Apples for the (Early Childhood) Teacher


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

  1. “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! 

  2. “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!)

  3. “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.

  4. “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.

  5. “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
    it for younger children. 


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