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Home » Blog » Seasonal » Special Events » Johnny Appleseed Day for 1st Grade

Johnny Appleseed Day for 1st Grade

Classroom Transformations, Special Events

Written by: Katie Palmer

As fall begins, teachers wonder what fun and special events can bring their classroom to life. One such day is John Chapman's (aka Johnny Appleseed) birthday on September 26th. Celebrated widely in first grade classrooms, a Johnny Appleseed day can be fun but time consuming to plan. Never fear, teacher friend! Team Lucky Little Learners is here with your complete party plan for your Johnny Appleseed themed day. So, read on to easily plan a day your 1st graders will never forget!

When we say complete, we mean it! This party plan includes:

  • Home notes
  • Centers
  • Crafts
  • Snack ideas
  • Decoration ideas
  • Read aloud suggestions with comprehension sheets
  • Game ideas
  • Party playlist

All of this is laid out in a party plan for you, with clickable links leading right to the activities!

The Johnny Appleseed Day party plan has everything you need to make this a special day for your students.

Let's walk through each section of the Johnny Appleseed party plan to get a better idea of what this themed day will look like in your classroom. When you are ready, either download the party plan and use the clickable links to find each resource, or download each resources straight from this post.

Idea: Download the Johnny Appleseed Party Plan and use it as a checklist when planning your party.

Jump to:

I) Suggested Materials

II) Decor Ideas

III) Snack Ideas

IV) Centers & Crafts

V) Read Alouds

VI) Party Games

VII) Party Playlist

I) Suggested Materials

The resources in this section of the party plan are things to be printed off before the party. Send the notes home the week before to be sure to collect any snack supplies, or costume pieces desired.

Cooking Pot Crown

Although not historically accurate, in the fun spirit of Johnny Appleseed, your students can wear a cooking pot upon their head! When you tell your students this, they may have objections about how uncomfortable that would be! However, you can reassure them that their cooking pot hat will be made of paper.

Make a construction paper Johnny Appleseed cooking pot hat.

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Appleseed Snack Note

What classroom party is complete without some tasty snacks? We will dive deeper into the snack ideas shortly, but the party plan contains two delicious options for your themed day: caramel apples and apple punch.

caramel apples make a great treat on Johnny Appleseed Day.

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Dress Up Note

Although optional, having your students dress up like Johnny Appleseed adds a bit of fun to the already exciting day.

Your students can dress up like Johnny Appleseed for your classroom celebration

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Anchor Chart

After reading a Johnny Appleseed book (included in party plan), fill out one of the, “Johnny Appleseed Was…”, anchor charts. This could be done either whole group or as independent work if your students are ready.

A Johnny Appleseed bubble map anchor chart will help guide class discussions

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II) Decor Ideas

Johnny Appleseed Placemat

The placemat is the perfect way to kickoff your day! Lay it out on student desks before they get to school for an engaging way to start your Johnny Appleseed day, while also eliminating room wanderers.

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Apples

Have any fake apples sitting around? Or real ones? Set out a few baskets, buckets or even cooking pots full of apples to pull in the fall apple harvest feel.

apples make great classroom decor for your Johnny Appleseed Day party.

Tablecloths

Using tablecloths can dress up your room quickly and cheaply. Many dollar stores carry tablecloths, but a free option is using butcher paper. Use apple colors like red, green, or yellow. If you are hoping for a fall festival feel, try red and white checkered table cloths, like the ones below.

Decorate with red and white checkered tablecloths for your Johnny Appleseed party

Extra Decor

If you are looking to add even more excitement, try bringing in extra decor such as:

  • Fake pine trees
  • Baskets/buckets of apples
  • Apple themed decor
  • Cooking pots full of apples

III) Snack Ideas

As mentioned above, what classroom party is complete without a scrumptious snack or two?

Our two suggestions for your Johnny Appleseed party are caramel apples and apple punch.

Caramel Apples

The only ingredients need for this snack are caramel, apples and extra toppings (if desired). I have done this recipe in my classroom for years and have learned some tips. The night before the party, I unwrap all of the caramel candies and place them in my crock pot. I carry it in to school this way the morning of the party, plugging it in and setting it on low a little over an hour before snack time.The melting time depends on your crockpot, but mine usually takes an hour or so. Stir it every so often to keep the consistency.

caramel apples are the perfect treat for Johnny Appleseed day in your classroom

When the caramel is ready, stick popsicle sticks into the apples. I call my students up one by one to dip their apples in the caramel and topping. Then, we let them cool on the wax paper. (Write their name near their apple.)

Toppings tip: I have used mini chocolate chips, mini M & M's and sprinkles mostly. I only let kids dip into one topping to not mix them. They choose to dip in one of the individual toppings bowls OR the combined toppings bowls I stir together ahead of time.

Tip: Some of the caramel will run right off the apple when you set it on the wax paper, so make sure the student has thoroughly coated their apples!

Apple Punch

Although it might sound odd, mixing together apple juice and Sprite/7-Up is delicious! It mimics the taste of the fancy sparkling apple cider I got served at the Thanksgiving kid's table all my life.

make apple punch by mixing sprite with apple juice

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IV) Centers & Crafts

An easy way to fill the party day with themed but valuable activities is through centers. Have your student groups rotate through a few or all of these stations. Try using a fall themed timer to keep on your rotation schedule. (There are so many to choose from on YouTube!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yf3PkoKIFaA

For students who are not able to finish station work, have them place it in a folder to finish later on.

Apple Color by Number

Focusing on subtraction to 18, this is a perfect fall activity for students. This is a good option for a teacher table station. Use hands on manipulatives, like these apple counters, to show a visual of the subtraction problems.

practice math with an apple themed color by number

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3 digit addition and subtraction color by number sheets

Apple Math Puzzles

There are several apple themed math puzzles available in All Access! (You know the site where you can find everything that has even been, and ever will be made by Team Lucky Little Learners!) Click the button below to browse all things Apple Math Puzzles.

apple themed math puzzles are a hit in 1st and 2nd grade

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Apple Life Cycle Directed Draw

In my experience, students love directed drawings. (I love directed drawings, too!) Try a life cycle of an apple directed drawing to help students see what happened after Johnny Appleseed planted apple seeds across the countryside.

have students create an apple life cycle directed drawing

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Johnny Appleseed Informational Writing Prompt

Let your students show what they know after hearing the read alouds. The pictures and vocabulary words will help your 1st graders generate ideas. This prompt helps teachers pinpoint writing problem skills and reteach as needed, on the spot!

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Painting Projects

Put on those painting shirts and cover up the tables! Students will creating art, with no paintbrushes! Students will LOVE these Q-tip and Apple painting activities!

try apple themed q-tip or apple stamping crafts in your classroom

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Apple Graphing

Let your students decide which kind of apple is their favorite with the “Our Favorite Apples” graphing activity. This math activity can be completed in a couple of ways.

  1. Have students color a paper apple (from the template) and tape them up to the board to create your graph.
  2. Bring in three real apples: a red, yellow and green. Put them in a non transparent back or box and have students take turns pulling out an apple. Graph the color the pull out.

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V) Read Alouds

If you google, “Johnny Appleseed picture books”, you will get a ton of results. The party plan highlights two of these, but choose which one is best for your classroom and needs.

“Johnny Appleseed”, by Jodie Shepherd

“Johnny Appleseed”, by Steven Kellogg

Book Companion Sheets

After listening to or reading either of the books above, try using a book companion sheet or two, or three! Created to accompany any book about Johnny Appleseed, complete these as a whole group display lesson, or as an independent center.

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VI) Party Games

Apple Bingo

Bingo games are always a hit, and this apple themed bingo will be no exception.

apple themed bingo is fun for the fall or on Johnny Appleseed Day

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Apple Themed Toothy

Toothy is an engaging and self correcting skill review game. There are Toothy options for any subject/skill you can think of! Pair them with this Apple Toothy Mat, and this game fits perfectly into your Johnny Appleseed day!

apple themed Toothy is a hit in the primary classroom

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Apple Musical Pictures

If you have not played musical pictures yet, you will be hooked! Although this game is modeled similar to musical chairs, the best part is there is no fighting over chairs involved.

Here are the rules:

  1. Set out enough picture/word cards to have one for each student.
  2. Cut apart the teacher picture cards and place them in a bucket/bowl to pull from.
  3. Start some music. (Like the Johnny Appleseed Playlist!)
  4. When you stop the music, draw out a picture card. The student standing at the matching picture is out.
  5. They bring you their card, and you remove both their card and the matching teacher card.
  6. The game goes on until there is only one student left!

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Apple Bowling

This game requires a little DIY, but can be oh so fun!

Materials needed:

  • Apples
  • 20 ounce pop bottles or toilet paper tubes

Let students take turns seeing who can knock down the most “pins”!

VII) Party Playlist

Lastly, our Johnny Appleseed Party Plan includes a playlist! This playlist is full of music of the early 1800s as well as bluegrass. Click the image below to start listening.

Check out this party plan in action!

Let me walk you through what my Johnny Appleseed Day looks like!

Let this day be the Apple of your eye!

With this party plan, the stage is set for your Johnny Appleseed day to be a major hit. Enjoy the day, and enjoy making memories with those lucky little learners in your classroom.

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Blank Template

If you just want the blank template to plan your own party, download it below.

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Lucky Little Party Plans for All Reasons & Seasons

If you love this plan, peruse our other Lucky Little Party Plans & resources on the blog and All Access.

Classroom Transformations

Another way to bring fun into learning is through classroom transformations. Check out our extensive collection of classroom transformation blog posts and resources.

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