Apple Unit



Students will understand where apples come from, know some different apple varieties, and know how to make food with apples.


How do apples grow?

What can we make with apples?


Activity One: One set of apple sequence cards stapled in order for each child, one set of apple sequence cards unstapled, green, red, brown, and black colored pencils

Activity Two: 2-3 different types of apples, preferably different colors (Macintosh, golden delicious, and granny smith are good ones), Apple cutter, Knife, Cutting board, A chart with a picture of each apple in each column, Pen

Activity Three: Apple corer/peeler/slicer (or a peeler and child-friendly knives), Crock pot, 12 apples, Cinnamon, Measuring cup, Water, Serving spoon, Extension cord (depending on where you’re plugging in the crock pot) Recipe cards for parents

Activity Four: Juicer or cider press, At least one apple per child Knife, Cutting board, Jar or pot to catch the juice, Cups


Activity one


Explain to the group that we’re going to spend a few weeks learning about apples. Ask what they already know about apples- do you have any favorite kinds? Where do they grow? Explain that we have pictures of each step of the growth of an apple, and we’re going to work together to put them in order.

1. Put the unstapled pictures mixed up on the table. Ask the kids which step comes first. If they’re having a hard time getting started, ask them what tiny thing most plants start out as (seed!

2.Help them put the rest of the cards in order. Some of them will be confused by the flower step. Point out that in one picture there’s a tree, but there are flowers on it instead of apples. What do those flowers turn into? Apples!

3.When the pictures are in order, put them away and give each child their little booklet with all the pictures inside, and let them color them in.

Wrap up/ Assessment: When each child finishes coloring, read their book aloud to the group to show off their artwork and help reinforce the lesson.

Activity Two


We are going to continue learning about apples by tasting some different kinds. Ask the students if they think the apples will all taste the same, or if they will taste different. Explain that we’re going to taste each kind of apple, and at the end we’ll vote on which one is our favorite.

1. Show the group the different types of apples you brought, and tell them their names. 2. Choose which one to taste first, and slice it with the apple slicer. Give each student an apple slice and let them taste it.

2. While they’re eating, ask the students what words they would use to describe the taste of this apple. Does it taste like any other foods they know? Some will say the granny smith tastes sour, or like a lemon and that the red tastes sweet, or like candy.

3. When you’ve tasted every different kind of apple, ask the students which one was their favorite. Keep score with tally marks. Some kids will insist on voting for more than one, in which case just put a tally mark under both. If tally marks don’t seem age- appropriate, write the child’s name under their favorite apple, so they can see which apple has more votes based on which list of names is longest.

Wrap up/ Assessment:

When everyone has voted, help them count up how many votes each apple has. Write the number at the bottom of the chart, and hang it on the wall in the classroom where the children can see.

Activity Three


Tell students that since we’ve been learning about apples, today we’re going to cook with them and make applesauce! Ask if they know what the crock pot is. Explain that it plugs into the wall and cooks food slowly. Introduce our ingredients- apples, cinnamon, and water. Pass around the cinnamon for the children to smell. We’re going to put our ingredients in the crock pot and turn it on now, and at the end of the day our applesauce will be ready to eat!


  1. Tell students we need to chop up our apples before we put them in the crock pot. Do we want seeds in our applesauce? What about apple skin? To get the skin and seeds off, we’re going to use this machine.
  2. Demonstrate how to use the apple corer/peeler/slicer. Put an apple in, and let the kids take turns turning the handle. Ask them what’s happening to the apple as we turn it? Show them how the skin comes off in a long string. Break open the core and look at the seeds inside.
  3. When the apple comes out the other side, show them how it’s been sliced into a spiral like a slinky. Let the children break the spiral into pieces and add it to the crock pot.
  4. When all the apples have been added, add the water and cinnamon.
  5. Plug in the crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Wrap up/ Assessment:

When eating the applesauce, discuss how it tastes. Did the crock pot do a good job of cooking the apples? Can they taste the cinnamon?

Activity Four


Ask the students if they know what this machine is. Explain that it’s a juicer/cider press, and we use it to make juice. It crushes up the apples and squeezes them so the juice comes out. Review how to use the equipment, any possible dangers, and where they shouldn’t put their fingers.


  1. Chop up the apples (or don’t if you’re using a cider press) and let the kids take turns feeding apples into the juicer/press. Point out what the juice looks like when it comes out. Is it golden like bottled apple juice?
  2. Show the kids the gooey pulp that’s left over in the juicer/press. Why does it look like that? Explain that when the apple’s been chopped up and all the juice is squeezed out, this is what’s left.
  3. When all the apples have been juiced, pour the juice into cups and taste.

Wrap up/ Assessment:

While tasting the apple juice, ask students if it tastes like other apple juice they’ve had. Point out that it takes a lot of apples and a lot of hard work to make a very small amount of juice.