Sunday, October 5, 2014

Farm Fun in the Apple Tree Room!

It has been a busy month in the Apple Tree Room! Take a look at a few of the things we've been doing to develop our research, reading, and writing skills!

We started our farm unit with our week long Apples, Apples, Apples unit. We started by reading The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons. The kids did this cut-and-paste activity in which they matched the illustration of the tree to the appropriate season.

Later in the week, they began painting their trees to illustrate the changes in the trees throughout the seasons.

I love this activity because it is so easy to differentiate.  Students who are ready to write independently write sentences describing the trees. Other students can choose an appropriate description and glue it on the page.
The culminating activity was to make an apple pie!  We read How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World. The students wrote "how-to" paragraphs about how to make an apple pie, and then we made it! Yummy!  The how-to posters sure were a big help when students were writing!

Next we started our Farm unit. This group of kiddos needed to spend a bit of time learning how to conduct research before moving into informative writing, so I developed a research chart to help them gather their data.  It's so exciting to see what kids can do when they have the right tools!
We added a simple flap to their charts, made a cute craftivity, and voila!  The student work was displayed in an adorable format!

Throughout the unit, we learned more about how food gets from the farm to the table...
 ...identified the names of farm animals....
 ...and learned to label animal body parts....

The final step was to transform our researched facts into informative sentences and paragraphs.

I pulled in our Three Little Pigs and The Little Red Hen unit resources to provide students with differentiated reading books. They loved reading these booklets over and over again to each, and couldn't wait to get home to read them to their families!

They especially loved reading a Southwest version of The Little Red Hen and comparing it to the traditional version.
From here, we'll be moving on to a Zoo unit, and then revisit the Farm in late October with our pumpkin unit.

Happy Fall!