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A is for Apple--A Thematic Unit


About this Daily Classroom Special
A is for Apple was written by Marilyn Chadwick. Marilyn is involved in a collaboration between the New York City Board of Education and the United Federation of Teachers.


"Apple" just happens to kick off the short vowel decoding process. Short A is an easy vowel to learn and a much used one in the English language. Begin by associating the sound with the letter, using the word "apple." As the children become familiar with the sound/symbol relationship, add additional words beginning with "A." If you are working in a school which only uses the whole language approach, associate the spoken word with the print, emphasizing the short a sound at the beginning.

Language Arts

Vocabulary and Communication Skills - Describe your apple. Have the children create a semantic map describing the characteristics of an apple. Enhance their vocabulary by giving them additional adjectives.

Size - small, medium, large
Color - red, green, yellow
Texture - smooth, hard, crunchy
Taste - sweet, sour
  Parts - skin, stem, core, seeds, meat


Draw a story with an apple in it. Have the children share their stories aloud with the class. Tape record the stories to use as a baseline for future assessment and evaluation.

Read Aloud

The Story of Johnny Appleseed by Aliki


Fractions. The word "fraction" is a synonym for "a piece." Teach the concept of one half using paper apples (fold in halves). How many halves make a whole? Cut an apple in half. Have the children identify the size by saying one half. Write the symbol for one half on the board. Teach that the bottom number tells how many pieces the whole is divided into and the top number identifies the number of pieces. Have the children write 1/2 on each side of their paper apples. Let them eat the real apples. If the class seems ready, follow this lesson up with fourths.


How does heat change an apple? Brainstorm with the class what they think will happen when the apple is heated. Lead them to say that the apple is wet and juicy inside. What happens when water boils? It turns to steam. When the apple is heated, the water inside the apple turns into steam and evaporates. The apple loses its turgidity. Make applesauce.

Plant the apple seeds. Use a sterile, potting soil mix. Plant a lot of seeds. Only a few will germinate.

Bulletin Board

Staple a large tree in the center of the board. Have each child color an apple. Choose a theme for the tree - numbers, letters, a picture of each child in the class. Hang the apples on the tree.


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