Most preschoolers love apples crunchy, juicy, and sweet, so a preschool apple theme is sure to satisfy little learners! Circle time is a favorite part of any preschooler’s day. It is filled with fun, interactive learning opportunities that can be done in a short amount of time. This preschool apple theme is so fun that students won’t even realize they’re learning!
No matter the theme, a key component to circle time is to keep the activities active! Thinking about not just what the teacher is doing, but more importantly, what the students are doing is crucial. And remember, never come to circle time empty-handed!
Breaking Circle Time into Smaller Bites
Young learners have a short attention span which requires material to be delivered in a way that grabs their attention and keeps them engaged. A general rule of thumb is to keep this time to 2-3 minutes per year of their age. For example, a class of four-year-olds should have a circle time around eight minutes long. It is something that needs to be built up throughout the year, and spacing out the learning throughout the day is a great way to do just that. Three sections – a welcome circle time, an “after centers” meeting, and a storytime circle time, are a great way to break things up, but every classroom has different needs.
Morning Greeting Meeting
The first circle time is a short welcome and an activity to introduce the lesson for the day. During a preschool apple theme, open circle time with a fun apple song like this:
- Write each child’s name on an apple cut-out and spread them out, face-up, on the carpet.
- Sing the “Apple Names” song. After the second part of the song, the student whose name was sang in the verse picks up their name and says or spells their name aloud.
- Repeat with other names. Guage the interest of the students and keep this short so as to keep active engagement.
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After Center Time Meeting
Another excellent time for a mini-circle time lesson is after centers. Students have been up and about, so this is an ideal time to introduce new concepts, practice important pre-K skills, teach new rhymes, and more. Capitalizing on students’ attention spans and knowing when they are able to sit still versus need a break is an important skill in the preschool classroom. This would be a fantastic time to play a carpet game or work on Concept of Word.
Story Time Circle Time
Prior to dismissal, storytime allows the students to bring together everything they’ve learned that day. Highlighting key ideas, connecting to experiences they’ve had within the classroom, and igniting a love of learning are all components of storytime. Some favorite books for a preschool apple theme include:
- Apples by Gail Gibbons
- Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple by A.H Benjamin and Gwyneth Williamson
- Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins
- The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
Activities to Include in a Preschool Apple Theme
Circle time activities need to be just that…active. Students need to be engaged and experience hands-on learning during this time. For a theme such as apples, it is imperative that physical apples are used in a variety of ways.
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Preschool Apple Theme Sensory Description
During circle time, bring in a basket with a variety of apples in it. Allow the students to each choose an apple and explore it with their senses. What does it look like? Feel like? Smell like? Can you hear it? Remind students not to taste them just yet, but certainly save them for snack time. (This activity also works great for a 5 Senses theme!)
Next, create a list or chart of describing words. Students may need help with this, but scaffolding learning while building vocabulary is a great time. Look at the apples and ask the students to finish the sentence: “My apple looks___.”
Graphing is a fun, hands-on way to teach early math skills. During circle time, use a basket of apples and graph them by color. Hand each student an apple, then have them come to the carpet and place it in the corresponding column. A piece of butcher paper or a white shower curtain makes an excellent floor graph.
After making the graph, guide students to make observations about the types of apples that were in the basket. Which color had the most? Which had the least? How many more red apples are there than green?
Preschool Apple Theme Pocket Chart
Another important Pre-K skill is developing Concept of Word (C.O.W.). That is the main goal for emergent readers! Concept of Word is a watershed event that describes a child’s understanding that a word is made up of a group of letters surrounded by white space on both sides. And while the concept sounds simple enough, it takes a LOT of practice! The best way to have children develop C.O.W. is to practice pointing to memorized text. During circle time, introduce a poem or other text on a pocket chart, practice counting the apples, and then have the students take turns pointing to the words with big pointers.
Wiggly Worm Game
Another goal in preschool is for students to develop their oral language. Embedding that learning within a play setting is the perfect way to do just that!
- Set out colorful apples with numbers 1-8. Review the numbers and colors on the apples with the students.
- Recite the poem.
- Have students cover their eyes as the teacher hides the wiggly worm under 1 apple.
- Students take turns guessing which apple the worm was hiding under. Older kids can guess numbers and the younger ones guess colors. Students get very excited when they find the worm!
- Print the game free HERE.
Apple Sorting Activity
Sorting is another early math skill for preschool. For apples, sorting by color is an obvious choice. If possible, use real-life apples, but counters can be used as well if needed. This reinforces color recognition and allows students to interact with the lesson during circle time. For additional practice, a sorting station can be positioned at the math center for students to practice independently at another time during the day.
Preschool Apple Theme Bingo song
Singing songs helps students learn their letters and strengthen their language skills. This quick and easy A-P-P-L-E song is a classroom favorite and often is heard being sung throughout the day. Simply place the cards to spell the word “apple,” then sing the song, replace the word “crunch” for one letter on each subsequent verse. Always a crowd favorite! (The printable cards are available in this complete Apple Preschool Unit.)
No matter the activity, remember to keep expectations on target with the student attention spans. There is no way all activities can be done in a day! It all works better when the students set the pace and enjoy the process of actively learning.
Want to See it in Action?
Sometimes, seeing really is believing. And while the ideas presented have been kid-tested and approved, make sure to tailor them to the needs of your learners.
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