We spent 4 days of school in one week on A is for Apple in May, using The Peaceful Preschool as a guide (you can download the Letter A Unit for FREE here). Then, for the second week of our Letter A Unit I did 2 days of A is for Ant and 2 days of A is for Acorn.
For the record: if I made a weekly plan today for a Letter A Unit, I would do half this stuff (or less). I do not regret doing this much because I had to try and I had to learn in my own way what too much was for our family. I’m sharing everything we did below, but just know that I think this was too much for a 2 week time frame!
|We focused on the story of Adam & Eve: that God created us and takes care of us. You can read more about our Bible Story by Letter Unit here.|
A IS FOR APPLE
- Ten Apples Up On Top!*
- How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World*
- Apple Pie ABC
- Apple Farmer Annie
- The Apple Pie Tree
- Ten Red Apples
- Curious George Apple Harvest
- Farm Anatomy (Apple Varieties, page 103)
*Books for The Peaceful Preschool curriculum
- Fine Motor Skills
- Practical Life Skills
- Art Skills
Sandpaper Letter A: I demonstrate how to form letter A with the card then ask my son to repeat
Letter A item basket: name the items and make the letter sounds. We also did the Jolly Phonics letter A sound action. We also play “I Spy” where I describe one item at a time and the kids have to guess what it is.
Glitter glue letter A, via The Peaceful Preschool
|The Peaceful Preschool crafts
Glue wheat berries on to a large letter A printout. I have my kids spread glue with a Q-tip on to the letter, asking them to hold the Q-tip in the pencil grip.
Glue cut colored squares on to the provided apple printout. We used squares cut from paint sample sheets.
|Wash & dry 10 apples for some practical life skills.|
|Cut open a couple of apples, sort & name each part: peel, core, seed, flesh. Talk about how apple trees grow from tiny seeds.
Have a snack 🙂
This was a nice activity to not rush through.
|Sort, name & count apple varieties. I bought 5 different varieties so they could make pairs. We laughed a lot about silly apple names and made up a few of our own.
Book: Farm Anatomy (Apple Varieties, page 103)
The book Apples also has a great apple varieties spread.
|Make homemade apple-themed play dough: red, green, and yellow.
I always have my kids help make play dough — they love helping and they love the anticipation of enjoying a new WARM batch of play dough!
|Art skills: make apple trees with play dough and natural materials.
Stamp play dough with the letter A.
Pretend to harvest apples.
|Read and reenact Ten Apples Up On Top!
We stacked & counted cut wood discs that I made, but you could also use blocks! Great for combining storytelling, fine motor skills, and counting skills.
|Chop apples for apple pie (using our nylon knife)|
|Bake apple pie or apple crisp together. Have a tea party and read a favorite story to enjoy.|
|While baking apple pie I provided a flour and brown sugar tray to practice letter A formation.|
|Pretend play Farmer’s Market after reading Apple Farmer Annie with: apples, apple pie, apple juice, applesauce, apple butter, and dried apples.
Take turns being the apple farmer and have the others pay with pretend money (with very simple counting: “one apple will be 3 coins”)
This tray is from Target.
|Mini apple fine motor skills & sorting activity.
This is an activity that I first demonstrate, then have my kids take turns, and then leave on our learning shelves for them to revisit later.
|Sensory bin after reading How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World.
Oats, brown sugar, flower, wheat berries, cinnamon, and frozen cranberries (“apples”).
Practice scooping and pouring and just PLAY.
|Letter A 3-Part Card learning activity.
Letter A 3-Part Cards via Treehouse Schoolhouse.
I slip the whole card into our Learning Resources Tabletop Pocket Chart. Then, I provide the picture cards in one basket and place the word cards on the table. My son then matches the word cards to the picture cards using the Tabletop Pocket Chart set as a guide.
|Fine motor skill threading & counting activity: frozen cranberries on to an “apple tree” (sticks stuck in play dough).
I had to punch a hole in some of the frozen berries to help out, but this was a huge hit. Why? Because they made an utter mess!!! They eventually took the sticks out and smashed cranberries all over the table. Awesome.
|Letter A formation out of play dough. I slipped The Peaceful Preschool printout in our write-and-wipe pouches.
Simply Learning apple basket counting activity (free printable here).
Book: Apple Farmer Annie
- Large Motor Skills
- Nature Study
|Find fruit trees or visit an orchard.|
|We explored some fruit we found from our fruit trees on property: peaches, apples, and cherries.
Book: The Apple Pie Tree
|Interactive play with Ten Apples Up On Top!: scatter balls around and have your child run and collect them back in to a bin.|
|Ladder climbing to pretend to pick apples. My kids each took an apple with them and then threw them down to me!|
A IS FOR ACORN
5 Little Acorns
(Five) little acorns swaying in a tree,
Hanging from a branch as high as can be.
Along came a squirrel and took one away.
(Four) little acorns are left to sway.
(Four) little acorns swaying in a tree…
(Three) little acorns swaying in a tree…
(Two) little acorns swaying in a tree…
(One) little acorn swaying in a tree…
|Form Letter A with acorn caps.|
||Sensory bin & play:
Planting acorns to make oak trees!
Complete with a squirrel.
|Lacing activity: thread oak leaves.
I used embroidery thread and a plastic yarn needle. This was the first time I did something like this with my kids and it surprised me how great at it they were and how much fun they had making little leaf necklaces.
|Nature study: compare oak leaves to two other kinds of leaves.
We also identified trees in our yard, not expecting my son to be able to correctly ID them but just for him to hear the names of different trees and see that we are interested and witness what features we look at to ID.
Book: My Leaf Book
Moveable alphabet: my own DIY.
|We went outside and went on an oak leaf hunt. The best kind of nature learning happens in real life, not from a picture book!|
|Process art: paint with acorns|
|Oak leaf rubbings — crayon and paper. I taped the leaves to the back of the paper to make it easier.|
|Hide 3-Part cards in a bin of acorns; find a card and match it to the cards on the table.|
||Fine motor skills & play: make woodland peg dolls with acorn hats. This took a little while to find the right size match for each doll but they had so much fun doing it!|
A IS FOR ANT
|Sing “The Ants Go Marching” and add in some storytelling (and counting) fun.
I collected some small creek rocks and painted ants on them using a fine tip paint pen. As we sang “The Ants Go Marching”, I flipped over our corresponding number cards (via The Peaceful PreschooL) and had my son add an additional ant to our little line.
|Sorting and counting ant rocks.
I set our numbered muffin tin in a “dirt bin” (black beans, pinto beans, brown rice) and my son used our Learning Resources handy scoopers to get the ant rocks out of the dirt and count in to the tin. Involves number + quantity connection as well as fine motor skills.
|Ants in dirt sensory play.
I made our own ant rocks but you could also get small plastic ones.
||Anatomy of an ant using rocks and sticks.
This was so great for simple counting + insect nature study. We’ve studied a lot of insects up close since doing this activity and my son always thinks about the number of legs and antennae.
Book: Nature Anatomy (pages 94-95)
|Letter A salt tray formation with raisin “ants”|
|Practical life: spreading peanut butter for making “ants on a log” snacks|
|Life cycle of an ant
I made these little pieces with rocks and sticks and thread (wrapped around), and little white pom poms for the eggs. The lifecycle printable is available via The Pinay Homeschooler.
Book: Are You An Ant?
Simply spread honey on a piece of paper (in this case my son spread honey with a Q-tip on to a letter A printout) and set it out to attract some insects. We used our magnifying glass to investigate closely.
|Practical life skills: thoroughly clean the kitchen to keep ants away! We love this little dustpan.|
|Studying ants up close at our local children’s museum. THIS is actually why I chose to even do A is for Ant in the first place.|