Just the other day, I overheard a camper say, “Apples are old-fashioned.”
Apples are the iconic symbol for teachers and school but, I’ve never really thought about why.
Why Apples for School?
When I looked it up quickly, I found several theories. According to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, this apple tradition began in the 1700s in Denmark and Sweden when poor families gave baskets of apples to teachers as payment for their education.
Reading this sparked my curiosity. I wondered, “What do students think about apples? And if they could choose a fruit to serve as a symbol for teachers and school, what would it be?”
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Well here’s the lesson to find out!
Common Core State Standards
NOTE: This lesson can address the following Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA.LITERACY.W.K.1, W.1.1, W.2.1, W.3.1, W.3.1.A, W.3.1.B, W.3.1.C, W.3.1.D, W.4.1, W.4.1.A, W.4.1.B, W.4.1.C, W.4.1.D, W.5.1, W.5.1.A, W.5.1.B, W.5.1.C and W.5.1.D.
To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post. The lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use. Here’s the lined paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7
NOW FOR THE LESSON!
- Engage the students by asking, “Do you know why the apple is a symbol for teachers and school?” (Enjoy their responses)
- Tell students that there are several theories and that one theory says that a long time ago in Denmark and Sweden poor families would give baskets of apples to their teacher to pay them for their education.
Tell the Story Line
3. Tell the story line: “You’re going to write your own opinion about apples. Then, you’re going to write about whether you like or don’t like the apple as the symbol for education. Lastly, you’re going to write about the fruit that you would choose to represent school.
4. Ask the students their own thoughts about apples. Do they like apples? Why or why not? Encourage them to consider appearance/taste/recipes/experiences such as picking apples)
Show the 5 Sections
Opinion about apples
Opinion about apples as the symbol for education
New fruit idea
As mentioned in my writing prompts introduction: K-1st Graders are encouraged to write 1 sentence for each section, 2nd Graders 2 sentences, 3rd Graders 3 sentences and so on.
NOW TO WRITE!
Guide the students through the following steps so their story is organized and complete. They are free to write these ideas in their own words. (I’ve written examples in italics for your own guidance.)
- Begin the introduction by hooking the reader with a question or comment about apples.
Can you remember the last time you ate an apple? Last year? Last week? 2 minutes ago?
- Write a general opinion about apples.
I LOVE apples! OR I can’t understand why people like apples!
- Explain your opinion with details. Things that you can mention are its appearance and taste, apple foods or drinks that you like or don’t like and/or any experiences you’ve had with apples (picking, losing your tooth etc.)
- Write your opinion about apples as the symbol for education.
An apple is the perfect fruit for education.
I’m tired of apples.
- Explain why you think so.
August and September welcome the fall harvest. It’s hard to break tradition.
I live in a tropical environment. I think the fruit symbol for education should fit its environment.
- Suggest a new fruit (or food) to represent school. Explain your choice.
Oranges would make a great school fruit also. They’re bright in color. They’re sweet too!
Pineapples would make a great school fruit! They’re refreshing and cheerful.
- Write a conclusion.
Apples are a yummy fruit, but I would like pineapples to be the new school fruit.
I don’t like apples. I’d rather see oranges at school.
And it never hurts to incorporate food in a writing lesson! Bring apples to cut up and serve.
Print the Lesson
Here are a few examples of my students’ work: