Apple themes are great for 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. It’s a terrific book to read as a follow up to 10 Apples Up On Top.
Instead of balancing apples on top of his head, the peddler in this folktale balances a stack of caps on his head. He loses his caps to a group of 16 chattering monkeys and must find a way to get them back.
All the monkeys ever say is, “Tsz, tsz, tsz” and the peddler’s frustration leads to the return of his caps. As you read the story, let children ask questions. Many of them will not be familiar with the term, peddler.
Make a beanbag stacking graph…
- Provide bean bags and have kids practise 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”
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/white board 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