 4 pecks). If possible, have a quantity of a small variety (little Empires, for example) and a large variety (20 oz. ). Compare the number of each variety contained in the different units of measurement.

Measuring Apples (M)


Using yarn, measure the circumference of various varieties of apples. Compare them. Are certain varieties likely to be bigger around than others?

How tall are apples? Use yarn to measure the height of apples. Now measure yourself using "1 apple high" as the unit of measurement.

Using a scale, determine how much a peck (or a half peck, or a handle basket....) weighs. Use it as a unit of measurement. How many "pecks of apples" do you weigh?

Apples and the Food Pyramid (N)

Locate APPLES on the food pyramid.

Examine the list of apple products gathered in the Super Market Sleuth activity or compiled from individual observations. Determine where each of these would be placed on the food pyramid.

Fill out a blank food pyramid with the various apple products in the correct sections.

Super Market Sleuth (N)

On a field trip to the super market make a list of apple products or foods that have apples in them.

Apples--A Nutritious Snack (N, L)

Present the apple nutritional information. Discuss how apples are beneficial to your body.
Brainstorm healthy apple snack ideas. Include these in your Apple Recipe Book.

Drying Apples (N, SS)

In the days before cold storage, it was difficult to keep apples fresh for long periods of time. People dried produce to have it available through the winter. An adult will have to help with this project.
1. Wash and dry the apples.
2. Core them.
3. Slice the cored apples into rings about 1/4 inch thick.
4. Hang the apple rings on a string in a dry, airy place making sure there is space between each ring.
5. Cover the strings of apples with cheesecloth to keep them clean.
6. Pack the dried apples in a tightly covered container.

A Little Bit of Spring (Sc)

In early spring, while the apple trees are still dormant, cut several branches off a tree. Put them in containers of water and place them in different part of the room....by the window, a dark place, away from the window. Children should observe the branches a couple of times a week and record the changes they see.

Apple Anatomy (Sc)

Cut an apple in half vertically. The students should draw and label the parts of the apple that they observe.

Apple Observation (Sc, L)
Provide small groups of children with examples of three varieties of apples. Try to get apples with obvious differences. Have children observe the properties of the apples and fill out the chart with descriptive adjectives.

Apple Sorting (Sc, M)


At a center, supply children with a variety of apples (different types, sizes, colors). Ask them sort the apples into groups. Have labels for the groups available (cards with A, B, C, D... written on them). The children should describe the groups they came up with in terms of the defining characteristics of each group and their mathematical relationships using >, < and =.

Tools may provided to help students make their sorting decisions: yarn to measure the apples, balance scales to compare weights.

Seasons of the Apple Tree (Sc, SS)


Provide pictures of apples at the different seasons. Students write descriptions of the scenes and fill in jobs that would be occurring in the orchard at that time.

Seed Comparison (Sc)

Examine a variety of seeds (apple, avocado, bean, walnut). Allow children to break them apart. Describe them. What do they have in common? How are they different?

Uses of the Apple Tree (Sc, SS)

Make a large apple tree for the bulletin board. Brainstorm uses of apple trees for people, animals, plants and the environment. Children should cut out pictures from magazines or draw pictures illustrating these uses. Examples would include: someone eating an apple, a bird in its nest, sitting in the shade of the tree, lumber, firewood.

As they study apples, children may add to the Apple Uses bulletin board.

Apple Calendar (SS, Sc, M)

Keep a calendar of apple related events. These can be jobs that are done in the orchard throughout the year, changes in the apple trees and apple festivals and special events.

Apples and Climate (SS)

Apples favor certain climatic conditions. Apple trees require a period of 1000 hours of chilling (25° -45° F) during which they are dormant. Therefore, they do not grow well where winter temperatures average over 45° F. Apples need a minimum of 160 frost free days during the growing season. And young trees cannot tolerate temperatures below -10° F. They also need at least 30 to 40 inches of rain or a good source of irrigation water.

Examine a temperature and precipitation map of the U.S. and predict where apples would most likely grow. Then compare your predictions with the location of the big apple producers (New York, Washington, Michigan, California and Pennsylvania).

Apple Careers (SS, L)


As the class studies apples, keep a list of apple related careers. Don’t be limited to jobs on an apple farm. Where do the apple trees come from? What are the jobs in the orchard? How do the apples get where they are going when they leave the farm? Where do they go and what is done there? What happens then? Where are some of the places apples are sold and who works with them?

Assign children a job to write about and illustrate. These can be compiled into an apple careers book or mounted on tagboard and laminated to make a sequencing game.

Apple Flow Chart (SS)

Make a flow chart of the journey an apple takes from being a blossom on a tree to a snack for you. Ideas may be brainstormed or use the information provided. Make three shapes of cards (rectangle, circle, trapezoid), each shape having its own color. Each shape/color signifies a category of activity: how the apple develops on its own, things that are done by an outside force to turn that blossom into your snack and the transport of the apple.