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Johnny Appleseed

Lesson Ideas and Activities to Celebrate this Historical Figure

By

Johnny Appleseed

Apple-seeds typically have 5-10 seeds in them.

© Jamie Grill Getty Images

Johnny Appleseed was a famous American boy who is best known for his apple trees. Explore the life and contributions of Johnny Appleseed with the following classroom activities.

Explore the Life of Johnny Appleseed

(Language Arts) Johnny Appleseed led a full and adventurous life.Tto introduce students to his amazing life and accomplishments, try this activity:

  • To introduce your students to Johnny Appleseed, read the book "Johnny Appleseed" by Jodie Shepard. Then discuss his life in Massachusetts and how his birth name was John Chapman. Talk about his love of apples and how he got his name.

  • Then, show students a short video so they can see first hand about his life and accomplishments.

  • Next, have students write a friendly letter to Johnny, asking him any questions they may have, or commenting on his life.

  • Once students have completed their letters, encourage them to share with their classmates.

Sorting and Charting Apple Seeds

(Science/Math) Johnny Appleseed is famous for planting apples trees. Try this science/math investigation activity with your students:

  • Have each student bring in an apple to class. Then provide students with a copy of this apple guide so they can determine what kind of apple they brought.

  • Next, have students guess how many apple seeds their apple has. (Tip: Make a chart on the front board with their guesses.)

  • Then, cut open the apples and have each child count and record how many seeds their apple has. ( Do all apples have the same amount? What types of apples have the same number?)

  • Once you get the results, have students compare the results of their estimated guess with the actual number of seeds in the apple.

  • Lastly, allow the students to eat their apple for a healthy afternoon snack.

Apple Facts

(Social Studies/History) Try this fun apple project to learn some interesting apple facts:

  • To begin, share a book about apples, such as "Apples for Everyone" by Jill Esbaum, or "How Do Apples Grow?" by Betsey Maestro.

  • Then write the following facts on the front board:

    • Apples consists of 85 percent water.
    • Apples trees can produce fruit for as long as 100 years.
    • An apple usually has five to ten seeds in them.
  • Next, divide students into groups of two to research even more facts about apples. (Tip: print out several pages from the books above for students to find apple facts.)

  • Then have each person write two apple facts they learned on a cut-out apple. (One fact on the front and one fact on the back of the apples.)

  • Once the facts are written, glue a green stem to the top, punch a hole in the green stem and string all the apple facts together on a clothes line. Suspend the apple project from the celing for all to see.

Apple Glyphs

(Art/Language Arts) Get to know your students better with this fun apple glyph activity: (This is a great activity to have in the learning center)

  • For this activity, students will create an apple glyph that conveys information about themselves. To begin, supply the following arts supplies; red, green, yellow, and orange construction paper, glue, scissors, markers, and a sheet of directions.

  • To create the glyph, the students must follow these directions:

    • Apple Color - Red = I have a sister, Green = I have a brother, Yellow = I have a sister and a brother, Orange = I have no siblings.

    • Stem Color - Green = I am a boy, Yellow = I am a girl.

    • Leaf Color - Brown = I have a pet, Yellow = I don't have a pet.

    • Worm Color - Light Brown = I prefer pizza to pasta, Dark Brown = I prefer pasta to pizza.

Have an Apple Party

(Nutrition/Health) What's a better way to end a lesson then to have a party! Ask students to bring in apple snacks in honor of Johnny Appleseed. Foods such as applesauce, apple pie, apple muffins, apple bread, apple jelly, apple juice, and of course plain apples! On the day of the party, have students share their apple glyphs. You can even make a game out it. For example, say "Whoever prefers pizza to pasta please stand up" Or "If you have a yellow stem on your apple, please stand up." Do this until their is one person left standing. The winner gets to pick an apple themed book.

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