Thursday, September 27, 2012

Unit Theme: Apples!


We have had a lot of apple-y fun these past 2 weeks.  We've learned about apples, picked apples, done apple crafts, made apple pie, and eaten apples (although, that is nothing out-of-the-ordinary).

Bulletin board after week 1....I think I need a bigger one?!
Some All-About-Apples Books:
We enjoyed reading these, and using them as resources for some of our apple activities.


Apple Tree Sequencing:
Using sentences directly from Our Apple Tree, as well as the pictures in the book as reference, the kiddos illustrated the changes each season brings to the apple tree.


Apple Tree Craft: 
Crumpled brown paper trunk (what's better than crumpling up paper?), sponge-painted leaves, pop-poms for the apples.

 
Caleb wrote a story about his apple tree using a combination of words he already knows how to read/spell and some words he spelled using "inventive" spelling.  I love seeing his mind work!  Last week, we learned that "ee" and "ea" make the long "e" sound.  So naturally, "yummy" should be spelled "yumee". =)

"My apple tree is foll (full) of apples.  My tree has yumee (yummy) apples.  I like apples."
Apple Jacks Graphing:




Unit Songs:  
For every unit, we have 1 (or more) songs/poems that we sing each morning.  While merely singing the fun songs is enough to appeal to Meredith, it is also good Reading practice for Caleb.  Many of the words in the songs we sing are quickly becoming familiar to him, and for a child learning to read, singing/reciting something with rhythm and/or rhyme is very beneficial for fluency!  The kids love to find "popcorn words" (high frequency words) in the songs, and really love using the sticky notes to identify them.  And, they better never forget how to spell "apple"!


M wanted to me "take videos" of her singing these apples songs. =)

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Mini-Books:  
Caleb's preschool teacher often sent these types of books home with the kids, and it was always fun to read them together, and hear Caleb read them to us.  They are simple, and repetitious, which also helps with reading fluency.



I put together two different versions of "I Like Apples", one for M and one for C.

Meredith's is very simple.  Each page says "I see a __________ apple." (insert color word) and she had to color the apple appropriately.
Caleb's has more complicated sentences, but I used words that he can read.  For example: "I see a red apple in the tree".  Or, "I see a yellow apple on my hand."  He had to create the illustrations himself, to match the sentence.
Apple Jacks Counting:
Using more Apple Jacks, Meredith counted out enough for each already-labeled cube in the ice cream tray (numbers are written on the bottom).  Meredith loves to count, and is really quite good at it, so she enjoyed this.  I love that she actually turned it into a pattern activity as well, alternating between green and red.



Parts of An Apple Labeling:


Meredith's
Caleb's...in addition to making his diagram, he also answered 2 questions: How many parts of an apple are there? and What are the parts of an apple called?
 Seed to Tree Sequencing:

Meredith's (don't mind the 2 upside-down trees!)
Caleb's
 Sensory Bin:
I added some Autumn-related items (fake apples, gourds, pine cones, leaves, and acorns)  to our rice/beans bin (and transferred everything to a larger container!) and the kids could seriously play with this stuff for hours.  They just love it.  Most times, I don't give them any direction with this - I just let them play and pretend and scoop and dump.  Other times, I have them do more intentional things, such as sort or count or compare/contrast.




Stuffed Apple Craft:
Click here for the simple instructions for making this!


Johnny Appleseed:
We used this book as our reference as we learned about Johnny Appleseed.


Character Organizer:
Caleb answered some simple questions about Johnny Appleseed, and drew a picture of him.

The 3 main questions at the bottom flip up to reveal...
...the answers.
 Appleseed Counting:
Meredith counted out appleseeds (pre-cut from construction paper) to place on the appropriately numbered apple (die-cuts from the teacher store that I labeled).


Ten Apples Up on Top:
This is a really fun Dr. Seuss book (aren't all his books fun?!).  There are soooo many activities that you could do with this story.  Another really great aspect to this book is that it is great for a child learning to read (as many Dr. Seuss books are).  Caleb could read about 90% of the words in this book all on his own.  It's so fun to see him transfer all he is learning into reading a "real" book!


Apples (Stickers) Graphing:



Apples Up On Top of ME Craft:


Apple Stamping:


Finished products of the apple stamping (Meredith's are on the left and Caleb's are on the right):

Burlap "flags":


Wreaths:


Unit Verse:

With all of the verse memorization the kids are working on for AWANA, I am not really stressing memorization with our unit verses.  But, we do recite the theme verse every day, and discuss what it means.

For our Apples Unit, our theme verse was:
Psalm 17:8 - Keep me as the apple of your eye. 


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And...Shane makes his Bible verse debut. I love how he "finishes" the verse....sort of. =)



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