Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.

Kindergarten - Literature - Overview

Included in the literature lessons you will find: sayings and phrases, poetry, and short stories. At the Kindergarten level it is critical that you read aloud to your children often, daily for certain.

The literature lessons are more flexible than lessons in other subject areas as they are not built upon a previous lesson. You may therefore wish to teach some of the literature lessons out of the order provided. That is perfectly acceptable; however, it is important to state that all lessons should be covered at some point in the month of September; none of lessons should be omitted.


Kindergarten - Literature - Sayings and Phrases

The two sayings for the month of September provide wonderful guidelines for the beginning of the school year and the beginning of formal education. Two important concepts for students to learn are how to get along with others and how to be responsible for materials. These two sayings provide a springboard for discussion in these areas.

A place for everything and everything in its place

As you begin the school year it is important to emphasize the need to return items to their correct places so that they are available for others and that they stay undamaged. A part of explaining the use of all materials in the classroom includes the proper handling and clean-up. It is easy then to introduce this saying and have it be relevant to the students. This saying can easily be referred to often and should be easily understood by the children.

You may wish to demonstrate for the children what could happen if something were not put away properly. Perhaps you could pretend not to be able to find it or have it be damaged. Your disappointment or displeasure would demonstrate to the children the importance of following this guideline.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

As students meet each other and begin to interact it is important to discuss the way people like to be treated. In talking to the children it is easy to point out that we each like to be treated kindly or nicely. It hurts us when we are teased or someone makes fun of us. When we know how a behavior directed at us feels, then we are anxious to repeat the positive ones and delete the negative.

You may wish to discuss several different scenarios such as sharing, asking to join a game, making a mistake or being clumsy. Point out to the children that how others treat us can have an effect on how we feel about ourselves. Since we all want to feel good about ourselves it is important to always treat others in a good way.



Kindergarten - Literature - "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe"


Attend to the reading of the rhyme.

Recite the rhyme through repetitive readings.

Match the numbers of the rhyme with representative pictures.


Pairs of numbers in the rhyme, pictures from the rhyme

Chart with rhyme printed on it, numerals written above the words (1-10)


Display and recite the rhyme. You may wish to initially introduce the rhyme only up to the number ten, then later in the year you can add the lines up to twenty. Ask the children what they notice at the beginning of each line (numerals, numbers). Ask them when they listen to the rhyme if they hear two words that sound alike in each line. Tell the children that those words are called rhyming words and point out what those words are in each line.

Display the pictures that match the words in each line. As you again recite the rhyme place the appropriate picture at the end of each line. Afterward have the children recite the line with you, relying on the numerals and the pictures. After you have done this a number of times remove the pictures and give them out to children in the class. Tell the children that the class will say one line of the rhyme at a time and when they hear the line that matches their picture they should bring that picture up to the chart.

Some time later, after you have done this simple matching exercise a number of times, see if your students can do the matching and reciting without your accompaniment.

" One, Two, Buckle My Shoe"

One, two, buckle my shoe;

Three, four, shut the door;

Five, six, pick up sticks;

Seven, eight, lay them straight;

Nine, ten, a good fat hen;

Eleven, twelve, dig and delve;

Thirteen, fourteen, maids a-courting;

Fifteen, sixteen, maids in the kitchen;

Seventeen, eighteen, maids in waiting;

Nineteen, twenty, my plate's empty.


Kindergarten - Literature - "Rock-a-bye, Baby"


Listen to the reading of the rhyme.

Recite the rhyme through repetitive readings.


Copy of the rhyme on chart paper


Make sure the children know that a cradle is the name for a baby bed with rockers on the bottom. Because they are less common today, the children may not have an idea what they are. Also be sure that they know that a bough is a tree branch.

Recite the poem. Ask the children if they can "feel" the cradle rocking when they listen to the rhyme. Tell them that it is sung as a lullaby and is therefore recited or sung in a quiet rhythmical way.

You may choose to teach this rhyme as a song or simply recite it and have the students do motions to accompany the recitation. The children could make a cradle of their arms and gently rock back and forth until the bough breaks and then they could gently open their arms and gradually move their arms and bodies in a downward movement.


"Rock-a-bye, Baby"

Rock-a-bye, baby

In the tree top,

When the wind blows,

The cradle will rock.

When the bough breaks,

The cradle will fall,

And down will come baby,

Cradle and all.



Kindergarten - Literature- "Georgie Porgie"


Attend to the reading of the rhyme.

Recite the rhyme through repetitive readings.


Rhyme printed on chart


Recite the rhyme for the children and invite those students who might already know it to join in. Tell the children that the line "Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie" is teasing like "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary." Remind them that nursery rhymes can be silly.

The rhythm of this rhyme lends itself to a clapping hand game with partners facing each other and clapping, then hitting hands in a criss-cross pattern. If your students cannot coordinate this with a partner it certainly can be done alone.


"Georgie Porgie"

Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie,

Kissed the girls and made them cry;

When the boys came out to play,

Georgie Porgie ran away.


Kindergarten - Literature - "Ladybug, Ladybug"


Attend to the reading of the rhyme.

Recite the rhyme through repetitive readings.

Construct a ladybug from paper.


Pictures of ladybugs

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle, New York: Scholastic, 1977 (optional)

Red and black construction paper (see preparation below)

Black paper gummed dots or black paint or crayons

White crayon or wiggly eyes

Scissors, glue


Before reciting this poem be sure that all the students know what a ladybug looks like. Tell them that ladybugs can be found flying around the garden where they eat plant-eating little bugs named aphids. Sometimes the ladybug looks red in color and sometimes more orange. Some people believe that ladybugs are lucky and that you should never hurt them. If they land on you it is especially good luck.

Recite the poem and then have the children repeat each line after you. After saying the poem while they echo, try having them say the poem along with you.

"Ladybug, Ladybug"

Ladybug, ladybug

Fly away home,

Your house is on fire,

And your children are gone.

You may wish to read the book The Grouchy Ladybug before doing the art activity.

Tell the children that you will now make paper ladybugs. Ask: If the poem says that the ladybug should fly away home what do we know she has? (wings) Explain that the ladybugs you make will have wings, antennae, and six legs because all insects have six legs.

Preparing materials for ladybug:

Cut 6" strips of black paper (7 per child)

Black construction paper heads and bodies conjoined to form an eight shape

Red construction paper circle the size of the black body

1. Give each child a circle of red paper, 7 strips of black paper, a black paper head and body

form, scissors, glue.

2. Instruct the children to fold both the red circle and one of the black strips in half.


Kindergarten - Literature - "Ladybug, Ladybug"

3. Cut the circle and the strip in half on the fold line.

4. Attach (glue) the two short black pieces to the head (antennae).

5. Attach (glue) the halves of the circle to the back overlapping one end slightly to simulate open wings.

6. Glue or make black spots on the red wings.

7. Color eyes with the white crayon or glue on wiggly eyes.

Recite "Ladybug, Ladybug" again but this time let the newly constructed ladybugs fly along.


Kindergarten - Literature - "Early to Bed"


Recite the rhyme through repetitive readings.

Recognize the benefits of being an early riser.


Copy of the rhyme on chart paper


Recite the rhyme and ask the children what they think it means. Take each of the three benefits of going to bed early and being an early riser and ask the children how these things would happen. You might point out that proper rest does keep the body healthy. Getting up and getting to school on time would help you become wise because you would have the whole day to learn a lot. When you are grown up it is important to get to work on time and do a full day's job.

You might want to emphasize that being wealthy does not have to mean that someone is rich. It can mean that they are healthy and have a good life and a happy family.

Tell the children that this rhyme is really considered to be a wise saying as well.

"Early to Bed"

Early to bed and early to rise,

Makes a man healthy, wealthy,

and wise.


Kindergarten - Literature - "Hey Diddle Diddle"


Develop enjoyment for rhythm and rhyme.


Words to "Hey Diddle Diddle," written below.


Tell the children that the sounds and rhythms in nursery rhymes are fun. Some nursery rhymes have made-up, funny words in them. Nursery rhymes also tell a funny or silly story. Tell the children they will be saying a rhyme called "Hey Diddle Diddle." Read "Hey Diddle Diddle" to the class.

Hey diddle diddle

The cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon;

The little dog laughed

To see such sport,

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Ask the children if "Hey Diddle Diddle" has any made-up words (diddle). Then ask the children what silly things happen in the rhyme. If they have trouble remembering, prompt them with questions such as: What was the cow jumping over? or, What was the dog doing? You may have to tell them what a fiddle is and that it is something for making music.

Show the children the rhythm of the nursery rhyme by reading it and moving your head from side to side or clapping along with the beat of the words. Have the children join in as you recite the poem again.

Music and Movement


Continue the enjoyment of a nursery rhyme by adding movements.


Have the children act out the rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle."

Mark out a large circle on the floor with chalk or masking tape. Tell the children it is a magic circle and whoever jumps into that circle will act out a part as they all recite the nursery rhyme. Talk about some of the possibilities for the various characters. Ask them to help you make a list of the characters (cat, fiddle, cow, moon, little dog, dish, spoon). Next, take suggestions for acting out these characters, such as:

cat - show whiskers, make meow sound, indicate long tail or ears

fiddle - bow in the air, hum a tune

cow - make moo sound, move on four legs, chew cud

moon - shape of moon, "sail" in sky


Kindergarten - Literature - "Hey Diddle Diddle"

little dog - bark, move on four legs, indicate tail or ears

dish - round, flat, people eat from

spoon - motion of eating, scooping

Next, divide the children into three groups and assign a full cast of characters for each group. All of the children will recite "Hey Diddle Diddle" three times, stopping after each recitation so that a new group can prepare to be the "actors" who will jump into the magic circle. Say to the children each time: We'll all say the rhyme together, and when you hear the name of your character called, jump into the circle and let us know who you are by your movements. (You will have to slow down the tempo of the reciting this time, and you may need to emphasize the name of each character as it occurs in the rhyme, as a cue for the children.) If time allows, encourage the children to admire one another's ideas about the characters and talk about what they saw from each other's movements.


Kindergarten - Literature - "The Three Little Kittens"


Identify feelings in the poem.

Recite poem with expression in their voices.

Act out events in the poem.


Three pairs of mittens


Show a pair of mittens to the children and ask if the mittens remind them of anything. Some children may say winter or cold weather. Accept these responses, but if no one connects the prop with the poem bring out the other two pairs of mittens and ask again.

Read the poem "The Three Little Kittens" and ask the children to identify the kittens' feelings. You may wish to pause after each stanza and ask the students to identify the kittens' feelings. You will probably need to tell the children that the word cry in the second stanza means to call out rather than be sad. Hopefully the students will be able to identify the emotions of happy, sad, frightened (about what mother will say) and proud or happy.

Three little kittens...they lost their mittens,

And they began to cry,

Oh, Mother dear, we sadly fear

Our mittens we have lost.

What! lost your mittens!

You naughty kittens!

Then you shall have no pie.

Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.

No, you shall have no pie.

The three little kittens...they found their mittens,

And they began to cry,

Oh, Mother dear, see here, see here,

Our mittens we have found.

Put on your mittens,

You silly kittens,

And your shall have some pie.

Purr-r, purr-r, purr-r.

Oh, let us have the pie!

The three little kittens put on their mittens,

And soon ate up the pie.

Oh, Mother dear, we greatly fear

Our mittens we have soiled.

Soiled your mittens!


Kindergarten - Literature - "The Three Little Kittens"

You naughty kittens!

Then they began to sigh,

Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.

Then they began to sigh.

The three little kittens...they washed their mittens

And hung them out to dry;

Oh, Mother dear, do you not hear,

Our mittens we have washed.

What! washed your mittens,

Then you're good kittens,

But I smell a rat close by.

Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow

We smell a rat close by.

When you read the poem a second time encourage the children to join in the kittens' refrain. Ask for volunteers or demonstrate yourself the way the voices would sound.

The next time you read the poem have the children do motions along with the recitation. Possible motions are:

Stanza one: looking for mittens, shrug shoulders and rub eyes,

mother cat - scold, wagging finger

Stanza two: hands in front as if showing off mittens

mother cat - patting kittens, rubbing tummy for pie

Stanza three: eat the pie, hide soiled mittens behind back

mother cat - scold, wagging finger

Stanza four: wash and hang mittens

mother cat - sniff the air

As you continue to review this poem you may wish to incorporate voices and motions or have children pair up and allow one to be the kitten and the other to be mother cat. Recite the poem and have the children role-play the characters.


Kindergarten - Literature - The Three Billy Goats Gruff


Sequence the events in the story.

Recognize the comparative and superlative of big, loud.

Act out the events in the story.

Use blocks or sticks to make sound effects in the story.


Story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Wooden blocks or rhythm sticks (2 per child)

Pictures of goats and a bridge

Suggested Books

Asbjornsen, P. C. The Three Billy Goats Gruff. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1957.

dePaola, Tomie. Favorite Nursery Tales. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1986.

Galdone, Paul. The Three Billy Goats Gruff. New York: Clarion, 1973.

Voake, Charlotte. The Three Little Pigs and Other Favourite Nursery Stories. Cambridge:

Candlewick Press, 1991.


This lesson provides an opportunity to introduce the concept of items (goats) getting progressively larger. The first two goats tell the troll that the next goat is bigger (biggest) than itself. Different versions describe the goats as little, middle, and big or youngest, second, and big. Be sure to emphasize that the second is bigger than the first, and the third is bigger than the second, therefore being the biggest of all. It is also possible to use loud, louder, loudest for this story. You can explain that while the youngest goat had a baby voice, he spoke as loud as he could.


Be sure that your students know the terms: bridge, troll and goat. If possible show the children pictures of bridges and emphasize that the troll lived under an arch bridge so he could easily hear the footsteps of the goats. Tell them that some people think that trolls were small and some think that they were large but all agree that they were mean and evil creatures.

As you tell the children about goats, you may want to mention that the hair and milk of goats are used; be sure to show that the feet have hooves. The sound of these hooves hitting the stones is the sound that you will be imitating. The youngest goat will have a light tap, and the biggest goat will have the heaviest tap.

Tell the children that this story has several things that each happen three times. Tell them to listen to the story to see if they can tell what they are (crossing the bridge, being stopped by the troll, tell the troll to wait for another, trip-trap).

After you read the story the first time give each child two wooden blocks or rhythm sticks and tell them that they are going to help you tell the story. Practice tapping very lightly,

then a little harder, then the loudest of all. Tell the children that they will make the sounds for the tapping each time. (If blocks or sticks are unavailable you could have the children either tap or BCP DRAFT LIT 14

Kindergarten - Literature - The Three Billy Goats Gruff

clap.) If the story version that you read only says trip-trap once you may want to repeat it several times. While the children are still using the blocks you may want to have some children act out the story and allow the other class members to do the sound effects.

You may wish to have all the students stand and step in place using light steps, heavier steps and the very heavy steps of the biggest billy goat. You could also have the children place their hands on either side of their heads extending the index finger to simulate horns.

For further movement activities they could use their arms and legs to form a bridge, either alone or with a partner.

Attached is a poem with a very simple chorus that you may also wish to use.


Kindergarten - Literature - Goldilocks and the Three Bears


Sequence the events in the story.

Identify opposites.

Act out the story.

Recite parts of the story.

Identify real and make-believe.


Bowl, chair, pillows for bed

Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Adult size chair, 2 cushions

Drawing paper, crayons

Suggested Books

Brett, Jan. Goldilocks and the Three Bears. New York: Putnam, 1987.

Marshall, James. Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Dial: New York, 1988.

Voake, Charlotte. The Three Little Pigs and Other Favourite Nursery Stories. Cambridge: Candlewick Press, 1991.


Have the students seated in an area where you can sit facing them. After they are seated make a dramatic production of sitting down on your chair. Loudly complain that the chair is simply TOO HARD. Get up and bring two cushions back to place on your chair. Again be seated, but this time complain that now it is TOO SOFT. Remove one of the cushions, sit down and loudly exclaim that the seat is now JUST RIGHT.

Some of the children will probably recognize the similarities of your actions with the story you are about to read. If the students show no recognition tell them that the story you are going to read is about a girl and what happens when she goes to the Three Bears' house.

Read the story stopping at appropriate intervals to have the children predict what will happen next. Use a low pitched voice to read the Papa Bear's lines, a medium pitched voice to read the Mama Bear's lines and a high pitched voice to read the Baby Bear's lines. Encourage the children to recite the lines with you.

After reading the story have the children identify their favorite scenes in the story. Ask them to tell the part that they think is the most exciting, the funniest, the most sad, etc. Review the sequence of the events in the story this way.

Discuss the bears in the story. Help the children to identify the parts of the story that are make-believe. Clarify that bears do not live in houses, wear clothes, use furniture, or cook food. Relate this story to other stories and poems the children may have already read that include animals acting like people (Three Pigs, Three Little Kittens).

Ask the children how they think Goldilocks got her name. As you talk about Goldilocks with the children ask them to tell what she did that she should not have done. Talk about what might have happened to Goldilocks when she went to a place she did not belong.



Kindergarten - Literature - Goldilocks and the Three Bears

The next day read the story again. This time ask one child to be Goldilocks with the porridge, one to be Goldilocks with the chairs and one to be Goldilocks with the beds. Ask three groups of children to take the parts of the three bears as they discover their porridge, then three with the chairs and finally three with the beds. If possible use bowls, chairs and pillows as props when the children act out the story.

Ask the children to tell how Goldilocks describes the Papa Bear's porridge (too hot) and then the Mama Bear's porridge (too cold). Tell them that hot and cold are opposites. Next ask for the descriptions of the chairs and beds (too hard and too soft). Demonstrate with pictures, stories or objects the concepts of big and small, old and new, wet and dry, top and bottom, and any others you may choose to do.

After talking about each of the concepts have the children draw pictures of a pair of opposites. Provide each child with a piece of drawing paper and have them fold the paper in half. Have the children draw a picture of one member of the pair on one side and the other member of the pair on the other side. Walk around while the children are drawing and print the pair of words selected on the papers.

Refer to the story several times in the future revisiting it again as a play or as a choral reading of sorts (Goldilock's words, bears' words). Have the children sequence the events in the story and also have them predict what might have happened if Goldilocks had not run away.


You may wish to teach the children the following song which is sung to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat":

Father, Mother, Baby Bear

Met Goldilocks one day,

She tried their porridge, chairs and beds,

And then she ran away.




Kindergarten - Literature - The Three Little Pigs


Listen to the story for enjoyment.

Identify the value of taking time to do something well.

Compare/contrast two versions of The Three Little Pigs.

Sequence the events in the story.


Straw, sticks and a brick

Pictures of the straw, stick and brick houses

At least two versions of the story The Three Little Pigs

Costumes and props (optional)

Suggested Books

Bishop, Gavin. The Three Little Pigs. New York: Scholastic, 1989.

Galdone, Paul. The Three Little Pigs. New York: Clarion, 1970.

Marshall, James. The Three Little Pigs. New York: Penguin Books, 1989.

Voake, Charlotte. The Three Little Pigs and Other Favourite Nursery Stories. Cambridge, Candlewick Press , 1991

Zemach, Margot. The Three Little Pigs. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1988.


There are several versions of this story. Some have the wolf eat the first two little pigs, while other versions allow them to escape. Most include three tricks played on the wolf by the third little pig and end with the wolf in a pot of boiling water. Hopefully you will be able to find two different versions to use during this and the next lesson.

Consider the important concepts to be the value of doing a job well (the house of brick), and that being clever is more important than being bigger and stronger.



Before introducing the story show the children some straw, a few sticks and a brick. Ask them to examine each and tell you what they notice about each. If necessary ask leading questions: Which is the heaviest? Which is the lightest? Which one breaks easily? Which one can you move by blowing on it?

If no one mentions it before this point ask the children if the objects remind them of any story. Some will no doubt make the connection to The Three Little Pigs. Show the book. Have the children look at the cover of the book, or beginning of the story if it is part of an anthology. Allow time for the children to comment on the illustrations (most appear rather cartoon like) before you begin reading. Encourage those children who know the story to accompany you as you read the exchange:

"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

"No, not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!"

"Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in."

After you read the first version of the story ask the children to tell you why the wolf was BCP DRAFT LIT 18

Kindergarten - Literature - The Three Little Pigs

able to blow down the houses of the first two pigs. Remind the children about what they discovered when they looked at the building materials. Ask: Why couldn't the wolf blow down the brick house? What other strong materials could that pig have used to build a strong house? (wood, stone or metal)

Ask how each of the pigs felt when the wolf came to their doors. Ask: How would you have felt? Do you think the first two pigs felt different from the third pig? Which pig took a longer time to build his house? Name some of the ways this pig felt about his house (proud, safe, unafraid, glad that he had taken his time and used strong material, etc.). Ask: Can you think of something you did that made you feel proud?

Focus on the encounters between the wolf and the third pig. Ask: What do we know about the third pig that made him able to trick the wolf so many times? (He was smart.) Did it matter that the wolf was bigger and stronger? (no) Ask the students if they can think of another small character who was able to trick or overpower a stronger or larger opponent. (Jack and the Beanstalk, Three Billy-Goats Gruff, etc.)

You may wish to read this version of the story again allowing children to take the parts of the three pigs and the wolf. Before you begin, review the sequence of events asking the children to recall which house was visited first, second, and last.


On the second day introduce a second version of the story, Again, look at the illustrations and cover. Ask the children to tell the differences and similarities between the illustrations and covers of the two versions.

As you read, again encourage the children to recite the exchange between the wolf and the pigs. You may wish to have the children use high voices when saying the pigs' lines and low voices when saying the wolf's. You might also divide the class and have half respond as the wolf and half respond as the pigs.

Review the sequence of events. Use time order words as you do. First, a little pig built his house of straw, then the wolf came and blew it down and ate the pig. Next, the second pig built his house of sticks, then the wolf came and blew it down and ate the pig. A little while later the third pig built his house of bricks, then the wolf came but he couldn't blow it down, etc.

Select three children to be the three pigs, three children to hold the pictures of the three houses, and a child to be the wolf. Retell the beginning episode of the story allowing the children to act out the parts as you tell them. If you wish to include other costumes or props-- pig noses, a wolf's tail and ears, etc.-- you could also have the children wear these. The props and pictures can become part of a dress-up or costume center and the children can use them over and over again while retelling the story.


Kindergarten - Literature - Johnny Appleseed


Introduce John Chapman/Johnny Appleseed.

Identify real and make-believe.

Learn an apple song.

Sequence steps in planting an apple seed.

Sequence steps in the growth of an apple tree.


Story of Johnny Appleseed

Apples, pictures of apple trees

Classroom size U.S. map

Varieties of apples, apple products (optional)

Suggested Books

Aliki. The Story of Johnny Appleseed. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987.

Kellogg, Steven. Johnny Appleseed. New York: Morrow, 1988.

Kellogg, Steven. Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale Retold. New York: Scholastic, 1988.

Teacher Resource

Glass, Andrew. Folks Call Me Appleseed John. New York: Delacorte Press, 1995.


John Chapman was born on September 26, 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts. His father served in Washington's army and fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the Revolutionary War.

John's mother died in 1776 and he and his sister Elizabeth were cared for by relatives until their father returned from the war. John was about six years old when his father, Elizabeth and he moved to Longmeadow, Massachusetts where his father remarried. Over the years ten more children were added to the Chapman family.

John learned to read and write in school, but most of his education was self-taught. He no doubt learned much about life when he set out at a young age through the mountains of northern Pennsylvania.

He learned the area up and down the Allegheny River. Here he cleared ground and planted his first orchard.

John learned the languages of the Senecas and Munses and befriended them. Years later he would champion the rights of Native Americans and blame the settlers for cheating and wronging them. He traveled freely through the wilderness of Pennsylvania, demonstrating a love for animals as well as his fellow man.

Chapman moved into central Ohio in 1801 traveling ahead of the settlers. He began planting trees so he could sell them by the time the settlers arrived.

John Chapman dispensed not only apple seedlings but books and advice as well. It is said

that he tore his books into sections and shared them with the settlers, returning months later to

redistribute and discuss them. He is also said to have had great affection for children and to have BCP DRAFT LIT 20

Kindergarten - Literature - Johnny Appleseed

enjoyed telling stories to them. People began to call him Johnny Appleseed.

He planted trees throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, West Virginia, and Indiana. He is described as a participant in the construction of homes for settlers and helping them become established.

Chapman died in March 1845 at the age of seventy-one. Years later the people of Ashland, Ohio put up a monument to him inscribed with the words below.

Johnny Appleseed

Patron saint of American orchards

soldier of peace

he went about doing good.


There are many exaggerations of John Chapman's life as the character Johnny Appleseed. His ability to clear the land for orchards was greater than the efforts of ten men. He is said to have been able to converse with the animals and shared his home with them. Because he often walked barefoot his feet were supposedly tough enough to withstand a snakebite without penetration. The affection people felt for the deeds of this man raised him to the status of a legend.


The essential information that the children should take away from this lesson is that John Chapman lived a long time ago before there were roads and stores and towns all over. He provided a way for the settlers to be able to grow a fruit that they could eat in many different ways. Help them see how Chapman became a legend, almost a superhero for that time and that people began to make up more and more fantastic stories about him trying to outdo one another.


Show the children an apple and ask them to identify it. If possible display several varieties of apples and identify them by name. Ask: Where does this fruit grow? (on trees) Ask how many have ever picked apples or seen them growing on trees or in an orchard. Show the students pictures of apple trees. Be sure to show them in the bloom of spring and in the fall with fruit. Ask: What do we plant in order to grow an apple tree? (seeds) Where do we find the seeds? (inside the apple) Cut an apple in half to display the seeds and the pattern they make. Remove the seeds and pass them around for the students to see. Tell them that with dirt and water and sunlight each seed can grow into a tree.

Tell the students that a long time ago in America there weren't many apple trees. Many of the apple trees that we have today came from the seeds of trees planted many years ago by a man named John Chapman. We celebrate September 26th, the anniversary of his birth as Johnny Appleseed Day.

Show the parts of the United States where John Chapman lived. Point out Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Indiana. Explain that while this is the limit of the area where he lived, the settlers took the seeds and seedlings west with them.

Read or tell the story of Johnny Appleseed. Emphasize the factual accounts of his life and play down the fictional. When appropriate, ask: Could this have really happened? Help your students to see the contributions of this man and do not emphasize the exaggerations.


Kindergarten - Literature - Johnny Appleseed

After you read the story teach the children a movement song about planting apple seeds.

This song is sung to the tune of "Row, Row, Row your Boat."

Apple, apple, apple seeds, (reach into seed bags)

Plant them in the ground, (dig and drop seeds)

Give them water, give them sun, (pour water, open arms)

Trees grow all around. (Squat, then stand and open arms)

Apple, apple, apple fruit, (pick from tree)

Pick it from the tree, (pick from tree)

Make some cider, make some sauce (crush apples)

Good for you and me. (Point to others, then to self)

Another movement song that can be done is done to the tune of "The Mulberry Bush".

This is the way we plant a seed, plant a seed, plant a seed, (dig a hole, plant a seed)

this is the way we plant a seed to grow an apple tree.

This is the way we water the seed...to grow an apple tree. (use a watering can)

This is the way the sun shines down...to grow an apple tree. (open arms like rays of sun)

This is the way the branches grow...on an apple tree. (move arms out from body)

This is the way the blossoms bloom...on an apple tree. (cup then open palms of hands)

This is the way we pick the fruit...from an apple tree. (reach up and pick fruit)

Also included with this lesson is a poem about Johnny Appleseed that has a very simple chorus. You may want to read this poem to the children and have them recite the chorus.

On another day after you have reviewed the life of Johnny Appleseed you may wish to have an apple tasting. Provide varieties of apples and let the children taste them and vote on their favorites. This could lead to a graphing activity that would introduce the children to tallying votes and graphing the results.

The apple tasting could take another direction and include various foods made from apples. You might wish to serve apple cider, applesauce, apple butter, dried apple slices or chips, apple Newtons, apple pie, apple cobbler, or apple dumplings. Help the children to see the many products that are available from just one fruit.

You may also want to show the children an apple head doll. This would give an opportunity to discuss how different toys that children had many years ago are from the toys today.


A field trip to a local orchard would be a wonderful culminating activity for this unit. A number of farms offer hay rides and a visit to a cider press in conjunction with the trip.


Kindergarten - Literature - " Three Blind Mice" - " Hot Cross Buns"


Recite the song/poem through repetitive readings.

Develop enjoyment for rhythm and rhyme.

"Three Blind Mice"

Three blind mice, (cover eyes)

Three blind mice, (cover eyes)

See how they run, (run in place)

See how they run, (run in place)

They all ran after the farmer's wife,

She cut off their tails with a carving knife, (turn around and look for tail)

Did you ever see such a sight in your life as three blind mice?(hands on either side of open mouth, in surprise)

"Hot Cross Buns"


Recite the verse through repetitive readings.

Develop enjoyment of rhythm and rhyme.

"Hot Cross Buns"

Hot cross buns! (cross arms in X)

Hot cross buns! (cross arms in X)

One a penny, two a penny, (hold up one finger, then two fingers)

Hot cross buns! (cross arms in X)

If your have no daughters, (curtsy)

Give them to your sons. (bow)

One a penny, two a penny, (hold up one finger, then two fingers)

Hot cross buns! (Cross arms in X)