John Chapman, otherwise known as Johnny Appleseed, is still important to third graders! We have an Apple Theme Day around Johnny Appleseed Day. Our activities read into reading, writing, math, & science.
The previous week, students are given a note asking them to bring in an apple. It is hoped that each student will bring in their own apple, but we teachers are sure to pick up a few to be sure there's a class set. I try to get "interesting" apples: Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, etc. so that we have a variety to look at.
On Monday, we read a Johnny Appleseed text. This year, we read Johnny Appleseed: The Story of A Legend, Johnny Appleseed: The Legend and the Truth, and Johnny Appleseed. While reading these informational texts, we list the facts we learn about Johnny. We make a long list together as a class. Many students do not know that Johnny Appleseed was an actual person!
Tuesday is our note-taking day. After making our long list on Monday, students now choose the most important fact about Johnny's life. (We just finished another nonfiction research writing, so they are pros at taking notes/finding interesting facts!)
Next, students start their rough draft about the importance of Johnny Appleseed from our notes on Tuesday. Plus, Wednesday is our movie day! We watch Wholesome Heroes with Rick Sowash, Johnny Appleseed. We continue to work on our rough drafts and revising/editing on Thursday
Friday is our scientific & delicious day! We start the day filling crockpots to make apple butter. Our classroom smell WONDERFUL by the end of the day! Students measure our ingredients as we read the apple butter recipe together.
At the end of our experimenting, we get to eat our apples and apple butter while watching Johnny Appleseed's adventure!