Johnny Appleseed, an American Folk Hero
by Lynn O 'Malley
Teach your ELLs about American Folktales through a unit on Johnny Appleseed. This is a perfect accompaniment to a thematic unit on Apples or on other Fall topics.
Lesson TopicAmerican Folktales
Grade 2 -6; Advanced Beginning to Intermediate ESL
- Students will demonstrate knowledge of the elements of folktales through class discussions.
- Students will analyze American folktales through the use of skills listed in the reading objectives.
Language Learning Objectives
- Reading: The student will learn to use various skills, such Comparing & Contrasting to improve and demonstrate reading comprehension.
- Writing: The student will learn to use writing skills & strategies, such as graphic organizers.
- Individual copies of grade appropriate book on Johnny Appleseed
- A large Venn diagrams for class use
- Magic Markers
nursery man, orchard, fertile land, tin pot, settlement
1. Elements of folktales will be reviewed together.
- Stories are about heroes.
- Stories are shared orally.
- Some are about real heroes & some are make-believe.
- Exaggerated details describe things as being greater than they really are.
- The heroes are "larger than life."
- They are bigger or stronger than real people.
- They solve problems in ways that are hard to believe.
2. Preview vocabulary from the folktale. List and discuss the words and meanings on chart paper. (nursery man, orchard, fertile land, tin pot, settlement, etc.)
3. Johnny Appleseed will be read and discussed together.
4. In pairs, the students will discuss the difference between the real Johnny Appleseed’s life and how his life would be if he lived today. (What would have to be different? What might stay the same?) Each pair will make a list in their reader’s response journals. Students will use examples from the book and factors of life today to support the information on their list.
5. On the board, hang a large Venn diagram. Using information from the students’ discussions, guide the class in comparing and contrasting the real Johnny Appleseed with Johnny Appleseed today.
6. Display Venn diagram for the class.
TESOL Goals and Standards
Standard 1: English language learners communicate in English for social and Instructional purposes within the school setting.
Standard 2: English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of Language Arts.
Standard 1 Reading: E1a, E1b
Standard 3 Listening, Speaking: E3a, E3b, E3c
Standard 5 Literature: E5a, E5b
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