Level 1: Apples Unit

Take a bite out of learning with these sweet lesson ideas. This week, your child will develop life and fine motor skills while learning math, science, phonics, art, and music. We also suggest a trip to an apple orchard if possible to bring the lessons to life. If you are able to go, spend time afterward with your child cleaning, counting, and sorting the apples you pick. 🍏 🍎 Want to track your progress? Download this printable worksheet to keep track of skills learned, books read, and how you’re progressing.

Note: Occasionally we include project upgrades (for kids ready for more) and modifications (which can be useful for including younger siblings). We’ll mark those with the plus (+) or minus (-) symbols.

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):

What to do:

We recommend doing the below lessons in this order to build on each skill your child will develop, but don’t feel that you *need* to do them in this order. Do what works for you and your child. If they love an activity, feel free to repeat! Not a winner? Skip and try the next thing. Have fun!

Letter of the week: A

New to the letter of the week? Start here! Next, print your letter A coloring sheet and phonics guide. Let your child color the coloring sheet as you work through the next part of the lesson.

The Letter A makes three different sounds: /ā/ as in ape, /ă/ as in apple, and /ä/ as in car, as you can see on the first page of the letter guide. Reinforce the sounds with our Letter of the Week Song.

Remember, the guide isn’t a worksheet! The first page is for you, the grown-up. Use it to introduce the letter name, the sounds it makes, and to demonstrate how to draw each letter. Display the Letter Guide in your school area along with the completed coloring sheet to reinforce the lesson throughout the week.

Next, use the second sheet to create a page for your child’s phonics book. Review the book a few times each week until your child has mastered these phonics.

Lesson 1:

Start by reading one of our favorite books of all time, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World. When reading throughout the week, point out the word “apple” and talk about the letter A. Label the upper case A and the lower case a. Keep practicing this phonics lesson with your child throughout the week.

Activity 1: How to Make an Apple Pie World Lesson (Note: To make this simpler, skip the magnets and use masking tape. Laminating is also not required, but helpful for repeating the lesson later.)

Activity 2: Apple stamping

Lesson 2:

Read How Do Apples Grow?, reinforcing the phonics lesson from lesson 1.

Activity 1: Let’s dissect an apple to get a better look at it’s parts! Use an apple slicer (or you can use a knife) to help your child separate the core, seeds, stem, peel, and flesh of the apple. You can use this printable sheet to help identify the parts. Encourage your child to examine each part (optionally, you can use a magnifying glass for a better look!) and talk about what purpose that part serves for the apple.

Activity 2: Alphabet lacing craft
(-) For younger children, punch fewer holes and use a piece of tape to stiffen the end of the yarn for easier threading.

Activity 3: Keep practicing those fine motor skills with this simple glue dot craft that helps your child learn how to glue like a pro. Use glitter glue or some other glue with a color and encourage your child to try to add just a dot of glue to each circle.

Lesson 3:

Has your child had a favorite book so far this week? Re-read it and point out the letter A sounds.

Activity 1: Let’s make a cute phonics craft! Start by having your child paint two large popsicle sticks and one small popsicle stick red. When they dry, have your child create the letter A with the sticks and glue them into place. Next, turn it into an apple by adding a piece of white cardstock in the “hole” of the A and brown and green construction paper to create a stem and leaf. Finally, let your child draw seeds on the white part of the apple. It should look like this:

Activity 2: Apple Sorting Activity
(-) To keep a younger sibling busy, fill a pot, large plastic bin, or shoe box with poms and give them a paper towel tube to play while your older child practices sorting.

Activity 3: Sing the Apples and Bananas song (see how fast you can sing it without messing up!)

Lesson 4:

Show your child the painting Woman Peeling Apples by Archibald John Motley. Ask your child about what they see.  Play an I Spy game to find the apples and talk about what color they are. Talk about the woman in the picture and what the artist wants to tell us about her.  What is the expression on her face? What is the woman doing? What colors and shapes can your child find? What do you think she is feeling or thinking about?

***Click here for more tips on how to talk to kids about art.

Activity 1: Letter A Sorting + Recognition Game (Tip: We recommend laminating the pieces after you print them out so you can repeat the game.)
(+) Upgrade this game by focusing on the different sounds the letter A makes. The letter a makes 3 sounds in English, but we will only focus on the long ā (as in “ape”), and the short ă (as in “apple”) for this activity. On each apple picture, write a word that starts with the letter A. On the baskets, label one basket “long ā” and the other “short ă.” Next, read each word to your child and have them place the apple in the correct basket. 

Activity 2: Let’s work on some numeral recognition with a dice game! Start by printing these apple numbers and cutting out each circle. (You will need one sheet per child playing.) Set up six cups per child and label them with numbers 1-6 in front of each cup. Give each child 6 red pom poms.

Next, take turns rolling a 6-sided die. The child who rolls can put a pom pom in the cup that corresponds to the number rolled. Then have each player take turns rolling. If they roll a number that already has a pom pom, they can either add another pom pom or it can be the next player’s turn. The game ends when one player gets at least one pom pom in each cup.
(+) To upgrade the game, use up to 12 cups per player and 2 dice that the child can add together to try to fill all the cups.

Activity 3: Next, let’s do the Apple Grab Bag and Ten Frame activity from this post. If you’ve already made your visit to an orchard, use real apples for this activity if possible (or you can use pom poms). We also made a 10 frame printable you can use here.
(+) There are lots of great math activities from that post, so feel free to do more if your child isn’t ready to stop playing!

Lesson 5:

Read Apple Countdown. Demonstrate the counting as needed, but let your child do as much of the counting as they’re able to.

Activity 1: Playdough Mat Printables

Activity 2: No-Bake Apple Snack Recipe

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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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