That time of year is almost here – September! It’s when
early childhood teachers welcome new students – always an
exciting and challenging time. It’s also when many of us
start units on apples. They’re in season, and conveniently,
they help children learn shapes (circles), colors (red, but
sometimes green and yellow too), healthy eating, the letter
A, which happens to be the first letter of the alphabet. How
thoughtful of them!
I’ve put together a crop of some of my favorite stories and
songs about apples – is you have more please share in the
“Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple” by A. H. Benjamin.
Little Mouse finds an apple and needs help from many
friends to get it home. The surprise ending helps Little
Mouse learn the fun of sharing with friends – a nice
message for those new to preschool!
“A New Home for Mouse” by Petr Horacek. Another
mouse with another apple! Different problem, though.
This one needs a bigger home that can fit both him and
his shiny new meal. Cute cutout illustrations accompany
his search. The surprise ending in this story shows what
happens to an apple when you keep nibbling on it.
(Spoiler alert- it gets smaller!)
“We’re Going on a Picnic!” by Pat Hutchins. This time
our protagonists are the very silly Hen, Goose, and Duck,
who pick apples, pears, and berries for their picnic – but
while they’re bickering about where to eat, a rabbit, a
squirrel and yes, a mouse sneak in the picnic basket
and take the food. Young children love pointing this out
(it’s in the pictures but not mentioned in the text) and
feeling smarter than the clueless picnickers.
“Apple Pickin’ “ (song). This song is set to the familiar
tune of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain” and has
easy motions for shaking a tree, picking apples, and so
on. It’s very simple, and young children really enjoy it.
“Five Green Apples” (song). Sharon, Lois and Bram
sang this cute counting-backward song about Farmer
Brown,who keeps eating his own apples! It’s from the
“School Days” CD and available on iTunes. You can use
this as a fingerplay with 3’s and 4’s or stick little paper
“apples” on your own fingers to illustrate it while you
sing it for younger children.