Saturday, October 20, 2012

Apple Theme Mini-Unit

I was planning on making apple pie this week with the kids, but hadn't gotten around to it yet.  When I saw how many apples we had lying around, I thought that I'd bring them out for a little counting/addition/subtraction practice for the twins.  We ended up doing a little mini-unit on the theme of apples.  It took zero preparation, which was nice for me, and the girls enjoyed doing a couple different activities with the apples.  Here's what we did..

Apple Math

L noticed that the apples were different sizes and asked to order them by size.  Since they were already in a straight line, I asked her to swap two at a time and see how many swaps it would take.

We did a lot of the usual things we do with math/counting manipulatives, which included a lot of word problems ("If you have 5 apples, and you eat 2, how many do you have?") for addition and subtraction.

Fine Motor Skills

It wasn't an easy task to peel the produce stickers off the apples and stick them on a piece of paper.

Apple Seed Science

I cut an apple open and let the kids make some observation about the seeds (and compare to the seeds they've seen in other fruit like peaches and strawberries).  They also drew pictures of a cross-section of an apple.

Both L and E begged me to let them plant the seeds in the yard, but since it was a windy cold day and the ground was dry and hard, I let them plant them among some damp paper towels:

Will they grow?  Who knows..  The girls are already telling stories about how next spring they will replant their saplings and have an apple orchard in the backyard.  We'll see...

Apple Print Painting

I cut a sort of handle in the apple slices and invited the girls to make prints with their apples by dipping them in a plate of red paint and then pressing them on their papers.  They had a really good time with this, and did not care at all that they didn't end up with perfect circles (this is supposed to end up looking like a circle with a star shape in the middle, but I don't think I cut it very evenly, either)..

And that's the story of how I came up with a spontaneous apple mini-unit one morning last week...

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