Apples! It is almost apple season around here – I got a great deal on Gala apples last week. Our girls love apples. G likes her’s without the peel. W likes her’s with – and will eat G’s discarded peels. Last week we were having snack time after working through the very first lesson in The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. And I suddenly had a great idea for a craft to reinforce the concepts taught in that phonics lesson – the short vowel sound for Aaɑ.
It seems like there is no shortage of apple activities out there. And I hesitate to share this one with you, but we did it and enjoyed it, so I am sharing! This simple activity built upon a number of facts the girls already know, and added a little bit more to their understanding of apples. Here’s what we did.
The Short Vowel Aaɑ
In case you don’t know, the short vowel sound for Aaɑ is /ā/ as in “apple.” I did not know this before we started working through The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading (OPGTR). This work book helps parents and kids alike to learn the basics of phonics with a fun poem. The poem feels like a tongue-twister at first. But repetition helps to learn to listen to the sound.
While working through the first lesson in OPGTR, the parent is instructed to create a card with the three options for writing the letter a, Aaɑ. We did this as part of the lesson, but I wanted a more hand’s on way to reinforce the letter recognition with the girls.
As I was cutting up the apple the girls shared for snack, I decided we needed to talk more about the structure of an apple. I got everything set up: an apple (uncut) and an apple core. Next to that I put construction paper (red and green) with the same Aaɑ we put on our card during the lesson along with some paint.
When the girls were finished with their snack, we had a simple conversation about the parts of the apple. We sorted them out by the parts we eat and the parts we don’t eat. The peel (G doesn’t eat that, but W does), the fruit (everybody eats that!) and the core (most people don’t eat that). When we got to the core, I told them there was something neat inside the core – seeds for more apples!
I showed them a core and cut it in two pieces to reveal a star-flower!
I created very simple handles for their apple stamps using two toothpicks per stamp. I showed the girls how the cut core could be used as a stamp and asked them to stamp trace the construction paper with Aaɑ on it. They really enjoyed this project!
As we did the project we said our poem from OPGTR a couple more times to reinforce the concept of the short vowel sound of Aaɑ.
This super simple project was so easy to throw together! Since we had the paint out, we did another paper with the girl’s names on them. They enjoyed the process of stamping. And they barely know they are reinforcing the information about the short vowel sound of Aaɑ!
Looking for more simple apple projects for your kids? Here are some of our favorites!
A is for Applesauce – Cooking with Kids: Slow-Cooker Applesauce
Fine Motor Fun with “Apples” – Apple Stacking Game for Preschoolers and Tots