Sunday, September 30, 2012

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World + Apples in Harvest Unit

September is not only apple season, but Johnny Appleseed is remembered on his birthday, September 23rd, when children around the nation learn of his love for apples, animals, and humankind. In our homeschool, it was no different.

We rowed How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman, which is a Five in a Row: Volume 1 selection.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World is a humorous story of a girl who wishes to make to apple pie. When she finds that the market is closed, she hitches a ride to Italy for "superb semolina wheat." But she doesn't stop there. She travels all around the world for the best and freshest ingredients to make the best apple pie.

This book was unavailable at our library so we watched it on Youtube. Thank goodness for Youtube!

Day One: Social Studies/Geography

I had printed geography cards from Homeschool Share, and after "reading" we applied the cards on the map while talking about each location.

We talked about Sri Lanka being a pear-shaped island off the coast of India and Italy's resemblance to a boot.

Day Two:

The home-based charter school we belong to had an adorable K-1 Camp on Tuesday. Their theme was Apples in Harvest. Aidyn spent a few hours there with other children reading apple-related books, making crafts, and devouring applesauce. When he came out of his class, he was wearing a towering apple hat.

He made us smile when he walked out of the door. With the new autumnal wind that's starting to blow, we had a bit of difficulty walking this apple-sail boat to the car.

Day Three: Johnny Appleseed and Cooking

On the third day, we read The Story of Johnny Appleseed by Aliki. We read slowly and perused the pictures of the pioneering naturalist. Aidyn asked for an encore so we cuddled up and read through the story again.

During downtimes of our homeschool day, Aidyn watched other apple-related videos, including some old Disney favorites.

This was one of my favorite Disney shorts when I was little:

We also watched Disney's version of the Johnny Appleseed story:

Aidyn also watched a favorite video of his from the library: Apple Farming for Kids.  (This link will take you to their website.)

Later in the day, we were busy in the kitchen making homemade organic applesauce.

While cutting, cooking, and blending, he filled out some apple worksheets about apple parts.

We identified the core, leaf, seeds, flesh, stem, and skin. We also guessed how many apple seeds were in the first apple we cut. Aidyn guessed 3, and we counted out 10!


Afterward, we had a big bowlful of yummy, pink applesauce!

Day Four: Field Trip to Apple Hill in Placerville, Ca

On Friday, the family took a day-long field trip to Apple Hill, a close gathering of apple farms (over 50 farms in all!), in the evergreen-topped hills of Placerville, Ca. As our car climbed the hills, we noticed the red dirt, mammoth evergreens and beautiful sprawling vineyards.

Our first stop was Abel's Apple Acres.

Here's Aidyn with his dad, grandma, and some random bear that made our acquaintance.

Abel's Apple Acres not only had apple pies, apple fritters, apple donuts, apple butter, applesauce, apple cider, scores of apple and autumnal crafts, fudge and so many amazing goodies...

...but they also had horses for riding.

Aidyn chose Boots, and the two of them took a jaunt together.

We even found a Johnny Appleseed cut-out and a height measuring tree.


Proud to be 46 inches tall!

Later, we went down the road to a U-Pick apple farm. Armed with his bag and some tips from the farmer on twisting and yanking the apples off the branches, Aidyn plucked several apples from the trees.



We had so much fun at Apple Hill! Before leaving, we made sure to purchase a gallon of fresh apple cider, apple-pumpkin bread, and a classic apple pie.

We baked the pie when we got home that evening. I know that a home-baked apple pie would have been sweeter, but with my new pregnancy status, I'm delegating as much as possible! Here's Aidyn, sleepily chomping on apple pie.

What a delicious way to end a heartwarming unit study!




  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have this book on our wish list. So nice to know you enjoyed it and that we can watch it on YouTube! I love reading about all the related activities you do and so nice that Aidyn got to ride a horse. Do you mind if I pin some of your posts on Pinterest?

    1. Thank you! This book was absolutely adorable. We could have continued "reading" it and doing apple activities for weeks. And sure, feel free to share on Pinterest.