Teaching Ideas for Upper Elementary Students Using Apples




American speech is rich with colorful phrases. This list includes the history and meanings behind some popular apple sayings.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. - This is an English proverb. It means that eating nutritious food will make you healthier. The phrase dates back to 1866 when Notes and Queries magazine published the first-known example of the proverb: “Eat an apple on going to bed, And you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread."

compare apples and oranges - To try to highlight the similarities between two different things—which typically cannot be done.

An apple never falls far from the tree. - This adage is a way of saying children inherit characteristics of their parents.

an apple for the teacher - Giving apples to teachers began in the 1700s when poor families in Denmark and Sweden paid for their children's education with baskets of apples.

rotten to the core - thoroughly bad

apple of my eye - This expression dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, when people conceived of the pupil of the eye to be, like the apple, a global object.The pupil was also regarded as the figurative "window" to the treasured secrets within each of us. Thus, the "apple of my eye" meant someone very beloved.

How do you like them apples? - A phrase used to draw attention to one's cleverness or superiority to the one being addressed, especially after a recent triumph.

sour as a green apple - This simile is often used to describe a person who is in a bad mood. 

apple polisher - a person who flatters another in order to get ahead

as American as apple pie - Americans may profess to have invented this dessert, but history books trace pie as far back as 14th Century England. Pie-making skills, along with apple seeds, came over with the Pilgrims, and as the country prospered the rather slim apple pie of colonial times became the deep-dished extravaganza we enjoy today. Through the 19th and early 20th centuries, apple pie became the symbol of American prosperity, causing one American newspaper to proclaim in 1902, "No pie-eating people can be permanently vanquished."

Macintosh - A computer brand name, not to be confused with the famous apple variety McIntosh.

One bad apple spoils the whole bunch. - First coined by Chaucer as, "the rotten apple injures its neighbors."

The Big Apple - This nickname for one of our nation's greatest cities, New York, dates from the 1930s and '40s, when jazz jived in clubs across the country. Manhattan soon became known for having "lots of apples on the tree" – that is, lots of places to play jazz.

upper crust - In early America, when times were hard and cooking supplies were scarce, cooks often had to scrimp and save on ingredients. Apple pie was a favorite dish, but to save on lard and flour, only a bottom crust was made. More affluent households could afford both an upper and a lower crust, so those families became known as "the upper crust."

Don't upset the apple cart. - This idiom means a person shouldn't ruin plans or arrangements; spoil something.


Clipart by From Sketch To School Graphics and Clipart