Whew! As we approach mid-September, most of us are through the back to school frenzy. I know it’s not Teacher Appreciation Week and it’s not a holiday, but maybe now your thoughts turn to “How can I be involved in the classroom and support my child’s teacher?” Maybe you could give the teacher an apple? Nah, that’s been done.
Maybe you could give an apple of a different sort… a story and lesson for the class centered around apples. Using Marjorie Priceman’s adorable book How to Make and Apple Pie and See the World, I did just that.
Priceman’s book tells the story of a little girl who wants to make an apple pie, but the market is closed. Therefore, the hunt for ingredients takes her across the globe and back. Also highlighted is the fact that a lot of work must be done to turn raw materials into ingredients for use in a pie. For example, after traveling to Italy during harvest season, the fine semolina wheat gathered must still be processed into flour before making a crust.
After reading the book aloud to the class, we REREAD the book marking all the ingredients and their locations on a world map I brought in and fastened to the wall. As we came to an ingredient, I handed a child a picture of that ingredient with a colored shape on the back, so even if he or she did not know where Vermont was located, they could find the corresponding blue dot and affix their ingredient to the correct spot on the map.
After locating all the ingredients, we talked about the map. I explained there are seven major continents and explained what a continent was, pointed out the oceans and talked about the location of our country and state. As you would expect, many students were startled by how small our state was in relation to all the other places on the map.
We made an apple pie, of course! I took in all the ingredients mentioned in the book and, together, we made an apple pie. I first mixed the ingredients for a crust and let the students feel the spongy texture. Then we cut apples and combined all the ingredients for the filling. Because we had no oven to bake this pie, I let students look, listen, taste and touch through each step of the process. They loved it!
I’m pretty sure you know that we had apple pie for snack! In addition to two pies I baked at home, I took in apple juice and a variety of apple types for tasting. Students took a class poll and voted for their favorite kind (Gala won).
Using Priceman’s book as a jumping off point to study food science, geography and math (our poll for favorite apples), worked really well for the classroom. I hope this provides some inspiration for you as you seek to become involved in your child’s class this school year.