Welcome apples. Welcome fall. Welcome warm, cozy homes for all! There's something so warm and inviting about fall, isn't there? We bring the palette of fall into our homes in reds, oranges, and golden yellows and as homeschool moms we just love to plan fall art and read fall literature! I want to share some of our fall favorite learning experiences with you today. (This may be the first of a couple posts.)
Literature for Early Fall
I like to refer to the end of summer/early fall as Apple Season, and well it is here in North Georgia. We have been blessed in the mountain region with orchards to visit, but I also like to use literature as the driving force in any theme we learn. On instagram, I've been highlighting some of our favorite fall books, but this post is about apple season, so my focus today is on apple related books, one in particular.
We are using a read aloud list from Memoria Press this year and I was introduced to an older story which I now LOVE! The Ox Cart Man has beautiful vintage illustrations of a time long ago when our country was very young. It shows what my high school social studies teaching husband says is a perfect example of capitalism. We watch the ox cart man and his family make all kinds of goods and then take them to market selling everything- even the tools he used to carry the goods down to his ox and cart. He comes home and they begin a new year of making their goods again.
I liked the art very much and am very motivated by illustrations in books, so we painted apples in a barrel recently for morning time. You can see the illustration in the book that inspired me in the picture above. The painting was done by my 5 year old. We worked on foreground and background elements of art (hiding apples behind each other) and using bright colors of blue and green like the mountains and valley illustrations in the book. Apple barrels! Fun.
For primaries, we take some time and learn about the legend of Johnny Appleseed. There are many great books out there to check out at your local library about Johnny Appleseed. Johnny Appleseed, John Chapman, lived just before Laura Ingalls' time (1774-1845). The Revolutionary time period in which John was born, followed by the westward expansion (Manifest Destiny) must have been a hopeful and exciting time period.
The legend conveys that John, an apple orchard nurseryman, felt the need to travel westward as well and planted orchards in many midwestern states before traveling even further westward. John helped out other pioneers who used his apple crops to help them live. He was given kindness in return.
There are a few morals to the story of Johnny Appleseed to instill in our children: kindness, ingenuity the American dream, resourcefulness & love of God's creation. I didn't have a Johnny Appleseed unit in my shop and so this year, I made one! :) You can get my Johnny Appleseed resource, Johnny Appleseed: A Tree for You and Me, here.
The Life Cycle of an Apple (Or Apple Tree)
I like science because it's the study of God's creation. Last year, we looked at the parts of an apple: the skin, flesh and seeds. We watched cute little youtube videos about apple orchards and how apples come in different colors (as if we didn't eat enough to know that!). Haha!
We also made some apple art using different cuts of the apple as a stamp. yay, for prek/kindergarten.
This year, we're digging deeper. When you go as in-depth as you can with learning, kids learn & retain more! (a little teacher training for you). So this year, we studied the apple or apple tree life cycle which I included in my Johnny Appleseed unit. It was fun for even my 3 year old to paste the pictures of the apple trees (modified for her) while my primary girl painted the steps of the cycle on a Friday and then glued them in order using the graphic I created in the unit. Watercolors, yes please! Science, yes please! Fall learning activity that makes us feel good, yes please!
I hope your Apple Season is wonderfully ripe with fun learning experiences! I'd love to hear what your brood is doing with apples this year!
Want to know what methods, curriculum and resources we use?
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