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Johnny Appleseed Lesson for Kids: Facts & Biography

Instructor: Jaclyn Radtke

I am a second grade teacher. I have been teaching second grade for two years. I previously taught fifth grade. I work in an urban school district. I am also interesting in drama and dance, which is why I am currently an assistant director of our after school for the arts program and co-director/choreographer of our school productions. I have a bachelors and a masters degree in elementary education.

While his character is a folk hero, Johnny Appleseed was actually a man who lived in the 1700's. In this lesson, you'll learn all about the life of Johnny Appleseed, as well as some interesting facts.

Who is Johnny Appleseed?

Did you know that Johnny Appleseed's real name was John Chapman? He got his nickname, because he was the man that carried around apple seeds, planting them, and growing trees all over the land.

John Chapman was born on September 26, 1774, in Massachusetts. John's father, Nathaniel Chapman, was active in the Army, and his mother, Elizabeth Chapman, died at his birth.

Drawing of Johnny Appleseed

John's father was a farmer. When he noticed that his son was interested in his work, he set him up with an apprenticeship to become an orchardist, a person that manages an orchard. John learned very quickly and later grew into an independent orchardist.

The Beginning of His Adventure

At around 18, John Chapman began to travel the world. His travels began with his half-brother, Nathaniel, and they planted several apple trees along the way. John was marking this land as his territory, and by the time he died, he owned over 1,200 acres of land.

While legends state that Johnny Appleseed was a carefree wanderer with sacks of apple seeds that he would just randomly throw down during his travels, this is untrue. He had a motive to where he planted his trees. He would plant in certain areas, and then go back to those areas of land to sell them to make money for himself.

But not all the legends are untrue! John Chapman did have an interesting personality. He would walk barefoot, and he did wear a tin hat. Although, it was not a cooking pot. He was also a vegetarian and believed all animals should have the right to live and not be killed for food or clothing. John Chapman died in March of 1845 in Fort Wayne, Indiana at 71 years old.

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