26/04/2013December - Apple And The Copycat
This page gives you more information about the Apple and the Copycat book - what your children will get out of reading it and information on all our extension activities and links to food and story related fun.
This page will tell you:
- a storyline summary of the Apple And The Copycat story
- foods featured in the story
- ideas for extending the themes in the story (reflections and mirrors)
- food activities you can do with children in December
- recipe ideas for apples
- other links and ideas for working with this story
Apple sneaks out of the fruit storage shed to get some exercise and is amazed to find a little shell with an identical apple inside.
She doesn't realise the shell is a mirror and the apple is her reflection and gets very cross that the visitor won't speak to her.
But Big Apple explains what a reflection is and Apple then has a lot of fun watching her mirror image copying her every move.
December Featured Foods
Our December book of the month features only apples. That might seem a strange choice at first glance, because apples are not growing on trees in December.
However, there are still loads of varieties which are stored throughout the winter and we wanted children to understand that some fruits and vegetables can be kept in storage after they have been harvested and are still tasty and nutritious.
It is great to get children who don't have apple trees in their garden (which is most children) to still look for British apples in the winter. Supermarkets are less good about making sure they stock a local variety in winter but local greengrocers and markets usually have at least one variety. This is a good way to get children looking for the labels in supermarkets to see where the foods have come from and trying to find the one which was grown closest to them.
You could use this as an opportunity to explore with your children how foods can be stored, which ones need to go in the fridge, which ones can only be eaten fresh, which ones (like apples and pears) can be stored in a cool shed, and which ones are stored in interesting ways - like roots in boxes of sand or grapes in bendy bottles.
Mirrors and reflections
Because Apple doesn't know what a mirror is and has to discover what it can do, this presents you with a great opportunity to explore mirrors and reflections with your children.
There is a collection of 3 activity ideas here on our site which help children play with reflections and symmetry. They are free to download and can be found here. There are also some useful weblinks to online games which get children thinking about reflections.
Food Activities For December
Tasting Sessions - You can get the children involved in tasting seasonal foods as with all the other months. We provide instructions for a blindfold guessing tasting game here on the site which is free to download and there are printable guessing strips for each month featuring five seasonal foods to taste which are easy to provide in bite size pieces and are fairly child-friendly (essentially won't put them off tasting things). The tastes for December are: apples, Brussels sprouts, satsumas or clementines, celery and cauliflower. There are suggestions in the instructions for how best to prepare foods to make them palatable. You can find the instructions and the printable strips here.
Discovering Food - Modelling Sessions - children learn a lot by touching and discovering. We have instructions here for a discovery session, using the five seasonal foods or any other of your choice, where children get to handle and observe them and then try to replicate what they have discovered with playdough or clay. You can find the instructions for the activity here.
How Apples Grow - Sequencing Game - even children who are lucky enough to have picked an apple from a tree will not necessarily know how the tree grew and how the fruit are formed. Fruits follow blossom and they can connect the pretty flowers in spring with the delicious apple in autumn. We have a sequencing exercise here for you to print off and do - there are tiles to cut up and move around on the table to find the right sequence, a blank sequence chart for children to glue their finished sequence onto, or there is also a completed version to print off and colour in. We provide two versions - a four part sequence for younger children and a six part sequence for older children. You can find all the instructions and templates here.
Recipe Ideas For Apples
Check out this fab Very Hungry Caterpillar snack using an apple and some cheese.
Watch lovely 2 year old Matilda making Apple Cobblers with her Daddy and some ready made dough.
Add a sliced apple to a muffin to make this cool Thanksgiving turkey muffin snack.
Try making your own apple chips / crisps by following this video.
Other ideas for working with this story
This Apple Tree game gets children to drag and drop apple of different shapes and sizes on to matching shadows on the apple tree. Great for getting children to focus on shapes and sizes.
These two articles give lots of ideas for party games and classroom games using apples.
Get children playing a mirror game to increase their observation skills as in these instructions.
Cleaning and Sharpening Your Garden Tools. Garden tools can be really expensive but they can last a long time if they are looked after properly. But what does that mean, exactly? Should we wash them? Do we need special equipment to sharpen them? How often should we do it? This short video from Backyard Farmer shows you how to clean and sharpen basic tools in autumn or winter, ready for the next season. It's a good job to do when the days are short and th...
Feeding The Birds - Sorting Out Your Bird Feeders Over the last few years the variety of bird seeds and feeders available has really multiplied and it's a big mind boggling. So where do you start if you want to help the birds in your garden or school? This is a really clear seven minute videos from The Wildlife Gardening Project on youtube about bird feeders in your garden. Laura explains the different types of food and how to put them out in ways which h...
Christmas Tree Apple Snack This is a sweet fruit and cheese snack with a Christmas tree theme we found at the brilliant site 360 Family Nutrition. Some apple, raisins, cheese and pretzels, a fairly balanced mini snack. Children can easily build this themselves. You can find the original here. ...
Snowman Pancakes When it's cold outside and you want a hot breakfast (or if, on the other hand, your kids are dying for snow days and there haven't been any for EVER) why not start with this fun snowman pancake? We found this version on The Shabby Nest, using pancakes, chocolate chips and bacon. If it's a school day and not a treaty lazy Sunday morning you don't have to include the marshmallows (or other versions use whipped cream). You could use circle slices of banana for th...