All about apples French unit

Updated: May 17, 2021

Apple unit in French


We love apples! We've always had apple trees in our garden, and so the boys love climbing onto them in the winter time and watching the first tender apple blossoms budding in spring. Then, usually at the end of summer, Squirrel (our youngest) discovers the first small apple fruit growing from a blossom. "Look, Mom! An apple!", he exclaims excitedly. From that day on he examines his apple every day and notifies its growth. "Can we pick it now?" is one of the questions we get asked every day. No, not yet. Just a little more. And the tears when the deer came into our garden and ate some of the lower-hanging fruits! Finally, we started training our Goldador puppy to bard those thieves away.


Ripe apples on an apple tree
Beautiful apples

Apple life cycle unit


Our boys love apples so much, and they have the opportunity to observe an apple's cycle of life in our garden. When we finally picked the delicious, red apples from our apple tree I wanted to talk a bit more about the life cycle of our favourite fruit with them. With the life cycle activity we remembered how apples grow. Isn't it fascinating that a whole tree can grow from one tiny little apple seed? I love to rediscover nature's wonders through the eyes of my boys.






Languages


As I was working on the apple life cycle, I suddenly thought that it would be great to have a whole apple themed week for my homeschoolers. As usual, I found it hard to find suitable material in French, so I just went ahead and translated my apple information section into French and also German. I mean, why not?


Reading and writing about apples


As Squirrel finished his Primary level during the closure of the schools I feel we still need more time to practice reading and writing. I really don't stress much about letters and reading as he just turned six this summer. In Germany, our home country, we would have waited another year until school. So we just take it easy. We have time. I am a strong believer that children will learn how to read and write when they are ready, and that stressing about it can become a true obstacle of mastering it. Anyways, Squirrel loves letters, fortunately, and he is able to read, but I always make sure there is an alternative in my materials for children that cannot read (yet).


However, as homeschoolers we often have to teach multiple grade levels at the same time. So I included a writing prompt with a story outline (setting, characters, plot) for older siblings. They could help teach the younger ones and repeat their knowledge about apples and then use the time to write a creative story. Rabbit wrote a little story about a funny red apple, while Squirrel took a real apple and played along. So both kids interacted and learned different skills about the same theme. Check!


The activities


So for the apple life cycle activities I made one "cut and paste" exercise for students that cannot read and write yet. Activity B is for students like Rabbit (our oldest) who can read and write in French. He hates cutting and pasting, so I left the pictures on the activity and just erased the names of each life cycle station. All he had to do was to write down the proper names. I was surprised how well he did as there were some new words for him, even the é. There is a little trick to it that I will share with you soon.


For Activity C from the apple life cycle I erased the tags and cut out the pictures. This is the most advanced level for this activity and students need to remember the stages of the apple life cycle and the proper names. I am pretty sure Rabbit could have done Activity C but he just hates cutting and pasting. As I want him to practice his writing I focused on the writing part and didn't want to get into frustrations about cutting and pasting at this stage.


What's inside?


The heat of autumn is different from the heat of summer. One ripens them to apples, the other turns them into cider. - Jane Hirshfield

Having so many apples form our apple trees led baking to a lot of apple pies. Rabbit thinks we have probably baked seven apple cakes so far, and we made apple cider. Delicious! Make sure you have some typical autumn spices like cinnamon and ginger at home.


As we cut the apples for the apple pies we had a closer look at the interior of the fruits. Consequently, I made a little worksheet to teach Squirrel and Rabbit the new words in French that you will find in the unit.


Maths with apples


Apples are great units that you can easily use for counting, patterns, multiplication, and fractions. I made worksheets for Squirrel to count apples, cut and paste the correct number. You could also ask your child to write down the number, but Squirrel needed some more cutting exercise for motor skills.