You definitely need to add this apple graphing activity to your next preschool apple theme!
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Fall is the perfect time to teach an apple unit. Apples are generally harvested in late summer through early fall, making the topic timely. Plus, the kids are usually familiar with the concept of apples. If not, an apple theme helps introduce them.
Of course, not everyone enjoys teaching an apple theme. And that’s okay! Even if you don’t plan to teach the kids all about apples, this graphing idea is still something fun to try with the kids.
I love how this apple activity combines art, science, and math skills into one engaging idea. You can even add a literacy focus after the graph’s done.
Materials You’ll Need
You don’t really need much for the full apple graphing experience! Here’s what we used:
- Apples (red delicious, granny smith, yellow delicious)
- Construction paper
- Washable tempera paint (red, yellow, green)
- Pocket chart
- Glass beads (red, yellow, green)
If you want to make things even simpler, you can cut out a few of the materials we used. It’s completely up to you!
Apple Taste Test
Before you jump into the apple graphing, it’s time for an apple taste test with your students. You can’t have the graph without the data for it, right?
I love taste-testing apples with my preschoolers! It’s a great way to integrate real, meaningful learning in a fun way. The kids get to use all of their senses to explore the apples, which jump starts so much learning.
Related: Apple ABCs Free Printable
Have the children try green apples (granny smith), red apples (red delicious), and yellow apples (yellow delicious). Encourage them to try at least one bite of each. My preschoolers usually gobble up all of the apples after the taste test, so the leftovers make a great snack. Once everyone has tried the apples, take a quick poll to determine each child’s favorite apple.
If you’re working with just one or two kids, perhaps they could poll their friends and family members. This way, there will be more information to graph and learn from.
After you and your students have tasted multiple apples, it’s time for apple art!
For this activity, have the children try their hand at painting with apples. Cut a red apple, a green apple, and a yellow apple in half. Those who like green apples paint the green half with green paint, then stamp it onto a white piece of paper. Have the other children do the same with the red and yellow apple halves.
Once the apple prints are dry, cut the apple prints out. Some children might be interested in cutting their own prints out, too. Make sure each child has an apple print representative of their favorite apple!
Apple Tasting Graph
Now it’s time for the apple graphing!
Write color words on construction paper, then place the words on the top of a pocket chart (or a large piece of paper). Have each child come up and add their apple in the appropriate place. During this time, get the conversation started – “We have 6 red apples so far. I wonder how many more will be added. What do you think?”
Related: Math Activities for Preschoolers
Once the graph has been fully assembled, get the kiddos involved in analyzing it! My students are generally VERY happy to talk about the class apple graph. If that’s not the case with your children, ask some thoughtful questions. Some examples:
- How many apples are under red/green/yellow? What does that mean?
- Which kind of apples are the most liked? Which are liked the least? How do you know?
- What else do you notice about our apple graph?
- How many more apples are under red?
If you and the children aren’t up for painting, you can use glass jewels to graph your students’ favorite apples!
Learning with an Apple Graph
This apple graphing activity packs in a lot of learning for your students. Below are some of the points we touched upon with it:
- Exploration of apples through the 5 senses
- Descriptive vocabulary
- Comparing more and less
- One-to-one correspondence (especially if you add numbers to your graph)
- “Reading” graphs and making observations
- Vocabulary about comparisons (more, less, equal, same, most, least)
More Preschool Apple Activities
If you and your students got a kick out of our apple graphing idea, here are a few more things to try:
Apple Orchard to Table from The Educators’ Spin On It
How Apples Grow from Little Bins for Little Hands
Apple Fine and Gross Motor Game from No Stress Homeschooling
Counting Apples with Preschoolers from Life Over C’s
Apple Scented Play Dough Activity from The Preschool Toolbox
Alphabet Apple Stamping from Growing Book by Book
Apple Tree Letter Matching from Fun Learning for Kids
Applesauce Dough for Sensory Play from Still Playing School
How to Make Homemade Apple Pie from Powerful Mothering
Preschool Apple Science Experiment from Raising Lifelong Learners
Paper Plate Apple Craft from The Kennedy Adventures
Apple Preschool Lesson Plans
If your students are super into apples, be sure to check out Preschool Teacher 101’s fully-developed set of apple lesson plans. They’re already mapped out for you, with book lists, detailed lesson plans, related printables and more!
Here are a few more done-for-you apple resources for your preschoolers. Click on the images below for more information.
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Originally published September 2014.