Teaching Ideas for Upper Elementary Students Using Apples


Apple Quotes

Using apple-shaped writing paper have students make a booklet. We used the apple pattern from the Ellison Die-Cut. Two apple shapes were cut from red construction paper to use as front and back covers. A stack of notebook pages were also cut to use inside the booklet. Students stacked the pages together and stapled them down the left side to form a book. Students used the book to write an apple saying on each page of the booklet. You can go a step further and have students illustrate the same and/or write the figurative meanings. This is a great way to incorporate the Common Core Standards CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.3.5.A, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.4.5.B., and CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.5.5.B in your lessons. Here is a great list of apple quotes to get you started.

Apple Facts

Did you know....

  • According to Country Living Gardner magazine, archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C.
  • 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
  • 7500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.

Amaze students with some interesting apple facts. This page includes a long list.

Teaching Idea - Have students write interesting apple facts on apple shapes. Display these on a bulletin board.

Johnny Appleseed
Free Vocabulary Resources

Do you love Steven Kellogg's book Johnny Appleseed? Download this free resource to use with the book. This download includes bookmarks, word cards, a vocabulary list with definitions, and a six-page mini book with vocabulary practice. Patterns and instructions to complete a craftivity with the vocabulary words are also included. Note this book is appropriate for 2nd - 4th graders. Download these free activities here.

Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg

More about Johnny Appleseed

Compare/Contrast Johnny Appleseed (fictional character) to John Chapman (the real man).

Compare two or more Johnny Appleseed books. Make a T-Chart or Venn diagram to show their similarities and differences. Here are a few books you might like to use:

  • Johnny Appleseed: The Legend and the Truth by Jane Yolen (2nd - 5th grade)
  • Who was Johnny Appleseed? by Joan Holub (3rd - 7th grade)
  • Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend by Will Moses (4th-6th grade)

Apple Tasting

Have students sample different varieties of apples. Students will then make a bar grade of the class favorites. Download a printable bar graph to use with this activitiy. (Save the apple seeds from this activity to use with the idea below.)

    Apple Tasting

    Apple Tasting
    Apple Tasting
    Apple Tasting


    Classroom Cooking

    Watch Reading Rainbow Episode #1113 - How to Make an Apple Pie which features the book How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World. In this episode, LeVar works on recipes including lasagna and apple raisin muffins. This sets the tone for creating something in the classroom.

    The first recipe is for no-bake cookies. It is a great classroom recipe. The second recipe is for apple tarts. At our school, our cafeteria staff doesn't mind baking occassionally when students create cookies, tarts, etc. that go with a lesson. You can ask your cafeteria staff. They might surprise you.

    Thumbprint Cookies Made with Apple Butter


1 package vanilla wafer cookies
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup clear Karo syrup
½ cup jelly or preserves

Place the vanilla wafer cookies into a gallon size plastic baggie and zip closed. Ask your child or children to crush the cookies into tiny crumbs. Place the crushed cookies into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the Karo syrup and the vanilla. Have the children drizzle the syrup mixture over the wafer crumbs and mix well with their hands. Ask your children to help you shape the cookie mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet. Have the children press their thumbs into the center of the balls to make indentations, and then spoon the jelly into the indentations. Cover and chill for 1 hour before serving. Makes approximately 10 cookies.


    Thumbprint Cookies Made with Apple Butter
    Thumbprint Cookies Made with Apple Butter

    Apple Tarts

    refrigerator biscuits or Crescent Rolls
    apple -peeled and chopped
    3 TBS sugar
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    2 TBS butter

    1. Using a rolling pin, flatten each biscuit to a 3-inch to 4-inch circle.
    2. Combine the apple, sugar and cinnamon; place a tablespoonful on each biscuit.
    3. Dot with butter.
    4. Bring up sides of biscuit to enclose filling and pinch to seal.
    5. Place in ungreased muffin cups.
    6. Bake at 375 for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.

    Creative Writing

Encourage students to think creatively by reading The Little Red House with the Star Inside.

Words Describing Apples
Students wrote words describing apples on apple shapes. These words were later used to create a descriptive story. Notice how the apple seeds that were saved from the apple tasting activity were used.
Words Describing Apples

Craft Project - Flower Pot Apples

Flower Pot Apples
Flower Pot Apples
Materials Needed:
  • 3 inch Terra Cotta Clay Pot
  • 3 inch Terra Cotta Clay Saucer
  • Small Wooden Spool
  • Fun Foam
  • Paint
  • Clear Acrylic Sealer Spray
  • Glue (hot glue gun preferred)
Wipe down your terra cotta pot and saucer with a damp cloth and let dry completely.

Paint the clay pot and saucer red (figure 1) - let dry. Paint a face on pot (figure 2). Paint the wooden spool green. Once all your paint is dry, spray it with the clear acrylic sealer.

flower pot apples   flower pot apples

Flip the saucer upside down and place it as a lid on top of the clay pot. Glue the wooden spool on to the bottom of the saucer (figure 3). Cut a small leaf shape out of fun foam and glue it to the wooden spool. Your apple is now done! A great place to keep treasures, candy, or other small items.

flower pot apples



Teaching Ideas for Upper Elementary Students using Apples