Level 2: Apples Unit

The humble apple is packed with opportunities to learn. From fractions to geography to art critique, this week your child will get to the core of a variety of big concepts. (Get it?!) If something doesn’t stick the first time around, don’t stress—remember that you can always repeat the lesson later when they’re ready. We also recommend a field trip to an apple orchard this week to give your child a real-world view at what they’re learning and collect enough apples to use for your lessons. Want to track your progress along the way? Download our skills tracker here for your records.

Note: Occasionally we include project upgrades (for kids ready for more). We’ll mark those with the plus (+) symbol.

What you need:

Books (find at your local library or order below on Amazon):

Supplies (use what you have, but here are links to shop if you need anything):

Phonics Guide:

New to our phonics guide? Start here. The Phonics Guide this week will highlight phonics rules for the letter C. Students will learn that C has a hard and a soft sound.

Lesson 1:

Start by reading one of our favorite books of all time, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World. Whether this is your child’s first time reading this book or their seventh, we love how this simple story begins to introduce your child to the world through some of their favorite foods.

Activity 1: Let’s take a trip around the world along with our story. You may want to re-read the story as you do this activity. Begin by printing these illustrated ingredient cards. (Laminating is not required, but helpful for repeating the lesson later.) Search a world map for all the locations in the story and place the corresponding pictures on the map. This lesson will not only be a wonderful opportunity to learn geography and map reading, but also focus on the sequence of events.

Activity 2: Parts of an Apple Stamping Craft. Encourage your child to write and label as many parts of the apple as they can. Use this additional printable for help with labeling. They can use this printable for copying purposes or you can have them cut and paste the words and add them to their stamping craft. Alternatively, you can use the printable along with your movable alphabet to practice reading and spelling.
(+)Use these nomenclature cards to learn the names of additional apple parts.

Activity 3: Read the book Apple Fractions. Using real apples and a white board, help your child learn the difference between 1 whole, 1/2, 1/4. While you have apples cut, bring the lesson to life with this dissect an apple activity.

Lesson 2:

Activity 1: Let’s work on some apple arithmetic! Use our interactive printable to work on arithmetic. We recommend laminating it and using dry erase markers to repeat the lesson. Start by writing a digit in each box (1-20). Have your child use red, green, or yellow beads to represent the apples and place the correct number on each tree. Finally, combine all the “apples” in the basket and count to find the sum. Write the sum into the last box.

Activity 2: Apple weaving craft.

Activity 3: Let’s play Apple Twister. Use these apple parts cards you printed yesterday (and laminated, if possible). Cut them into individual cards. Securely attach the pictures to the floor with painter’s tape. Review each card with your child so they can clearly identify each part of the apple. Now, let’s twister! Call out the words for each apple part along with a body part. For example, “right hand to apple core.” This activity will not only be a great gross motor activity but also reinforce reading and continue to make connections between the written words and the parts of the apple that they have learned this week.
(-) If you are working with a younger child as well, print out these cards so that younger student can play along while reinforcing colors.   

Activity 4: Apple annihilator STEM challenge. (This video details the challenge.)

Lesson 3:

Read Apples to Oregon. Use a map of the United States (you can print this one) to show your child the places the family travels with their apple seeds.

Activity 1: Let’s work on some graphing with our apples. Print out this graph and let’s use it to record your child’s observations and findings. Using three apples (one of each color), determine the:

1) The weight of each apple (using a food scale)
2) The height of each apple (using a ruler)
3) The circumference of each apple (using a measuring tape)
4) The sweetness of each apple (based on their personal opinion)
5) Number of seeds inside

Have them record their findings in the graph, writing each detail under the color apple pictured. Once it’s fully filled out, discuss what you learned? Which apple is biggest? Which apple had the least number of seeds? etc.

Activity 2: Let’s practice writing. Start by using this printable Montessori-inspired writing activity to write the word ‘apple’ and focus on the short ‘a’ sound. You can demonstrate how to write each letter first and then ask them to trace it. For more fine motor practice, use a dot-a-dot marker or finger paint to have them fill in the circles on the lower case letter A.
(+) Ready for more? Using lined paper, write a short sentence related to our theme. (For example: “I love apples.” or “Apples are juicy.”) Write clearly on one line. Ask your child to copy your work right beneath your words. (This is referred to as copywork in Charlotte Mason style homeschooling.)

Note: Watch your child as they are writing but don’t overcorrect once they have finished. If you see that they are writing a letter backwards, simply point to your copy and say, “This is what the letter P looks like. I start with my pencil here and do this…(demonstrate the motion again.) Now you try.” If they continue to make the mistake, just make note of it mentally so you know you need to work on that letter again. Maintain a positive attitude and keep going, praising them for what they did correctly. For more about the value of copywork and how to do it, click here!

Activity 3: Let’s practice some high frequency sight words with this printable. First, read each sight word together. Then, cut out and match the sight words at the bottom of the page. Use the blank apple to add a word your child is working on.

Lesson 4:

Activity 1: Apple scissors activity. Print this activity and cut the strips along the dotted lines. Then, present to your child with their scissors and let them practice cutting the solid lines to get to the apples.

Activity 2: This printout will help introduce or reinforce your child to the concept of bigger numbers. Begin to demonstrate counting from 1-100. They might want to join you or take over the process, and either way is fine. Add manipulatives to the counting process. You can use small pom poms, pennies, beads or anything small enough to fit in the boxes. Next, help them look for patterns. For example, you can point to 10, 20, 30, 40 and say something like, “Look how all the 10s line up here” while pointing to the row of 10s. This chart can also be used to practice skip counting. You can count by 2s or 5s, using a manipulative to literately skip about the chart.

Activity 3: First, prepare this apple cycle spinner activity with your child. Have your child color in the pieces, then cut them out and use a brad fastener to layer the circle piece over the apple piece. Review the stages of the apple life cycle, letting your child turn the spinner until they are familiar with each part.

Next, read the book Blossom to Apple. Use your spinner as you read the book to make it more interactive. If you were with us in the Level 1: Apples Unit, review pollination and the parts of the flower. We’ll learn more about pollination in upcoming spring units.

Lesson 5:

Activity 1: Let’s work on some bigger numbers with these apple number placemats, numbers 11-20. If possible, laminate the mats. Use playdough to make the large numbers first, then use a dry erase marker to write over the number spelled out. Next, use erasers, beads, or some other manipulative to fill out the ten frame. Finally, put your manipulatives in the tree (or draw in apples with a dry erase marker) to round out their understanding of the number. Don’t feel like you need to complete every mat today. Do as many as your child wants to do, and then try the others on another day.

Activity 2: For our art lesson this week, we’re going to look at this still life by Paul Cezanne, “Apples and Oranges.” Here are some interesting facts about Cezanne you can share with your child:

  • Cezanne was born in Southern France and lived from 1839-1906—166 years before the light bulb and telephone were invented!
  • He always wanted to be a painter but his wealthy father was stern and insisted that Cezanne be banker or lawyer. He went to school and worked for his father but was miserable. His father eventually paid for him to go to Paris to study art.
  • Cezanne had very strong feelings about art and painted the way he felt and not the way others told him to. He was very particular and detailed in his work. He once had a live model sit for the same painting over 115 times!
  • At the beginning of his career, it was fashionable for artists to paint realistically, but Cezanne liked to paint very flat pictures. He liked to build up his paintings with lots of color and brush strokes. He layered thick paint, giving the subject a solid feel like they we’re carved in stone.
  • This was very different from what was popular so Cezanne’s work was rejected in Paris.

Do you know what a still life is? A still life is a drawing or painting of an arrangement of non-moving, non-living objects, such as fruit, flowers, bottles, etc. The arrangement is usually indoors and includes at least one manufactured object, such as a bowl or vase.

Cezanne’s still life paintings often explored the themes of shapes and forms. A shape is the outline of a form (examples are: circles, squares, triangles, etc.).
Shapes that are three dimensional are known as spheres, cones, or cylinders, and these are also called forms. As you look at the painting with your child, ask them these questions to draw attention to the shapes and forms:

  • When you look at this painting, does it look flat or 3-dimensional?
  • Which objects are shaped like spheres (or circles)?
  • Which objects are shaped like cones?
  • Which objects are shaped like cylinders?

(+) If your child is especially interested in still life paintings, create your own! Talk about the shapes and forms of the objects you paint or draw.

Activity 3: Let’s end the week on a sweet note with these simple Apple Roll-ups! This recipe is very simple, so let your child do as much of it on their own as you can.

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Published by The Learn + Live Letter

The Learn + Live Letter is a play- and project-based homeschool curriculum for children ages 3-12.

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