Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apples, Apples, Apples

We have just finished up our apple unit, and I actually remembered to take pictures of a few of our activities.  One of my favorite apple stories is The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons.  I am a big fan of her books.  An art activity we do after reading this story is to make a model of the changes an apple tree makes from season to season.  I give each student a 6" x 18" sheet of white paper that has been folded into 4 squares.  Inside each square the students will draw a brown tree with no leaves.  We will add different materials to each tree to represent each season.  For winter, we use pieces of a cotton ball to represent snow.  For spring, we glue down light green squares of tissue paper for the leaves and roll small pieces of pink tissue paper for the blossoms.  For summer, we glue down dark green squares of tissue paper for the leaves.  And for fall, we glue down red, orange, yellow, and brown squares of tissue paper.  After everything is dry (usually the next day) we use markers or crayons to add details (apples on the summer tree, a bushel of apples for fall).  We also add labels for each season.  Here are 2 of the finished products.

We also make and label a model of the parts of an apple (after eating some to investigate, of course).  Each student gets 1/2 of a small paper plate.  The decide what color apple they want (red, green, or yellow) and I give them a small piece of construction paper in that color.  They will use their stick glue to attach small pieces of construction paper to the outer edges of the plate.  Next, they will add a brown stem and green leaf.  They will also draw the core and seeds.  When everything is complete, they will take the labels and attach to the parts of the apple.  Here is an example.

For math, we also make up math stories about apples.  Right now we are working on subtraction skills so we made an apple tree and used paper apples to tell a subtraction story.  I think these turned out so cute, don't you? 

 For centers, I have a wonderful book about reading and following directions to make a monthly art project.  It's called Follow-the-Directions Pocket Chart Activities.  It's great for having students practice reading and following simple directions, plus working on their fine motor skills.  And it's just so much darn fun.
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 Here is a picture of the Make an Autumn Apple Tree activity.
I wish I had thought to take a picture of one of the student's trees, but I forgot.  Anyway you get the idea.  I hope you all are having a wonderful school year so far!

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