Teaching About the Four Seasons
Most early childhood programs teach preschoolers about the four seasons. Using the yearly cycle of the apple tree is a fantastic way to
accomplish this. Since just about every preschool child is familiar with this all time favorite fruit, they will be interested to learn more about it. This activity may commonly be utilized during the fall harvest time of the year; however, it could very easily be used at any other time of the year as well. Make sure to download the free preschool printable of the apple tree for classroom use.
The children will learn that apples grow on trees.
The children will identify the four seasons.
The children will identify the changes the apple tree goes through during each season.
The children will have an opportunity to enhance artistic abilities by completing an art experience.
Seasonal Apple Tree Activity
Basket of a variety of apples
The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
Free printable for each child
Crayons or markers
Tissue paper (white, red, green, and yellow)
1. Display the basket of apples where everyone can see them. Pose the question, what is an apple? Discuss the color, size, and shape of apples. Talk about where apples can be found and how they grow. Make sure to point out that an apple is a fruit that we eat.
2. Introduce and read the book The Apple Pie Tree to the class.
3. Explain to the children that they will be creating their own booklet that tells the story about the four seasons of an apple tree.
Teacher Tip: The art experience from this activity may need to be completed over a period of several days. It may be best to have children work in small groups if you have enough adult helpers. If not, this portion could be completed during center time as a special activity for the week.
4. Paint each child's forearm and hand brown. Then guide and press the each child's forearm and hand down on each seasonal section of the printable. In other words, you need to paint and press each child's forearm and handprint four times. This will represent the tree trunk and branches in each season. (Allow this portion to dry before moving on.)
1. Review and discuss what the apple tree would look like during spring. The leaves and blossoms grow.
2. During small groups (or center time), have the children use crayons or markers to illustrate the green leaves. Have the children glue small twisted up pieces of white tissue paper onto their spring printable page. The white tissue paper will represent the apple blossoms.
1. Review and discuss what the apple tree would look like during summer. The tree is full of green leaves. The blossoms have fallen off and tiny apples are starting to grow.
2. During small groups (or center time), have the children use crayons or markers to illustrate the green leaves of summer. Have the children glue small twisted up pieces of red, green, or yellow tissue paper pieces onto their fall printable page. The red, green, or yellow tissue paper pieces represent the yummy apples.
1. Review and discuss what the apple tree would look like during fall. The apples are picked. The leaves have changed to many fall colors and have begun to fall of the tree.
2. During small groups (or center time), have the children use crayons or markers to illustrate fall foliage (red, orange, or brown). Have the children glue small twisted up pieces of red, green, or yellow tissue paper onto their fall printable page. They may have colorful leaves on the tree, but many leaves may be on the ground as well to represent the fast approaching winter season.
1. Review and discuss what the apple tree would look like during winter. The tree is bare and empty. Show them a winter printable page and ask if there is anything they need to add to this page.
2. Have the children illustrate and color a picture on the title page of their booklet.
3. Assemble and staple each of the booklets.
4. Pair the class up into groups of two or three children. Ask them to read and share their artwork from this week's apple tree activities.
- Make an Apple Pie
- Visit an apple orchard or farmer's market
- Apple print painting
- Apple Tasting Party
- Cut an apple in half to observe the star pattern. Discuss the importance of the seeds.
- Seed counting and sorting activities
Your class will thoroughly enjoy learning about the seasons of the apple tree while creating their very own booklet. The activities presented in this article along with any other activities you plan will provide your class with a wide range of learning opportunities which will ensure the children's understanding of the seasons of the apple tree.
Author's teaching experience
Hall, Zoe. The Apple Pie Tree, Blue Sky Press, 1996