As the weather begins to grow a little more crisp and the season changes from summer to fall, apple season is once again upon us! Apple week is one of my favorite weeks in September. As you may already know, teaching thematically is my passion. Integrating science, math, literacy and social studies into our apple investigation activities certainly helps increase engagement and mastery of skills.
The beauty of these apple investigation activities is that they can be completed as a whole group or a center. Each day, we complete one or two pages in our interactive apple shape book.
At the end of the week, the students will have a handy apple shaped book containing all sorts of facts about apples. This is a great way to display and solidify their learning!
Math Apple Investigation Activities
I have the students each bring in an apple to investigate. We use these apples to complete a variety of math and literacy activities.
We estimate and measure the height, weight and circumference.
For the height, we use linking cubes. To measure the circumference, we use chain links.
When we weigh the apple, we use a balance scale and teddy bear counters (but any object will work to balance the scale).
We also count and graph how many seeds are inside the apple.
On another day, we taste and graph our favorite kind of apple. For this activity, I ask for parents to donate red, yellow and green apples.
Literacy Apple Investigation Activities
After we graph the color of our favorite tasting apple, we complete a quick mix and fix activity (see the above picture).
As we are investigating apples, we use our five senses to describe them. The students help me create a “Five Senses of an Apple” anchor chart. Then, they use these adjectives to write about their apple.
At the end of our apple investigation activities, I have the students write three facts about apples.
While examining the outside and inside of our apple, we label each of the apple parts.
Another way we integrate literacy is when we learn about the life cycle of an apple. We arrange sentences in the pocket chart. Then, we read an emergent reader containing these same sentences. Each day, we read the story and focus on a different skill.
Science Apple Investigation Activities
Of course, learning about the life cycle of an apple stretches into science.
Then, we read The Apple Pie Tree to discuss the seasons of an apple tree. As I read the story, I create a simple four quarters anchor chart.
We incorporate more science and the scientific process by completing two science experiments.
First, we determine whether an apple will float or sink.
Then, we discuss oxidation and experiment to find out which liquid will prevent an apple from oxidizing.
Social Studies Investigation Activities
Of course, we can’t forget about social studies while we are learning about apples!
To cover this content area, I integrate geography by displaying a map of the world. I ask the students to determine if an apple tree could grow on each of the seven continents. Most students are able to tell me that apple trees will not grow in the North Pole because it’s too cold there. There are also a few who say that they can’t grow in Antarctica because that’s where penguins live. This leads to a great discussion of the needs of an apple tree.
Another social studies topic we tie in is the marketplace. We discuss the items that use apples and do not use apples with a simple pocket chart sort.
To end the week, we make crockpot applesauce. Once we’ve followed and sequenced the recipe, we survey our classmates to see if they like applesauce. Then, we graph and analyze the results.
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