This week we are picking apples from a tree near our playground. We have been walking by this tree every day on our way to recess and we usually stop beneath it to sing our new apple song. We have borrowed a few "apple pickers" from our families since the branches are too tall for us to reach. Next week we are going to bake little apple pies with our apples. I will be sure to post about that process....so stay tuned.
At group time this week we are learning a little more about how apples grow. I have read parts from the book How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro. This book has beautiful illustrations and lots of great information about the life cycle of an apple tree.
On our science shelf this week is an activity where the children can sequence a set of photos to show the life cycle of an apple tree. To make this work I used images from a free download from Montessori for Everyone. It is under the "Botany" section in the free downloads. Lori has so many beautiful mateirals on her website. I have purchased many from her. I also have a set of printed and laminated apple life cycle 3-part cards on the shelf. I used those to make the cut and paste paper for this activity.
This is how I've set up the materials on a tray on my science shelf. There is a little woven tray which holds the cut-apart pictures. I copied them on a color copier and they look awesome! Then there is a stack of white (cheap-o) paper plates which have an address label stuck to the middle. It says, "Life Cycle of An Apple Tree." You can download a sheet of the labels using the link below. And we have a little basket with scissors, gluestick and gluing mat.
This completed life cycle plate is stuck on the wall near the science shelf to use as a control for the work. I love using a plate for life cycle activities instead of a booklet because they really demonstrate the cyclical nature of life cycles so well.