Johnny Appleseed Day is CLASSIC! I mean who doesn’t remember making applesauce, deciding what color apple was their favorite, and wearing a sauce pan hat around the classroom. I know I do. While there are many fantastic Johnny Appleseed Day songs and fact sheets about the infamous Johnny Appleseed, your students need hands-on activities that bring new life to this favorite holiday.
For me, I am always looking for ways to modernize what was done when I was in school to make it fresh and exciting for my students. I also LOVE it when my students can do the task or activity completely independently, so I don’t have to hear my name shouted millions of times from every corner of my classroom. Anyone else feel this way?? If you do, then read on!
Johnny Appleseed Day Story
The tall tale of Johnny Appleseed is a huge part of the classic charm focused around this holiday. Long story short, John Chapman (spoiler alert: that is Johnny Appleseed’s real name) came from a family of 11 kids. John was born on September 26thwhich is why we celebrate Appleseed Day then. He decided when he was a teenager to introduce apple trees to Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, and Illinois. So, he set off on foot (barefoot as the legend tells) with a knapsack full of apple seeds and a sauce pan on his head. Wherever he planted an apple seed it grew into an apple tree. Then all the apple trees turned into apple orchards.
Through his travels, he told stories to the children he met along the way and was known far and wide as being a kind and generous soul.
My students are always intrigued about Johnny. They are always dying to know why he wears a pot on his head and why he walks around barefoot. They also can’t wait to experiment with apples and get their hands on all types of activities.
Johnny Appleseed Day Activities
Ready for a game? Tell me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Johnny Appleseed. You might answer with: apple seeds, pan hat, or apple orchards. However, the first thing I think of is APPLES!! If you answered the same way, then you are I are on the same wavelength.
How do I take my love of apples and make it valuable learning? By playing the SPLAT game of course. I don’t know of any student who doesn’t love playing SPLAT.
What is it? In this version, the students get to practice capital letters, lower case letters, or numbers. However, you could do a combination of 2 or all 3 topics for added practice or review. To play the game, a student pulls a card from the pile and either says the letter/letter sound or number on the card. If they get it correct, they get to keep the card and the next person goes. If not, they put the card in a different stack. If a person pulls a SPLAT card, they have to put all their cards in the other stack. This game allows for endless fun and learning at the same time.
Want to know one area that I really struggle with in my classroom? Let me be honest and say that it is CENTERS and how to incorporate the topic/content we are learning into a hands-on approach.
I can’t wait to use these Appleseed centers in my classroom during that time. These will all be independent activities for my kindergarteners. There may be some students that need a little extra help which is to be expected. Having the students work with their peers will aide their understanding of the concept.
Appleseed Sentence Scramble
My students love unscrambling sentences and drawing pictures to match. This activity is awesome because the kids have to practice writing the sentence as well as reading it to make sure that their picture matches. I make sure to emphasize capital letters, spacing, and end punctuation prior to using this activity.
“What’s in Johnny’s Knapsack?” Writing Activity
Another area that I struggle with daily is making time for writing. We are so busy making sure to cover everything else that I hate to admit it but sometimes writing gets pushed aside. Not anymore with this cute and simple Appleseed writing activity.
Your students will love thinking up creative ideas as to what could be in Johnny’s knapsack. I can’t wait to see what my students come up with and the cute hallway display that I can create with this activity.
Johnny Appleseed Math Task Cards
Who doesn’t love math task cards? For me they check off all the boxes. Very little teacher prep, no papers to check, and hands-on/collaborative learning for the students. With these task cards, the students count have many apples are on the ten frame and then use manipulatives to mark the correct answer. Don’t worry if you don’t have clothespins, you can use any type of marker, from mini erasers, pom poms, to math counters.
Number Apple Basket Sort
Recognizing and sorting numbers is an important skill necessary in Kindergarten. Students will love figuring out which cards belong to which basket. This activity also focuses on building a classroom community by having the students work together. You could even have your students add to the cards by using manipulatives to show the number on the basket.
Johnny Appleseed Hat
This one is just plain fun because a classroom can’t be work all the time. My students love making hats and wearing them all around the school. What is cuter than them pretending to be like Johnny Appleseed? All you have to do is write their name (or have them write their name) on the line, color, cut, and staple to a sentence strip. Super easy and super cute!
I can’t wait to see all of your students enjoying Johnny Appleseed Day and the activities that go along with it. Feel free to comment below your childhood memories or what you do to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day!
Looking for more??
Are you looking for a way to livein up your getting to know you activities? Then, look no further. Find out how I turn “Ugh” into “Woah” with getting to know you activities that are exciting and definitely NOT boring!