I’ve been having a bit of anxiety attack because I don’t have a writing project for September. I’ve been worrying about this months. It has literally been keeping me awake at night. Everything I’ve seen online is some version of “Tell about your summer vacation.” Today it came to me: let’s study apples!
I think one of my most important jobs as a 4th grade teacher is to help kids LOVE to learn. I want kids to be excited to come to school every day. This is especially true with writing. So many kids hate to write, and it’s really sad. I like to make writing projects fun, interactive, and non-boring. I love the moment in the year when kids start to get excited about writing!
I think this writing assignment is fun, interactive, and is great for fall. While it isn’t life-changing in terms of 21st century learning skills, it is certainly possible to broaden this project. Students could research the drought and its effect on growing fruit, such as apples. Students could research the Honeycrisp apple, which was created at the University of Minnesota and is a cross between Macoun and Honeygold apples. You could have students use their research to propose which apple varieties could be crossed together to make apples with specific characteristics, or to make apples that are more drought-tolerant. You could include a field trip to a local apple farm.
There are three parts of this assignments:
1. Students interact with many different varieties of apples. Students write observations as to how the apple looks, feels, and tastes.
2. Students choose two varieties to compare and contrast, and learn two different ways to write a compare/contrast paragraph. They can then choose which method to use to write their paragraph.
3. Students create a guided art project. They’ll draw the outline in Sharpie and color it in with watercolors.
Here are some images of the assignment:
Planning a compare/contrast paragraph:
Small group observation form:
Art project (picture from Pinterest):
The download is FREE and includes:
Compare/Contrast Paragraph: Method 1
Compare/Contrast Paragraph: Method 2
Final Draft Paper
Apple Day Parent Note
Apple Observations Form
While the download is free, I’m going to make you jump through a hoop to get it. You’ll have to sign up for a free account to Teachers Pay Teachers. I highly recommend doing this anyway because there are so many great resources on TPT, many of which are free! Here’s the link: