"A" Is For Apple-Letter "A" Activities For Kids
Teaching the alphabet to toddlers and preschoolers is fun, and the possibilities are endless. When starting with the Letter A, introduce both upper and lowercase, allow them to trace the letters according to the directional arrows, and be sure they can see a picture that starts with the correct phonetic sound. Visit this site to download free printables that are simple and will accomplish the goal.
How well can your students recognize the letter "A?" These worksheets are fun letter hunts. Kids can circle, bingo stamp, highlight, or cross off the letter when they find it.
Accompany your lesson with your favorite books that start with your letter of the day. Alphabatics, by Suse MacDonald is not only a fascinating book for young children because of the imaginative ways letters are transformed into objects with the corresponding beginning sound, but it's an excellent springboard into similar craftivity.
Just like in the book, transform the letter "A" into something exciting, like an alligator that eats "A's!" If you teach little boys or are working in a transportation study unit, try making an ambulance craft. Many sites focus on airplane crafts too, but steer away from the "ai" word blends for now, unless you are working with older learners.
When you're ready to get a little messy, break out the paint and slice some apples! Apple printing is perfect for motor skill development, and it's great fun!
Did someone say apples? Fall is the perfect time to make apples the focus of your lessons, but any time of the year will do. For science, start with a book that explains how apples develop. How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro is one of the best books on the market for explaining this concept. It's not some fluffy "filler" type feel good book, but it's very educational and engaging. It takes you through the seasons to explain what is going on inside that apple tree all the time. It discusses leaf buds, flowering, the fertilization process, pollination, simplified photosynthesis concept, and harvesting.
Since kids learn about different colors of apples through the book, it bridges nicely to an emergent reader that also helps teach color words.
Next, learn the parts of the apple: seeds, core, flesh, skin, stem, leaves. Click here for a worksheet on labeling parts of an apple.
If you'd prefer to incorporate the concept of "seasons" in your apple unit, The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree is the perfect accompaniment--it takes you through all of the seasons. It also includes an apple pie recipe and explains how a cider press works.
To discuss the life cycle of an apple, this freebie is helpful. It takes you from seeds, flowers, tree, apple, and pie!
What would an apple unit study be without mentioning Johnny Appleseed? He was a very eccentric man, but his adventurous spirit "planted" great things in America! His story shows that anyone is capable of great things.
The most fun part of apple study is taste testing apples! To make the process more scientific, use these fun recording sheets. A toddler set is included that notes what type of apple is being tested and a smiley or frown face to record whether he or she liked what she tasted. The recording sheet for older kids allows them to explore the apple's texture--is it firm, soft, bruised, crunchy? It also allows them to specify whether the apple was sweet, tart, sour, juicy, delicious, or yucky! The test is fun and healthy--try to plan it around snack time! There are so many interesting varieties to try, so you may have to break up your taste-testing experiment over the course of a week, unless you are doing this in the classroom. Just remember, everyone will be taking only a bite or two of each apple, so you don't want to be left with a pile of uneaten apple chunks, unless you have a planned use for them. Waste not, want not!
Now that kids are excited about apples, have some Kids in the Kitchen Time! Follow this simple recipe, and cook up a batch of homemade applesauce--another kid favorite! Once you make your own applesauce, it will be difficult to go back to the store-bought kind!