How Does an Apple Grow?

felt apples

Along with visiting the apple orchard we wanted to do some apple-themed learning, so taking my own advice from last fall, I chose to integrate the seasonal theme with some concepts we’re currently working on. I’m learning to pace our studies, remembering there will be other years and more opportunities to explore a subject in depth. “Slow and steady.”

For us, this year’s fall apple theme looked like:


We read Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg, and then the girls narrated the main parts of the story using story printables.

johnny appleseed

I am an Apple was a perfect nonfiction of the life cycle of an apple tree the younger ones. (I think my favorite part though, is the detailed the paper-pieced illustrations!) Ryan read a more advanced version of How Do Apples Grow? We love the Let’s Read and Find Out Science series–simple, colorful, easy to understand.

apple books

After reading we also watched some videos on Brain Pop Jr.: one on Johnny Appleseed and one on the life cycle of an apple. We invested in a home subscription this year, and the videos, activities, and online quizzes have been a fun accompaniment to our subject studies.

Brain Pop about Johnny Appleseed


We reviewed the life-cycle of an apple by putting laminated printables in order.

apple tree life cycle

And then sequenced the growth of an apple tree with a color/cut/paste activity.

how does and apple grow sequence

life cycle of an apple tree


Ryan (8) and I practiced fractions inspired by Jerry Pallotta’s Apple Fractions. (The cut-up apple “props” were later chopped and used for a snack of apple bread!)

apple fractions

Emery (6) also practiced some apple-themed skip counting and Serity (4) colored simple patterns.

apple math


Over the summer as I analyzed our first school year, it became apparent that I’d been putting so much emphasis on moving forward academically that I’d neglected teaching some basic “life skills.” My eight-year-old doesn’t need to read at a 5th grade level (right now!), but he does need to learn how to happily (read: no whining) contribute to our home. And so this year I’ve been a little more laid back on the academics and have been trying to incorporate a lot more “life skills” and “habit building” into our day.

Though they didn’t realize it, part of the “school” plan for the day was to teach Ryan to peel and Emmy to cut apples.

cutting and peeling apples

And if they willingly helped so that I didn’t feel like the “little red hen,” there were rewards to be enjoyed afterwards!

apple bread

If you think your kids would enjoy these apple-themed activities, you can find them here.

4 Comments on How Does an Apple Grow?

  1. Martin Legault
    October 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm (2 years ago)

    I want to start by saying that your blog looks great! My name is Martin and I’m a teacher from Canada. I just started a new website called Resources4teaching where educators can buy and sell lessons and educational resources. We are new and are looking for people to join and put up their materials for sale on our website. We are having an iPad draw for the first 100 Vendors who join and upload at least 1 lesson /resource for sale on our website. There are absolutely no fees to join and you earn royalties of 70%. You can visit us at:
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    If you know any other teachers who might be interested in this Website, please forward this to them and if you have any questions, feel free to message me.

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  2. Holly B.
    September 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you for posting this free on TPT. These activities will work excellently for my second grade homeschooler. We were working on insects, but I think I can squeeze apples in next week. That is the best thing about homeschool (well, one of them).

    • pameladonnis
      September 27, 2013 at 1:13 am (2 years ago)

      Yay for flexibility!
      After you use the activities, I’d love for you to leave feedback on TpT. Thanks so much!!


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  1. […] first week of co-op went well, but fast forward to the next week. My lesson (apple-themed books and activities) went according to plan, but being the teacher of Emmy’s class didn’t go so […]

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