A is for Apple
by Judie Haynes
Combine science, language arts, and math with an apple theme for Fall. This is an excellent unit for mixed level ESL classes and can be taught to students of a wide variety of ages and abilities.
In many parts of the United States apples are a sign of Fall. We go apple picking and drink fresh apple cider. We eat apple pie and apple dumplings. Apples provide a means to combine English language learning with content area instruction. Even your newcomers can participate in the "hands-on" parts of this lesson.
Apple Theme Unit
Grades 1-3 beginning to intermediate ESL; Grades 3-8 beginning-advanced beginning ESL
TESOL Goal and Standard
Goal 2, Standard 2 - To use English to achieve academically in all content areas: Students will be able to use English to obtain, process, contruct, and provide subject matter information in spoken and written form.
Goal 3, Standard 1 - To use English in socially and culturally appropriate ways: Students will use the appropriate language variety, register, and genre according to audience, purpose, and setting.
Changes in nature; how apples grow; observing and keeping a science journal; experiments with apples
Library books about apples; five or six different kinds of apples; plastic knives; PDF downloads
round, sweet, tart,juicy, hard, crisp, crunchy ripe, shiny, delicious, skin, core, seeds, Jonathan, Rome Beauty, Mc Intosh, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Red Delicious
- Download PDF files from the New York Apple Association This site contains background information, games, puzzles and other activities for children.
- Make a KWL Chart with your students. Ask them to tell you what they know about apples. Elicit responses from students by asking questions. Write their responses on the chart paper. You may want older students to copy the responses on a smaller chart.
- Read a short book about apple growing that is appropriate for your students. If your library does not carry a book which is easy, find one with good pictures and tell the story in your own words. Try Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson or The Season of Arnold's Apples, by Gail Gibbons.
- Have students review the steps in the process of apples growing trees by using sentence strips. Students should be able to sequence the steps.
- Divide your students into pairs. Give each pair a different type of apple. Have students draw their apples in their science journals and color them. Help students to write words to describe how their apples look. Use the pictures of apples on the web to determine what kinds of apples they have.
- Help students to cut their apples in halves so that they can see the core. Have them look at their apples and draw a picture of the cross-section in their notebooks. Ask students to remove and count the number of seeds. Whose apple had the most seeds? the least amount? This is a good time to introduce fractions to your students if this type of lesson is grade appropriate. Remember many students will not know fractions from their native countries because most of the world uses the metric system.
- Allow students to cut off pieces of their apples to taste. Help them write words to describe how the apples taste. Next they should give a piece of their apples to each of the other students in the class so that the tastes of different kinds of apples can be compared.
- Develop vocabulary for describing apples. Download PDF file Apple Wheel. Have students write a descriptive sentence on each part of the wheel using vocabulary for describing apples: round, sweet, tart,juicy, hard, crisp, crunchy, ripe, shiny, delicious, round, red, yellow, green, hard.
- Have students write about their apple. Use the PDF fileApple Shape as a background to the writing. Have students tell what apple they liked best and what apple they didn't like.
Activities for ESL Students in Grades 3-8
© 1998-2005 Judie Haynes, www.everythingESL.net