Investigating apples with an apple theme works well in late September and early October. Add to the math and literature connections found in the post, “Ten Apples Up on Top“, with the great story, “Caps for Sale”, by Esphyr Slobodkina.
Caps for Sale is a folktale and subtitled, A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business. Instead of balancing apples on top of his head like the animals in the previous book, the peddler (also spelled pedlar) in this story balances a stack of caps on his head. After a nap one day, he wakes up to discover all but one of his caps are missing. The culprits are a group of 16 chattering monkeys and the pedlar must find a way to get his caps back.
After a nap one day, he wakes up to discover all but one of his caps are missing. The culprits are a group of 16 chattering monkeys and the peddler must find a way to get his caps back.
All the monkeys ever say is, “Tsz, tsz, tsz” and the peddler’s frustration leads to the return of his caps. As the book was written in the 1940s some terms, such as peddler and wares, will be unfamiliar to today’s children. A peddler was someone who walked from town to town selling things to the people in those towns.
Make a beanbag stacking graph…
- Provide bean bags and have kids practice balancing them on their heads
- Children work with a partner to balance “caps” and count how many they can keep on their heads
- Partners graph the results. If the student can balance four bean bags, put a dot in the column that says 4.
Build number sense with “Ten Red Apples”
Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins, is a wonderful book for apple themes and contains rhyming, sing-song text and counts down from 10 as the farm animals consume apples from a tree.
The book provides good illustrations for counting down from ten apples to one apple on the tree.
“Ten red apples hanging on the tree. Yippee, fiddle-dee-fee!
Horse came and ate one, chomp, chomp, chomp.
Neigh, neigh, fiddle-dee-fee.
‘Horse!’ cried the farmer.
Save some for me!’
For each verse, an animal takes its fruit, then moves to the right side of the spread, creating a cumulative visual effect. After the ninth animal helps itself to the tree’s bounty, a sole apple remains for the farmer, but none for his wife, who hopes to bake a pie.
Children love the repetitiveness of the story, helping with the animal sounds and chanting the ending, “Save some for me”.
Ten Red Apples Countdown Activity
- Draw a simple tree on the chalk/whiteboard and stick 10 apple shapes (Post it™ notes sometimes come in apple shapes) so it looks similar to the picture on the cover of the book (see above).
- Print the number ten beside it.
- As you read the story have a different child remove an apple one at a time
- Have the child print or help them print the new number on the board.
- Leave the apples and tree shape up for the children to play with at learning center times
Esphyr Slobodkina also wrote the book, Circus Caps for Sale, the sequel to Caps for Sale. When the peddler finds himself at a circus one day, he seizes the opportunity to sell his wares.
Unfortunately, a mischievous passing elephant seems to be his most interested customer. Soon caps are flying, to the delight of clowns, jugglers, tumblers, and especially the watching crowd.
Shopping for books from Canada?
Go to Amazon.ca to find the ones above.