Johnny Appleseed Activities

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed, is best known for his endeavors to plant apple trees across the country. Use the activities below to accompany a lesson or unit on this famous American.

Johnny Appleseed

Johnny Appleseed was a famous American frontiersman that young learners enjoy reading and learning about. His story promotes a message of hope, dedication, and respect for one's country that is important for students to understand. The activities below, intended for use with lower elementary learners, can be used to help students make a personal connection with the story of Johnny Appleseed.

Apple Tasting Fun

Materials: 3-4 red delicious apples, 3-4 granny smith apples, 3-4 gala apples, blank apple cut outs, crayons, tape

  • Cut the apples up so that each student in the class is able to have a piece of each type of apple.
  • Give each student a piece of each type of apple and have them taste it.
  • Once students have tasted each type of apple, ask them to think about which is their favorite. Encourage them not to tell anyone which one they choose as a favorite (so as not to sway opinions).
  • Next, give each student a blank apple cut out and crayons.
  • Explain that students are to take one crayon and color their apple cut out the color of the apple they have chosen as a favorite.
    • Red delicious = red
    • Granny smith = green
    • Gala = orange
  • Now, on the board, write the name of each type of apple. Leave plenty of space next to each name as you will be creating a large graph using the apple cut outs.
  • One at a time, have students bring their cut outs to you. Tape each one next to the appropriate name. Line the apples up as you go so that the final result is a large bar graph going across the board.
  • As a class, count how many votes were given to each type of apple. Write totals at the end of each row.
  • Pull in some math by asking miscellaneous questions such as:
    • How many more people voted for granny smith than gala?
    • How many people voted for red delicious and gala together?
    • How many people did not vote for a red apple?
    • What is the difference between the apple with the most votes and the apple with the least?

Letter to Johnny Appleseed

Materials: writing paper, pencil

  • Put students into groups of 2-3.
  • Ask students to think about what they would like to say to Johnny Appleseed if they could.
  • Give each group writing paper and a pencil
  • Instruct each group to compose a letter to Johnny Appleseed. Ask them to include thoughts such as:
    • What you've learned about him.
    • What influence his actions had on our country.
    • What his story means to you.
    • What types of apples you like to eat and/or all the things you can do with an apple.
    • Any questions you wish you could ask him.
  • Allow time for each group to work. Encourage use of proper letter writing format with:
    • Greeting
    • Body
    • Closing
    • Signature
  • Once finished, allow each group to read their letter aloud to the class.

Helping the Earth

Materials: poster board, markers

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